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Free Radicals? What are They? What’re the Sources?

Free radicals are highly toxic biological molecules that are produced from many sources: from the digestion and metabolism of food we eat, sunlight, environmental pollutants (smoke, wastes, pesticides, dirty water, etc.), stress, sleep deprivation, excessive calories, abdominal fat, inactivity and foods (highin sugars, highly refined grains, animal fats, high fructose corn syrup, transfats).

Highly reactive free radicals can trigger a damaging chain reaction causing overwhelming oxidative damage to the cell's membranes and compromising the delivery of vital nutrients and the effective removal of toxic waste products. They can damage the mitochondria, inhibiting the production of cellular energy. They can damage protein molecules, impairing the production of crucial enzymes and hormones. And they can cause extensive DNA damage, leading to lethal genetic mutations and uncontrolled cell divisions that can cause cancer, cell death, premature aging, and chronic diseases.

However, this happens only when there is either overproduction of free radicals or inadequate antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in the diet.

Over-production of free radicals occurs when you are physically inactive, overstressed, and eating huge meals high in calories, particularly, bad fats and highly refined carbohydrates, and there aren’t enough antioxidants and phytonutrients in the body. This scenario allows free radicals to roam free attacking healthy cells and molecules causing oxidative damage, and low-grade chronic inflammation – which are the underlying root cause of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, obesity, and loss of energy, libido and premature aging.

The best defense against this insult to the body are the powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients found in foods grown “organically” or soil unpolluted by pesticides, industrial pollutants, and most importantly, are allowed to ripe properly, instead of artificially.


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