Free radicals are the result of chemical reactions that continually take place within the body, and further aggregated by pollutants, cigarette smoke and radiation, therefore to an extent they are inevitable. These free radicals travel round the body damaging other healthy cells, causing cellular instability and deformed cell structure. This chain reaction is essentially ongoing, with free radicals turning healthy cells into free radicals, which in turn do the same. This oxidative damage plays a huge role in muscle, bone, skin and organ degeneration, with symptoms including wrinkles, reduced strength, osteoporosis and even cancer – to name but a few. Fortunately the oxidative damage impacts the body over a prolonged period of time. We are also in the fortunate position of being able to reduce the effects of free radicals by making a few crucial lifestyle adjustments.
The fundamental lifestyle change would be to increase the amount of organic fruit and vegetables you consume on a daily basis, to anywhere from 5-12 portions per day. This is because these food types have within them; antioxidants: a molecule that prevents the oxidation of other molecules. With this in mind it becomes plain to see benefits of consuming these types of food when looking at preventing oxidative damage and preserving cell structure.
Below are some fruit and vegetables that help relieve oxidative stress due to their abundance of vitamin C and E. This helps the body to neutralize free radicals and therefore you should add aim to incorporate as many of these foods into your daily nutrition plan: