Your Health

What are Free Radicals and How Do They Affect Health & Wellbeing?

healthy young woman eating an apple outdoors

Free radicals can play a part in how fast your skin ages, just as genetics, exposure to the sun, stress and bad habits such as smoking can. And it’s not just your skin that free radicals can affect, but also other aspects of your health and wellbeing.

 

Some free radicals naturally form and occur in your body. However, you can also be exposed to free radicals from various environmental sources, such as pollution, pesticides and cigarette smoke.

What Are Free Radicals?

 

Free radicals are unstable atoms that have a partial outer shell. This means they may bond with other atoms to try to stabilise themselves, using electrons from other atoms to try to complete their outer shell.

 

When this process occurs with oxygen molecules, that result can be oxidative stress. Although this can naturally occur, it can also be prompted by lifestyle factors, such as:

 

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Consuming large quantities of fried or processed food
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides and air pollution

 

If you want to take control of free radicals and the effect they could be having on your health and wellbeing, try to avoid these factors and replace them with healthier habits.

How Free Radicals Affect the Body

 

As your body begins to age, it loses its ability to fight off the effects of free radicals, and can bring some complications, such as loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles, grey hairs, hair loss and changes to the texture of your hair.

How to Fight the Effects of Free Radicals

 

Protecting yourself from the effects of free radicals is so important to keep your body and mind looking and feeling their best. One easy and effective way to minimise the effects of free radicals is to increase the levels of antioxidants in your diet.

 

Eating your recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables per day is a simple way to do this. Fruit and veg are full of antioxidants that can not only help to fight the effects of free radicals, but also deliver many other health and wellbeing benefits.

 

Examples of antioxidant-rich foods include:

 

  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish
  • Onions
  • Garlic

 

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Where to Find Free Radical-Fighting Antioxidants

 

At Garden of Life, we’ve got several products that contain natural antioxidants that could help to fight free radicals, as well as essential vitamins and nutrients to help you to stay in good health.

 

Vitamin E is one of the most common antioxidants and it’s something that your body cannot produce by itself. Therefore, supplements such as our Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin E Capsules could help to mitigate the effects of oxidation on the body, potentially protecting the cells from oxidative stress. These supplements also contain vitamins A, D, K and selenium.

 

 

Meanwhile, curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, is a naturally antioxidant ingredient and can be found in our mykind Organics Herbal Turmeric Extra Strength Tablets and mykind Organics Herbal Turmeric Boost Powder.

 

 

Learn more about the different vitamins that can benefit the unique health needs of men and women:

 

Do Men and Women Need Different Vitamins?

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Garden of Life

Garden of Life

Writer and expert