Free radicals- the killing monster
One of the most frequent types of damage done to your body is caused by molecules known as free radicals. What are free radicals?
Let’s look at the current typical daily lifestyle. You are constantly exposed to the outside world environmentally, physically and mentally. Environmental wise – sun rays (ultra violet rays), air pollution, water pollution, preservative food or poor nutrition diet choice and medications; Physical wise – excessive exercise; Mental wise – stress due to work, relationship and financial problems. All the above factors cause free radicals andyour body is continuously being bombarded by these free radicals.
Free radicals, also known simply as radicals, are organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases. These molecules are very unstable, therefore they look to bond with other molecules, destroying their health and further continuing the damaging process.
Free radicals are “free” because they float around until they stabilize, and “radical” in the sense that there are a wide variety of molecules from which they can take an electron. The damage doesn’t stop there, however, as the new molecule, say a piece of a cell wall, is now also missing an electron and has become another free radical. This snowball effect can wreak havoc on healthy tissue. Scientific studies now show that all of those symptoms we normally associate with aging, as well as just about every disease there is, are caused by the damage of free radicals on your body.
Let’s look at how the free radicals damage your cells. Here is an analogy: imagine yourself in front of a burning charcoal. What happen to the burning charcoal? The charcoal produces ashes and occasionally cinders.
Let’s say the cinders and ashes land on the wooden floor, the sparkling cinders burn a hole on the floor, ashes covered the floor. May be a one cinder or one time burn of ashes does not pose so much of the problem to the floor but if the situation continues day after day, month after month, year after year, without doing any cleaning and removing of the ashes on the floor, the floor will be spoiled and eventually have to change a new one.
Your body is much the same thing like the burning charcoal, just that we never see the ashes or cinders, but they are there! The ashes or cinders are called the free radicals, the more you stress, the more you exposed to UV sun rays, the more free radicals your body produce. The floor represents your body. The part of body receives the most free radicals is the first one to break down and lead to degenerative diseases. If there’s more free radical damage in your blood vessels, you’ll get heart disease. If there’s more in your eyes, you’ll get cataracts. If there’s more in your brain, you’ll get dementia or Alzheimer’s. If there’s more in your breast tissue, you’ll get breast cancer. And so on and so on… Unfortunately, your body or organ does not have spare part, unlike the floor which is replaceable.
If you think about it, it makes sense. For example, why are smokers more likely to get lung cancer, asthma and COPD (all diseases of the lungs)? Because cigarette smoke is a major source of free radicals.
Antioxidants, present in many foods, are molecules that prevent freeradicals from harming healthy tissue.