“You are what you eat.”
That age-old adage is known all over the world to mean that what you put in your mouth will affect the way you feel, both physically and mentally. It is no wonder, then, that what you eat can also affect the way you look.
Proponents of the health food movement have known for years that certain kinds of foods can help slow down the effects of aging. It all comes down to supporting the body’s ability to get enough antioxidants.
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What is Oxidation and Free Radicals?
Good nutrition starts at the cellular level. Cell regeneration is the basis of our body’s health. Every second of the day, your body is producing new cells to replace old ones that are dying due to oxidation. (Think of oxidation as what happens when you leave cut fruit out too long – the exposure to air turns it brown and dries it out.) Oxidation is a natural part of a cell’s life cycle, but if you have too much of it, it can produce free radicals.
Free radicals are mutated cells that are missing a critical molecule that forces them to go out and try to pair up with another cell. In their attack, free radicals will damage the membranes and DNA of healthy cells. In return, damaged DNA can transform into disease-causing cells. To make matters worse, it is not just one cell that gets damaged – free radicals will set off a chain reaction, meaning that one damaged cell will turn into a free radical and go out and attack similar cells, which repeat the process.
What Causes Free Radicals?
Too many free radical attacks can lead to diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Some sources of free radicals are unavoidable: air pollution, poor water quality, and chemical exposure in the environment are beyond our control. But other toxins can be avoided: cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, and food-borne pesticides are things to which we can control our exposure.
Antioxidants are molecules that interact with free radicals by interrupting their rampage on healthy cells. Think of them as your body’s natural defense system.
As the world we live in grows more toxic, it’s more important than ever to make sure we are eating the right foods that can stop the damage from free radicals. Luckily, there are lots of grains, fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and even some meats that provide essential antioxidants. The key to the formula is variety, variety, variety; there is no single food that can provide you with all the antioxidants your body needs.
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Beta Carotene: It is a precursor to Vitamin A, and is essential for healthy vision.
Sources: Carrots, collards, kale, mangoes, palm oil, papayas, pumpkins, spinach, squashes, sweet potatoes, eggs, liver, and milk.
Flavonoids: There are thousands of flavonoids in our diets, making it the biggest class of antioxidants. As a rule, the deeper a vegetable’s color, the more flavonoids it has.
Sources: Apples, berries, citrus fruits, onions, red onions, parsley, pomegranates, dark chocolate, red wine, and chamomile and green teas.
Polyphenols: These are believed to slow down the process of skin wrinkling and heart disease.
Sources: Apples, berries, cherries, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, onions, soy, green tea, and red wine.
Vitamin C: This powerhouse stops the chain reaction by neutralizing free radicals before they can damage other cells.
Sources: Cabbages, cantaloupes, citrus fruits, green peppers, kale, kiwis, spinach, and strawberries.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E interrupts the chain reaction and breaks it apart.
Sources: Apricots, nuts, seeds, fish oil, and whole grains.
How Isagenix Products Can Help
Isagenix Product B – due to launch in August – is right at the forefront of telomere technology, and may help to reduce the effects of telomere shortening caused by free radical damage and other factors. Plus, a number of other Isagenix products contain high levels of different antioxidants to help protect the body from free radical damage and support peak health. We recommend taking a look at IsaFruits and Isagreens; these are two products that provide you and your family with the nutrition needed on a daily basis, in simple, easy-to-take individual servings.