Let’s talk about stress… the oxidative kind!!
We all know what stress is… we all get it from time to time. Busy jobs, kids, non stop schedules…the list goes on and on. Well stress to some degree is good for us, but too much can contribute to a host of health issues, and those include not only mental ones but physical ones as well… But take that stress one step further and you’ll hear a term called oxidative stress, and that is what we are going to talk about today.
So what IS oxidative stress??
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons. The uneven number allows them to easily react with other molecules. Free radicals can cause large chain chemical reactions in your body because they react so easily with other molecules. These reactions are called oxidation. They can be beneficial or harmful.
So that all sounds like a bunch of complicated science to most of us.. What you probably want to know next is…
Is this happening to me?
Oxidation is a normal and necessary process that takes place in your body. Oxidative stress, on the other hand, occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. When functioning properly, free radicals can help fight off pathogens. Pathogens lead to infections.
When there are more free radicals present than can be kept in balance by antioxidants, the free radicals can start doing damage to fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body. Proteins, lipids, and DNA make up a large part of your body, so that damage can lead to a vast number of diseases over time.
So what can all of this do to my body???
Well it can cause a lot of health issues…Here are just a few of them..
- atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the blood vessels
- inflammatory conditions
- high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension
- heart disease
- neurodegenerative diseases, (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s)
But do you know what else oxidative stress does???….
Oxidative stress contributes to aging!!! That means premature aging, sagging skin, and the overall appearance of looking older!!
So the good news is, even if stress isn’t always avoidable, we can take certain steps in our daily routine to combat this!!
Eat a healthy diet rich with the following foods:
- citrus fruits
- dark leafy greens
- fish and nuts
- vitamin E
- vitamin C
- green tea
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- Don’t smoke.
- Use caution with chemicals
- Be environmentally conscious..
- Wear sunscreen
- Decrease your alcohol intake.
- Get plenty of sleep.
So while you can’t avoid all of the components that can bring on oxidative stress, you can make choices everyday to combat this issue and take care of yourself, not just on the inside, but the outside too so you can keep that skin glowing for years to come!
This Week's Video: Oxidative Stress & Aging