WHAT ARE WE MISSING WITH ADVANCING AGE? ANTIOXIDANTS What are antioxidents? Antioxidants are natural substances found in our bodies and food, which neutralize free radicals and protect cells. They are mainly found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. It is these chemicals in food that neutralize free radicals- and prevent the oxidative damage to cells and tissues. What are free radicals? These are radicals with unpaired electrons which are harmful for our health as they damage the healthy cells. Just like rusting of metals and browning of apples are oxidation reactions, our bodies also rust due to free radicals released in our bodies. Several oxidation reactions are happening constantly in our bodies some useful ones, which produce energy and are needed to survive and some are harmful ones too. The harmful oxidation is due to the presence of free radicals released in our bodies. Free radicals are the unpaired electrons that when present are harmful for our health as they damage the healthy cells and can lead to: · Cardiovascular diseases · Diabetes · Cancer · Cataract · Arthritis · Premature aging · Alzheimer's disease and many more. At least 100 diseases are linked to the free radical damage and poor antioxidant intake. Formation of these harmful electrons / free radicals can increase due to: · Cigarette smoking · Excessive Alcohol · Stress · Weight loss diets · Reduced sleep · Increased unwanted bacteria in gut · Increased consumption of high and bad fat food · Excessive exposure to pollution, harmful chemicals and drugs. Tips to boost your antioxidant status: • Have a glass of Fresh vegetable or fruit juice everyday. • Take two cloves of fresh garlic in your salad. • Include sprouts of any type of dal, rai, methe, alfa-alfa at least 3-4 times a week. • Take an Amla that is a good source of vitamin C. • Have a few nuts (15-20 gms) everyday. • Use a good supplement like wheat germ, brewer's yeast, Aloe vera, wheat germ juice, • Include 6-9 servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables daily. • Include one serving of soya daily ( handful= 15 gms). • Prefer green tea over black tea. • Include at least one serving of salad in your daily diet .