Because everything in nature is actively returning to its most basic compounds, there will always be free radicals. Free radicals occur in two forms; they can be generated as a fall out of normal in situ cell metabolism or from various external sources like radiation, medication, pollution, etc.
Accumulation of free radicals in the body is a harbinger of various disorders due to damage to cellular structures, lipids, proteins, DNA, and RNA. The balance between free radicals and antioxidants is crucial for good health.
How Free Radicals Work
Electrons exist in pairs, and free radicals are missing an electron. This is their weapon of sorts: Free radicals “react” with just about anything they come into contact with, robbing cells and compounds of one of their electrons.
This process makes the affected (“robbed”) cell or compound unable to function normally and turns some cells into electron-seeking muggers themselves, leading to a chain reaction in the body and the proliferation of even more free radicals.
The clean-up crew, our immune system’s “soldiers,” loses their control and end up marauding and pillaging throughout the body, destroying healthy cells and tissues.
The damage done by free radicals in the body is known as oxidation:
Oxidation is the same process that browns an apple or rusts metal. Rampaging free radicals react with compounds in the body and oxidize them. The amount of oxidation in the body is a measure of oxidative stress.
High levels of oxidative stress affect every organ and system in the body and have been linked with everything from Alzheimer’s disease, arteriosclerosis, cancer and heart disease to accelerated aging, asthma, diabetes, and leaky gut syndrome. Oxidative stress is believed to lead to the development of the most prevalent chronic diseases and disorders killing adults today, especially heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Oxidation lays the foundation for the proliferation of free radicals and damage to cells, muscles, tissue, organs, etc.
The human body has several mechanisms to counter the effects of these reactive species by the production of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione and catalase or it can also be taken exogenously through an antioxidant-rich diet.
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of pollution has been growing in the atmosphere. These pollutants, like smog, cigarette smoke, metal ions, radiation, and even the chemicals in your household cleaners generate free radicals that exist in the atmosphere alongside the already polluted air.
As tiny nanoparticles that have chemically unstable, unpaired electrons, the free radicals in the air are on the hunt for other electrons to reach a more stable state, so they snatch them from other atoms—like the ones in human cells. By stealing electrons from your body’s cells, free radicals can accelerate the aging process by starving your body of healthy cells. These nano-sized particles are small enough to get into your pores and can be inhaled through your nose, which can lead to inflammation—your body’s natural reaction to foreign objects.
In an effort to extend our health and our quality of life, we have to become proactive in preventing the occurrence of free radicals in as many ways as possible.
Not All Free Radicals Are Harmful
As previously stated, our bodies produce free radicals as byproducts of cellular reactions, metabolism of foods, breathing, and other vital functions. The liver produces and uses free radicals for detoxification, while white blood cells send free radicals to destroy bacteria, viruses, and damaged cells.
The sun is the biggest contributor to free radicals as its radiation is the cause of the decay in all things, so since avoiding the sun is not a real viable option; we have to focus on factors we can control such as the amounts of pollution we expose ourselves to. The less controllable pollution we are exposed to, the longer our health will remain strong and our quality of life will be extended.
Shabbazz Organics uses a wide group of organic herbs to detoxify the body and help it maintain homeostasis.
The following herbs and spices are very useful in the fight against the aging and degenerative effects of free radicals.
- Milk Thistle
Don’t mistake this for a common weed. Milk thistle can protect the liver from toxins and improve skin complexion by aiding the generation of new skin cells.
This root can fight against high blood pressure and bad cholesterol, but it is also known to help with stress reduction and to promote cognition—all of which works to maintain good mental and physical health.
- Organic Spices
This is a common dried spice mixture you can find at your local grocery store. It is comprised of spices like basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme. Combined, these herbs pack a special punch of protection against cellular damage from free radicals.
When used on its own, thyme can help protect you from bacterial infections, including pneumonia and staph infections.
This herb fights inflammation in the body and can help protect against arthritis, asthma and heart disease.
Considered one of the most beneficial anti-aging spices available, turmeric has properties that are associated with a lowered risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Ginkgo biloba
This common herb is often compounded into an oral supplement for cognitive health. It is specifically associated with increased memory. This herb contains helpful antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain.
Cloves have mild pain-relieving properties and are often recommended to help soothe toothaches, sore throats, and other oral pain.
Cinnamon fights inflammation and can act as a mild pain reliever.
These herbs aren’t going to turn back the clock, but when added to a healthy diet and active lifestyle, they may help you postpone some of the most common signs and symptoms of age.
Herbs like these and others can be used individually or blended and used as a supplement in capsules, teas, tinctures, potions, syrups, etc.
Knowing the controllable causes of free radicals, you can get on the right path of suppressing the damage to your body.
- Ordinary Body functions such as breathing and digestion
- Exposure to radiation (microwave ovens, cellphones, televisions, LED lights, computer screens)
- Environmental pollutants smoke, smog, auto exhaust
- Consuming tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
- High use of pharmaceuticals
- Too much exercise
- Physical and emotional stress
- A poor diet including unhealthy fats, sugar, pesticides, GMO, unnatural additives
To date, no natural remedy or supplement has been proven to cure any condition associated with oxidative stress. Still, following a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods (such as fruits and vegetables) may help improve your overall health. Shabbazz offers our own blend of anti-oxidant rich supplement that replenishes cellular damage.
Find us on Social Media