Antioxidants: The Elixir Of Life?
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Kate Young
The pursuit of longevity has been a fascination for humans for as long as we have walked the planet. Over millennia, people have tried different things in an attempt to extend their life but, as yet, the elixir of life remains undiscovered. In the interim, our understanding of nutrition is allowing us to increase life expectancy slowly.
This has been borne out of a better understanding of the mechanics behind ageing. We now know that one of the critical factors in age-related decline is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen atoms that have split with unpaired electrons. As electrons like to be in pairs, these atoms now ravage the body, drawing electrons from other atoms to find their pair. This leads to degradation in other atoms which causes damage to cells and DNA, which can lead to diseases such as cancer.
Antioxidants, the heroes of the piece.
Antioxidants are molecules that protect against free-radical oxidative stress by donating their electrons to free-radicals to prevent them from drawing them from cells in the body. Your body is continually producing free-radicals, and many environmental factors contribute to increased production including;
- High Blood Sugar
- Excessive Sun Exposure
So, load yourself up with antioxidants and live forever (with a great tan) right? Not quite…
Free-Radicals: Complex Villains
Free-radicals have uses in the body. For example, they are used by immune cells to attack infectious diseases. In the same way, they draw electrons from cells of the body; they attack the infection in pursuit of an electron pairing.
As with many things, the key is to find a balance.
Getting antioxidants into your diet is incredibly important; a severe deficiency is life-threatening. There are plenty of foods which are considered antioxidant-rich, which you should consider introducing to your diet:
- Green Tea
- Dark Chocolate
When adding new foods into your diet, you have to consider whether or not that food is right for your body. This is where an allergy test comes in. By taking an allergy test, you can ascertain whether the antioxidant-rich food you’re considering introducing may not agree with your body. When seeking to improve health, you don’t want to be swapping one set of problems for another. You can take an allergy test today by visiting this link.