Like an apple turns brown when exposed to air, our cells can turn brown or “rust” when we breathe air (oxygen) due to oxidative stress, a process caused by free radicals. Our cells do not literally rust but the process is very similar. As metal rusts from the elements over time, our cells age (rust) over time. However, the more free radical causing exposure, the faster we age. Picture the face of someone who has lived in the desert for 20-30 years unprotected from the sun. Their face has aged considerably over time from the sun exposure.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage or “oxidize” cells throughout the body in a process called oxidative stress. Over time, oxidative stress can leave our cells and tissues unable to function properly. This means that free radicals can have serious consequences for our health.
Because free radicals contribute to disease, in fact 80-90% of all disease including cancer, as they’re often intertwined with the health problems we experience with the ageing process. Avoiding the causes of free radicals and adopting a healthy lifestyle and a diet of anti-oxidant foods and supplements can help you fight back against them to safeguard your health by preventing oxidative stress.
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