The process of ageing and its associated diseases is accelerated with oxidative damage. External factors such as sunlight, smoking and poor diet can trigger the production of highly reactive free radicals, which are the primary cause of this damage.
The body needs a supply of antioxidants to defend itself from them, thus limiting oxidative stress. It is their job to 'mop up' free radicals that can harm our cells. Researchers believe that destroying free radicals may help with many long term chronic diseases and the reduce the effects of ageing.
Tips to protect the body and increase your antioxidants.
Eat foods naturally high in vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene. Include foods such as berries, broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, prunes and raisins.
Aim for at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Use herbs in cooking such as oregano, dill, thyme, rosemary, peppermint and turmeric.
Take care not to eat burnt foods.
Switch to green tea, high in the antioxidant catechin.
Include the amino acids cysteine and glutathione as they help to increase the body’s main antioxidant enzyme (which encourages detoxification). Foods high in these include; white meat, tuna, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, onions and garlic.
Speak to a qualified nutritional therapist about supplementing your diet with a good quality multi-vitamin.