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Oxidative Stress – Everything You Need to Know

Posted Aug 03 2012 8:24am

Stress is inevitable. Everyone goes through it – it's just the degree that varies. Similarly, there are numerous ways by which one can alleviate themselves of daily stress and it's up to you to find it.

Interestingly, the difference between the ones who can cope and those usually let it get to them are the ones who give the wrong answer to the question: Is it really such a big deal when things go wrong?

Yet there are times when those who tend to usually take things easy also end up succumbing to stress, and that is usually the kinds associated with our body, thanks to a build up of free radicals, and is known as oxidative stress .

What is Oxidative Stress?

By definition, oxidative stress is nothing but the process of oxidation taking place in the human body with a number of dangerous by-products (known as free radicals) formed that can cause a great deal of damage to our body.

Any high school Chemistry student will tell you that oxidation is a natural process and involves the process of removing electrons from an atom or molecule.

Since our body requires oxygen and is combined with food to form energy, excess oxygen is anything but good for the body. Yes, we're talking about free radicals that are unstable and might cause even more damage by taking electrons from other atoms or molecules.

When this happens, the cells in our body are damaged to a large extent, and this pressure that is placed on our systems, thanks to the dominant presence of free radicals is known as oxidative stress .

Therefore, to sum it up, it is also considered  obvious imbalance in terms of pro-oxidants and antioxidants, of which an anti-oxidant rich diet seems to be the best solution to consider if one wants to manage oxidative stress effectively, along with the body's defenses that usually take care of any buildup.

Yet you might ask: Why is it important to handle this aspect of oxidative stress?

The answer, quite simply, is because it has been shown to have an important impact on our health, and in being the cause of aging and age-related diseases.

How to Manage Oxidative Stress

As mentioned earlier, oxidative stress is nothing but an excess of free radicals in our body that can cause a lot of damage. So, the most effective way by which one can do this is by picking foods that are considered to be excellent antioxidant sources .

#1: Fruit such as berries namely strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, black currant, blackberry, cherry and bilberry. Other fruits include red grapes, oranges, pomegranates, plums, pineapples, grapefruit and the kiwifruit.

#2: Vegetables such as red beets, ginger, lemon, spinach, Brussels sprouts, artichoke, parsley, peppers, red cabbage, chili peppers, tomatoes, broccoli,carrots and garlic.

#3: Dry Fruit such as prunes, dates and apricots.

#4: Legumes such as broad beans, pinto beans and soybeans.

#5: Nuts & Seeds such as pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts and walnuts.

#6: Spices such as cinnamon, oregano and cloves.

#7: Cereal such as corn, oats, millets and barley.

#8: Other foods such as red wine, dark chocolate and green tea.

And if you want to know a little more about antioxidant-rich foods, here's a list of 20 common foods .

In Closing

And much like being able to alleviate mental stress, learning to keep those antioxidant defenses up will result in a healthy and long life.

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