Time and time again have I witnessed various people come up with the same question again and again,
“What Exactly is Oxidative Stress?”
And if you don’t already know what it is, no need to worry anymore.
We’ve got it covered for you.
In this blog post, we will take a look at everything you need to know about oxidative stress.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What Exactly Is Oxidative Stress?
It’s an imbalance between the antioxidants and the free radicals in your body.
In the previous blog posts, we took a brief look at the importance of antioxidants in your body as well as the role free radicals play. You may check it out HERE.
Free radicals are oxygen-containing compounds with an uneven number of electrons.
Due to the uneven numbers, they can easily react with the other molecules in your body, causing large chain chemical reactions.
Such reactions are referred to as oxidations.
Well, they may be both harmful and beneficial.
An antioxidant is a molecule which will be donating an electron to a free radical, without even making itself unstable.
And that’s what will stabilize the free radical, thereby making it less reactive.
Now, let’s take a look at how the oxidative stress might affect your body as well as learn how you can prevent and manage such an imbalance.
What Are The Effects of Oxidative Stress?
Oxidation is a vital process that takes place inside a body.
However, oxidative stress takes place, in case of an imbalance between the antioxidant as well as free radical activity in your body.
Normally, free radicals will help the immune system fight pathogens, thereby helping your immune system avoid any infections.
If there is an excessive number of free radicals, then it will lead to an imbalance. This will result in the free radicals damaging the fatty tissue, proteins in your body as well as DNA.
As you might already know, DNA & Protein lipids make up a huge part of your body.
And if the free radicals cause any damage, your body may be prone to a wide range of diseases such as:
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Inflammatory Conditions
Plus, it even contributes to skin-aging.
Each one of us produces free radicals in our bodies naturally with the help of processes such as inflammation and exercise.
It’s completely normal.
That’s how you will be keeping yourself healthy.
Alongside this, you may even be exposed to free radicals in the environment.
Here are some sources:
- Specific Cleaners & Pesticides
- Cigarette Smoke
A diet that’s high in fat, sugar as well as consuming alcohol may lead to free radical production.
How To Prevent & Manage Oxidative Stress?
Well, you can never avoid oxidative stress as well as free radical exposure.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t minimize the oxidative stress effects on your body.
One of the most vital things that you can do is increasing the levels of antioxidants as well as decreasing the production of free radicals in your body.
How can you do that?
That’s by making sure that you are consuming antioxidant-rich food on a regular basis.
In the previous blog posts, we took a brief look at the antioxidant-rich foods you should consume to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body.
I’d advise you to eat nearly 5 servings each day of varieties of vegetables as well as fruits.
Here are some fruits and vegetables you should consume:
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Citrus Fruits
Some other examples of dietary antioxidant sources are:
- Green Tea
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Fish & Nuts
Consuming oxidants-rich food won’t just do the job.
Instead, you need to make some serious changes in your lifestyle.
Here are a few of them:
- Avoid Smoking: Stop smoking if you can. Alongside this, you should even prevent exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Moderate, Regular Exercise Routine: It’s one of the most effective ways to reduce oxidative stress and increase the levels of antioxidants in your body. Alongside this, you will be subject to various other health benefits, including fewer aging effects, longer lifespan as well as decreased risk of disease, especially cancer.
- Don’t Play With Chemicals: It includes cleaning chemicals as well as staying away from unnecessary radiation exposure. Alongside this, you should even be aware of various chemical exposure sources like pesticides used in the food or in gardening.
- Wear Sunscreen: Going out? Prevent your skin from the ultraviolet light damage with the help of sunscreen
- Be Conscious About Environment: Carry out some environment-friendly initiatives such as carpooling, which will help in the reduction of free radical production for yourself as well as people living in your community
- Decrease The Alcohol Intake
- Don’t Overeat: If you are overeating, then you are affecting your health negatively. Constant eating or overeating will lead to your body being in the oxidative state for a higher amount of time than in case you eat at fixed intervals in small or medium proportions.
- Sleep Well: Never ruin your sleep. Let me repeat that, “NEVER.” That’s because it’s one of the most vital aspects of essential body functioning. Hormone production, brain function, antioxidant as well as free radical balance as well as various other factors may be impacted by lack of sleep.
In short, we can conclude that antioxidants and free radicals are vital aspects of the natural as well as healthy functioning of your body. Oxidative stress usually occurs when there’s an imbalance in the antioxidants as well as free radicals in your body.
Oxidative stress will cause damage to your body tissue, leading to exposure to a wide range of diseases.
You may never be completely able to avoid exposure to free radicals. However, lifestyle changes as well as improvements in your diet may help you maintain the perfect balance level and prevent any damage or disease.