Free radical are THE major reason we age, they cause wrinkles on our skin and cause of bodies to deteriorate.
Here in the UK we are advised by our government and health service to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg (combined) each day.
But why are they so good for us?
Our bodies use oxygen to burn fuel, like glucose. There are two products from this process: one is energy, which is good, the other is something called free radicals, which aren’t good.
This is very much like a car. A car engine burns fuel and produces energy which makes your car go. Unfortunately it also produces pollutants. So there is a good side and a bad side to burning fuel in your car.
The same applies to your body.
Oxygen contributes to energy production, but the downside is the production of free radicals. Although this is normal, your body needs to be properly equipped to deal with these. Otherwise the free radicals will do you harm by causing damage to healthy cells and the lining of your blood vessels.
What’s the result of free radical damage?
Over time, if free radicals are allowed to run rampage through your body, you will succumb to at least one of the degenerative diseases that are common in affluent Western countries. The list is long but here are some of them:
- heart disease
- skin wrinkles (not a disease but certainly not desirable)
So where does fresh fruit and veg come in? They contain lots of antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants act like scavengers. They seek out free radicals and neutralise them before they are able to do their damage. There are thousands of different antioxidants, some of which are produced in your body. However, you need to be eating a good amount of food containing antioxidants to have enough to neutralise the free radicals you are producing constantly. Examples of antioxidants are the vitamins C, E and folic acid.
Fresh fruit and vegetables (more so organic) are great sources of antioxidants and this is one reason they are ESSENTIAL to your daily diet. They provide the building blocks to your body to defend itself against free radical attack.
It is also important how you prepare them. You will get the full benefit from eating them raw. If you want to cook, the best way to preserve as many of the goodies as possible is by steaming. Using a microwave will destroy just about all of the goodness in any fresh food.
So, there are 2 take home messages this week:
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables every day
- Eat as much of it as possible either raw or steamed
Uber Health to you, Dr Julie (any ads that appear are nothing to do with me, I am NOT endorsing)
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]