Human Performance & Athletic Development
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Nutrition

Antioxidants And You

Have you ever bit an apple and ten seconds wondered how it went from this juicy beautiful piece of fruit to a browned, falsified fresh refreshment?

This is called oxidation my friends. This occurs when iron is not protected and comes into contact with the outside world. Let the brown disintegration begin. A familiar process occurs in the human body in which overtime can be disadvantageous (large simple word) that can be detrimental to your health. In this post, I will discuss what causes oxidative stress, causes, free radicals, roles of antioxidants, and what you need to succeed.

Causes of Oxidation

  • Stress
  • Training (Intense Exercise)
  • Metabolism (Existing)
  • Sickness
  • Breathing
  • Lighting Candles
  • Reading this article

As you can see, just about everything causes oxidation. This is part of human nature and you should not be afraid of it. Oxidative stress will happen and in fact, short term oxidative stress actually strengthens the cellular make-up of the body. Our bodies have natural antioxidants that counteract the effects of oxidation. The problem is when your body becomes overwhelmed and you can no longer handle the stress you are placing on yourself, which in turns damages cells via free radicals.

Molecules Gone Wild

The header above pretty much sums up what free radicals are. To define, free radicals are negatively charged molecules that are missing an electron in it's outermost orbit. Since we seek homeostasis, free radicals search to balance this electron which runs into healthy molecules and throws them off balance by stealing their outer molecule. Without buffering, this can cause a domino effect that can leave an entire cell damaged and unhealthy.

The Role of Antioxidants

Antioxidants act as scavengers to neutralize the imbalance of free radicals by donating their outer electron to stabilize the free radical. Since antioxidants are stable either way with or without the extra outer electron. Because of this, antioxidants have been noted to help prevent aging and aid in the repair of tissues by maintaining their integrity and function.

If you're training hard, living a stressful life, or living period antioxidants are key to keeping you healthy.  Below are sources to which can obtain critical antioxidants:

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Supplemental Form
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin C
    • Selenium
    • Glutathione
    • Zinc
    • NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)

To Conclude

Antioxidants are free radical stabilizers that product the integrity of our cells. Though we cannot avoid oxidative stress, we can do our part by consuming the nutritional content to alleviate or prevent damage done by unstable free radicals. 

 

 

 

Charles SamsComment