Your body is like a treasured painting or photograph. To make sure valuable artwork stays beautiful for ages, collectors keep it safe from damage. This is important because once an image is ruined, it’s practically impossible to fix. Scientists are discovering that aging is similar. If you want to slow down the clock, you need to stop the damage from free radicals first.
What Are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules. Any time you see a rusty car, you’re looking at the effects of these molecules. They also interfere with healthy cells, making different body systems malfunction. Free radicals can be caused by UV radiation, smoking, air pollution, certain medication, chemicals, and even stress.
Why Are Free Radicals Dangerous for Cells?
Put simply, free radicals mess up the way your body is supposed to work. They affect proteins and DNA negatively, causing damage to cells. As this oxidative stress accumulates, it eventually starts damaging organs, too. Many scientists believe that free radicals may trigger or at least increase your risk of different types of cancer.
How Do Free Radicals Contribute to Aging?
When a person is young, all body systems work smoothly. For example, youthful skin has plenty of collagen, moisture and nutrients. It looks amazing naturally, no beauty creams necessary. Worn skin cells get replaced by beautiful new ones every 27 days! Over time, however, free radicals start to break down this process, causing skin that looks drier, less flexible and darker.
Of course, free radicals aren’t the only cause of aging in the body, but they contribute significantly. If fact, countless symptoms normally associated with aging are linked to free radicals:
Over time, environmental toxins can harm the thyroid gland, heart, liver, brain and kidneys. Several studies suggest that free radicals play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.
What Can You Do About Aging Caused by Free Radicals?
At the moment, scientists don’t know any way to reverse damage caused by free radicals. That’s why a healthy lifestyle is so important. The key to slowing down aging is to protect your body right now from free radicals. How?
Antioxidants are natural compounds that absorb excess free radicals, neutralizing them. Your body uses many of these protectors every day: vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene and other nutrients.
In the time of our grandparents, the antioxidants in home cooked meals were enough to stay strong and energetic well into old age. These days, however, there’s so much pollution and so many chemicals in everything that the body has a hard time keeping up with the damage.
Where Can You Get Antioxidants?
Eating a healthy diet with a variety of fruit, veggies, nuts, whole grains, herbs and spices can provide your body with the antioxidants you need. Green tea, dark chocolate, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, etc.), beets, leafy greens and pecans are excellent sources of antioxidants.
One incredible antioxidant for helping with the symptoms of aging is called curcumin, a powerful pain fighter found in turmeric. Turmeric is a natural superfood that can calm inflammation, protect joint tissues and help keep your DNA safe from free radicals. If you haven’t tried its anti aging effects yet, you’re missing out on something amazing for your body.