Have you ever thought that every minute your body fights invisible enemies that can cause premature aging and disease? These enemies are called free radicals. They are molecules that act on healthy cells, causing chain reactions that end up damaging tissues and organs, accelerating cellular aging and the development of various types of cancer.
What are free radicals and why do they harm us?
A free radical is a molecule produced every day in our bodies as a result of the biological reactions that occur in cells. Free radicals are very reactive molecules, necessary to perform certain functions and maintain health. This set of reactions occurs daily in the body and can be classified as “cellular respiration”. All of these reactions are necessary for cellular life. The bad thing is not that free radicals are generated in the body – a phenomenon that occurs in normal situations – but that there is an imbalance between their production and their elimination, which determines whether or not the disease appears.
The interaction of oxidants with the molecules produces a structural modification in them, resulting in a functional alteration. The effect of oxidants on living organisms has been called oxidative stress.
It seems that free radicals contribute significantly to the appearance of diseases such as arteriosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, emphysema, adult respiratory distress syndrome or ischemic processes of the central nervous system. It is possible that in other processes such as fibrosing diseases, toxic oil syndrome, peptic ulcer, certain cancers, and even aging, free radicals are also involved.
How to protect ourselves from the adverse effects of free radicals
Air pollution, diets poor in fresh vegetables and bad habits such as the consumption of alcohol and tobacco favor the appearance of free radicals. The hydrocarbons present in environmental pollution are also an important source of free radicals. Our body has its defense systems against free radicals, but to prevent and reduce the harmful effect of the uncontrolled production of free radicals, certain nutrients are needed to function: antioxidant minerals and vitamins.
Antioxidants are substances in charge of neutralizing free radicals and protecting us against their damaging action on cells. Antioxidants can be found in certain foods, basically they are vitamins (natural antioxidants) such as:
- Beta-carotene (provitamin A) that we can find in fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, mangoes or melons.
- Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits (lemon, orange), kiwi and pepper among other vegetables. It is an essential nutrient that our body gets through the food we consume daily. This vitamin acts against the damage caused by free radicals and helps to reduce oxidative stress, in addition to promoting the formation of collagen and elastin.
- Flavonoids are also natural substances with great antioxidant capacity, predominating in red wine and green tea.
Amaranth leaf, the main ingredient in antioxidant tea AMAATÉ, contains all of the antioxidants mentioned above in large quantities. A cup of amaranth leaf tea contains 12 times more antioxidants than a cup of green tea and 2 times more antioxidants than a cup of matcha tea, according to studies carried out by the International Testing Chemistry Inc. laboratory, USA.
Don’t leave your body alone in the fight against the adverse effects of free radicals – help it with the best allies: antioxidants!