By Sarah Kilvington
Posted in General
The cells in your body need oxygen to survive, but exposure to oxygen causes oxidation. This means that the body’s chemicals are changed to and become what are known as free radicals. Free radicals can also be created from other habits such as smoking, excess sun exposure, alcohol, pollution exposure, and vegetable oils. Scientists believe that these chains of free radicals that build up over time contribute to our body’s aging process and can be harmful to other healthy cells.
Antioxidants are what help to stop the oxidation process in our bodies. They help to fight off these free radical that are formed and give the body a natural defense against them. Antioxidants can be found in a healthy diet, or can be taken in supplement form. Some popular antioxidants include:
- Vitamin A- found in liver, milk, eggs and butter *We highly recommend this vitamin*
- Vitamin C- found in strawberries, papayas, cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi, bell peppers brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and tomatoes
- Vitamin E- found in nuts and seeds (like sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts), leafy green vegetables, and oils
- Beta-Carotene- found in carrots, cantaloupe, peas, apricots, papaya, pumpkin, broccoli, mango, squash, sweet potatoes and other colorful fruits and vegetables
- Lutein- found in leafy green vegetables, oranges, corn, and peas
- Lycopene- found in tomatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, apricots, and other pink and red fruits and vegetables
- Selenium- found in fortified cereals, breads, pastas, animal products, nuts and legumes
Coconut Oil And Free Radicals
Coconut oil is another natural free radical fighter. When coconut oil is used in cooking, it helps internally to break up the chains of free radicals that form over time and makes it easier for the body to get rid of them faster. When used on the skin, it helps to keep free radicals away by protecting the skin and membranes from outside sources.
The best way to remove and prevent free radicals is to eat a healthy, rounded diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. It is not recommended to take a vitamin E supplement, and those at risk for or who have lung cancer are recommended to stay away from extra beta-carotene. Talk with your naturopath if you have any concerns about your antioxidant intake.