I am sure that you've heard about free radicals as advertisements have been splurging them everywhere.
You've been told that they are bad for you, but how do you know? In this day and age, nothing seems like it can be trusted anymore.
This is why your best ally is knowledge and not letting yourself be fooled. I want to be beside you in your quest for a healthier and more satisfying life. I consider it my duty to inform and give you my best and qualified opinion regarding health.
For your better understanding of what a free radical is I need to tell you a bit more about your body...
The microscopic side of your body
The human body is a highly intricate and complex machine that has both visible and invisible elements.
Right now, you have to focus on the microscopic side of your body. Everything that your body is composed of are cells, trillions of cells that combine and structure together to form tissue, organs, etc.
Looking even deeper than that, cells contain smaller, specialized structures that make your organism function normally.
Now further than that, at the basis of your anatomical structure is the atom. All the things that surround us are made of atoms, including yourself.
The atoms are the foundation of everything that you see, touch, and of the things that you can't (like cells for example). Atoms also contain three tiny kinds of particles called subatomic particles. But for now, you only need to focus on only one type of particles: electrons.
Why is this relevant?
Because it will help you understand what free radicals are and how they function inside your body.
A free radical is an atom or group of atoms that have an unpaired electron (a stable atom has paired electrons). What does this mean?
It means that the free radical is unstable and highly reactive, which in turn will make it want to engage in a chemical reaction to even out its electrons (to stabilize itself).
The problem is that the free radical does so by stealing from a neighboring atom or group of atoms.
When that happens, it leaves the victim short an electron, thus transforming this new molecule into a new free radical which will try to steal to stabilize itself.
This process goes on and on, forming a chain reaction of free radicals that creates havoc on living tissue.
Once the molecule has been ripped off one electron, its fundamental structure is destroyed, making it function abnormally.
It has been estimated that the chain reaction can trigger 6.023 x 1021 billion molecules to react per second!
How do free radicals form in the first place?
External factors that can generate free radicals are:
- Cigarette smoke;
- Toxic metals;
- Industrial chemicals;
In addition, because we are aerobic organisms, which means that we need oxygen to survive, we are more in danger.
Why? Because oxygen boosts the formation of free radicals.
Oxidative stress triggers the aging process, cancer, inflammation in the skin, and damages cell membranes contributing to degenerative conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, and more.
However scary this sounds, you must also understand that cells use oxygen to convert food into energy. Therefore, free radicals are a natural byproduct of this process.
Furthermore, sometimes, your immune system creates them on purpose to neutralize viruses and bacteria. This is a positive thing that they can do to your body.
As a whole, getting rid of them is neither possible and in some cases not even desirable. Therefore, the most susceptible thing to do is to fight to prevent their negative effects. How can you do that?
To prevent free radical from damaging your body, you should start eating more foods rich in antioxidants or take a daily natural supplement to boost your antioxidant levels quickly.