Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Electron Wars....Phasers On!!!

The contenders: Free radicals versus Anti-oxidants

FREE RADICALS

What are they:
They are unstable atoms or molecules that have unpaired electrons.


Atoms are the basic building blocks of ordinary matter. They join to form molecules which form to make the things around us. Atoms contain protons, neutrons, and electrons. B/c electrons "prefer" to be paired, free radicals tend to indiscriminately steal electrons from other atoms/ molecules, thus creating secondary free radicals and leaving havoc in their wake.

How they operate:
Chemical reactions in the body involve transference of electrons. As food gets broken down, electrons are removed, causing oxidation, and is stored as chemical potential energy called ATP. Oxidation is like an apple turning brown.

And it's all done in an amazingly controlled manner.

Free radicals change the rules of the game. Actually, there are no rules. Any electrons they can steal are up for grabs. And if the theft causes damage to the cells-hardening it and thus preventing them from getting nutrients-big deal.

Their weapons:
Processed and refined foods, food additives like MSG, pollution, smoking (to name a few)

*Free radicals are a natural part of life. We get them when we exercise, from sun exposure, etc. The problem is when there is TOO MUCH and nothing to counteract them.


ANTI-OXIDANTS

What are they:
Substances that prevents oxidation, and they include beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

How they operate:
Anti-oxidants carry a two fold mission. One, they bind with free radicals, neutralizing and rendering them harmless. (I bet even the free radicals are relieved!) Thus, they prevent biological damage. Second, anti-oxidants assist in repairing cells that have ALREADY been damaged.

Apparently, the body produces some anti-oxidants on its own. But it's crucial to bring reinforcements through food (only?). And I'm not talking about Doritos or Bamba.

Their weapons:
Berries, citrus fruits, apples, pomegranates. Deep greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach.
Broccoli, cauliflower. Legumes like black and red beans. (Is your mouth watering yet?)
Carrots and sweet potatoes!

Green tea and even coffee have anti-oxidants.

These are the contenders.
AND MAY THE BEST......... ANTI-OXIDANT WIN!!

*What can I say, I'm alittle biased.



G-d bless!

check it out:
http://www.healingdaily.com/conditions/free-radicals.htm

http://www.whatisantioxidant.com/antioxidantsarticles/food-with-antioxidants.php

http://education.jlab.org/qa/atom.html

3 comments:

The First Domino דומינו said...

An Ode to Anti-Oxidants

Anti-oxidants are the super-heroes for me.

They crush the villains roaming radical and free.

Berries, apples, collard greens, and spinach, too,

will keep my damaged cells from further damage, by doing what they do.


Thanks, Chaya. I've never taken the time to learn why anti-oxidants are so important in a sensible diet.

You hear a lot about why they're important without being told what they actually do for the body.

Thanks for keeping me informed and contributing to a healthy body as well as a healthy outlook.

PS: I left you a little update on the previous post regarding breathing.

Chaya said...

No way! I know you write haikus, but odes too?
Ok, Domino, hands down. You are just cool.
I think someone needs to write an ode about you. Have you always written poetry?

The First Domino דומינו said...

Have you always written poetry?Chaya

I've dabbled off and on over the years.

I enjoy putting words together for effect, and poetry is a better form for that than prose.

You've probably heard the saying: "I don't know what I'm going to say until I've said it."

With poetry, you may know what you wish to say, but, for everything to come out all right,
you may have to think of a hundred ways to say it.