What causes free radical in your body? Can you get rid of them by eating the right food? And which food contains beneficial antioxidants to fight free radical?
Free radicals can be divided into those caused by internal and external factors. The internal ones are produced out of irregular metabolism in your body.
And those caused by radiations, over exercise, polluted air and drinking water, fried food as well as chemical additives are considered the external factors.
The double edged blade
Free radicals are like a blade with two sharp edges. For example, carbon monoxide is a beneficial free radical. It is an essential ingredient for transmitting messages in central nervous system.
On the other hand, there are oxygenated free radicals released from our food and environment which are highly poisonous.
These radicals are like the “bad guys” in our body. We must eliminate them or else they will harm our body. What is the main enemy of free radical? It is the antioxidants.
The wonderful antioxidants
If free radical is a terrorist, then antioxidant is the police that disarm the terrorist and make it harmless. Each type of free radical has some specific antioxidants that work against them.
Some substances in your body such as uric acid and protein can produce antioxidant enzymes to eliminate free radicals. However, your body will also automatically produce other free radicals that are difficult to be eliminated totally. It requires various vitamins like C, A, E and beta carotene to extinguish them.
Vegetables and grains also contain a lot of antioxidants. Unfortunately, many of these food have been processed, fried, fermented or oil fried. Consequently, more free radicals are produced that are harmful to your body.
Food rich in antioxidants
Food rich in Vitamin A are milk, yogurt, egg, carrot and yellowish green vegetables. Food rich in vitamin C are sweet chili, papaya, lemon and other fresh vegetables. And food rich in vitamin E include plant seeds, wheat sprout, coarse rice, sunflower seeds, plant oil and deep green vegetables.
Apart from fresh vegetables, some food like animal liver, seafood, onion, whole grain and tomato are also rich in antioxidants.
Beta carotene antioxidant
Beta carotene can eliminate free radicals too. The greenish vegetables and fruits like mango are some examples of food with this substance.
To replenish beta carotene, many people drink excessive carrot juice or eat raw carrot. This is less effective because your body can absorb beta carotene only in presence of oil. Instead, take it together with other dish which is cooked or mixed with some oil.
Though beta carotene has strong antioxidant function, you cannot consume it excessively because your skin may become yellowish.
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is a type of enzyme that can neutralize free radicals in your body. Many researches have revealed that replenishing SOD can effectively reduce free radicals level.
Daily consumption of wheat sprout, beans, soybean, young leaves or fresh fish replenish SOD in your body. The ganoderma (reishi) mushroom, also known as the immortal herb, contains a high concentration of SOD that helps to slow down your aging process.
Apart from all those mentioned above, fresh vegetables, garlic, green tea and red wine are also excellent antioxidants. Garlic contains Allicin which is reported to reduce LDL cholesterol and eliminate free radicals.
The polyphenol in green tea can enhance the elimination of free radicals. Researches also found that coffee, grape seeds, soybean and chocolate also contain phenol.
Drinking red wine moderately also reduce harmful effect due to free radicals. Presently researches have discovered that red wine contain three types of organic substances: Phenol, alcohol and resveratrol.
The phenol has antioxidants while resveratrol is a natural germ killer which can retard LDL cholesterol oxidization.
Having known all these food with beneficial antioxidants, you will know what to eat for your next meal, don’t you?