To begin with, food can protect or promote disease in the human body. Moreover, scientists developed theories that shape new research on the preventative measures of food healing. Theoretically, antioxidants, fats, and food allergies or intolerances are health promoters and protectors of the body (Carper, 1993, p. 7). First, let’s look at how oxygen plays a critical role in the body.
Disease & Destruction of Oxygen
Scientists link the destruction of oxygen in the body to sixty different chronic diseases and aging. “The older we are, the most oxidized we get,” says M.D. Helmut from University of Dusseldorf Medical School in Germany (1993, p. 8). In other words, the oxygen theory of disease explains two versions of oxidants purpose in the body i.e. oxidants and antioxidants. Therefore, some oxidants harm while others protect, but first let’s look at disease prone free radicals.
Bad Oxidants Are Free Radicals
Additionally, oxidants are the bad ones that destroy cells in the body. Needless to say, these bad oxidants threaten your overall health. Essentially, when the bad ones outweigh the good oxidants, your body enters the “oxidative stress” zone. Therefore, disease follows, which includes symptoms like inflammation, deteriorating vision, chest pain, and cancer (1993, p. 8).
Oxidants i.e. oxygen free radicals spawn more radicals. In terms of chemistry, they are unstable molecules looking to bind to another unstable molecule. When the free radicals search for another molecule for binding, they destroy healthy cells in their path. Moreover, oxygen free radicals attack DNA, the genetic material of the cell. Afterwards, cells mutate, which is one step closer to cancer.
Origins of Oxidants
First, breathing and immune reactions i.e. metabolic processes create waste products (1993, p. 9). However, the environment i.e. ionizing radiation, air pollutants, toxic chemicals, pesticides, cigarette smoke, and drugs create oxidants too (1993, p. 9). We are without a doubt bound to have oxidants around us and inside us.
How to Protect Your Body
Researchers reveal that you can eat your way out of this “oxidative stress” as far as your genetics and life span can allow. For example, you can eat food rich in phytonutrients i.e. plants- fruits and vegetables. They protect cells from destructive oxygen molecules and are called antioxidants. After eating these “good oxidants”, they infuse themselves into the tissues and fluids where they help resist oxidant invasions (1993, pp. 9-10). Potent plant antioxidants look like these nutrients-
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- beta carotene & trace minerals selenium
Also, antioxidants prevent LDL cholesterol from clogging arteries, damaging cells in the eyes, rising blood pressure, nerve destruction, and infertility (1993, p. 10). When choosing the best foods oozing with antioxidants, look for colorful fruit and vegetables. Specifically, the brighter the color, the more phytonutrients it has. Also, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidants than canned goods. Fighting chronic symptoms and disease links to consuming rich food in antioxidants (1993, p. 11):
- red grapes, not white or green
- red and yellow onions instead of white
- cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli raw or lightly cooked
- garlic raw and crushed
- microwaved fruits and vegetables instead of boiled
- extra virgin olive oil
- pink grapefruit instead of white grapefruits
- orange carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins
Blood tests determine the measure and level of damaging oxidative and antioxidative activity according to William A. Pryor, Ph. D, head of biomedical research at Louisiana State University (1993, p. 10). These beneficial tests, like measuring cholesterol levels, give you a chance to reverse oxidation in your body. Furthermore, Health Testing Centers allows you to order your own labs online without needing your doctor’s approval or visiting your doctor. Check out this website: https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/ Taking care of your body reverses unwanted activity that leads to chronic symptoms and disease. Do not wait for the doctor or for symptoms to show in your body. More importantly, achieving health is a long distance race. You just need to start somewhere!
Author: Jamie Moore Sam Houston State University Pre-Nursing
Carper, J. (1993). Food: Your Miracle Medicine : How Food Can Prevent and Cure over 100 Symptoms and Problems (1st ed.). Harper Collins.