Oxidative Stress is a condition which can occur in the body and may lead to numerous diseases. It’s not a coincidence that they just happen to be the lifestyle diseases that seem to be plagueing the western world in epidemic proportions. With this in mind, it’s obviously a good idea to do everything we can to avoid it, so today we’re looking at how to avoid oxidative stress to help avoid lifestyle disease.
It’s around a 3 minute read. Here’s a brief summary.
- Negative Effects of Oxidative Stress
- The Science Bit.
- In a Nutshell.
- Eating to Avoid Oxidative Stress – Up Your Anti-Oxidants.
- Other Healthy Lifestyle Choices that Can Reduce Oxidative Stress.
- Top Tips for Avoiding Oxidative Stress.
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Negative Effects of Oxidative Stress
Listed below are some of the health conditions oxidative stress can lead to:-
- Inflammatory conditions
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Some Cancers
Oxidative stress has also been linked with:-
- Weakened immune system,
- Premature ageing
- Male infertility.
The Science Bit
Oxidative Stress in the body is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and anti-oxidants. When working properly free radicals fight off pathogens which cause infection but they can cause harm if levels get too high in your body.
Unfortunately, there are free radicals in our environment: ozone, smoking, pesticides (hence why we should try to eat organic), cleaning fluids, pollution and radiation.
When free radicals are not kept in check by anti-oxidants there is an imbalance leading to oxidative stress in the body which can then lead to disease.
In a Nutshell
We have to ensure we are eating enough anti-oxidants and minimising our exposure to free radicals in order to avoid oxidative stress the negative medical consequences that can cause.
Eating to Avoid Oxidative Stress – Up Your AntiOxidants
Some anti-oxidants are destroyed either completely or notably reduced in the cooking process. Eat your foods rich in anti-oxidants raw wherever possible and when it’s appropriate to do so.
There are some notable exceptions to this though. Studies have shown that the anti-oxidants in both tomatoes and carrots increase and become more available for the body to utilise after being cooked. Which is good news for all the soups, stews, casseroles and curry lovers out there.
Studies have suggested that anti-oxidant supplements are ineffective and may even be toxic and cause oxidative stress. You need to get your anti-oxidants from whole food sources. Click to read more.
All fresh fruit and vegetables contain anti-oxidants. Different colours contain different nutrition and different anti-oxidants with different health benefits so its a really good idea to eat the rainbow, eat as many colours as you can.
All whole foods contain anti-oxidants, some are just better sources than others.
Food Especially Rich in Anti-Oxidants
- Dark leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables ie broccoli, kale and cabbages
- Cacao (good quality cocoa, dark chocolate, the higher the percentage, the better, and of course raw cacao is the best)
Other Foods Rich in Anti-Oxidants
- Nuts and seeds
- Green Tea
- Cinamon and ginger
Other healthy lifestyle choices that can reduce Oxidative Stress
- Regular, moderate excercise. – Click for my recent blog post Exercise made easy
- Avoid/cut down on smoking (and avoid smoky environments).
- Avoid Toxins – watch out for chemicals in cleaning and beauty products and of course food. – click for my recent blog post Why Eat Organic.
- Avoid/cut down on alcohol. – click for my blog post about why I quit alcohol.
- Prioritise sleep. – click for my blog post about prioritising your sleep.
- Avoid overeating – over eating and constant eating keeps the body in a constant state of oxidative Stress – Only eat at mealtimes.
- De-stress – Actively pursue daily de-stress activities like playing, laughing, yoga, meditate, being in nature and seeing friends even if just for a short time. (see further reading below)
Top Tips for Avoiding Oxidative Stress
- Make your health a priority.
- Eat lots of your produce raw.
- Make fermented foods like Sauerkraut. Fermenting foods makes the nutrients like antioxidants even more available to our bodies.
- Green Juice daily – easy to consume, sheer volume of different raw produce.
- Green smoothie daily – delicious and can be packed with anti-oxidant rich raw whole foods.
Click links below for further information and recipes for the above top tips.
Destress Further Reading
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