Oxidative stress is what happens when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals are released when your body creates energy sources from food - when you breathe, oxygen molecules are broken down by the mitochondria to make usable fuel, and unpaired electrons - free radicals - are released. These free oxygen species, free radicals, attempt to find new pairings. As they move through the body, they can cause cell and tissue damage because they will attach to any part of a cell possible; this ultimately destroys the cell.
Your body naturally produces antioxidants to fight free radicals, but often, many of us aren’t producing enough. As you age, you produce fewer antioxidants - so supplementing becomes necessary. Free radicals or oxygen species are a necessary part of the process to create usable energy for the body. However, as with most of life, a proper balance is necessary. In today’s society that balance is usually disrupted and heavily weighted toward damaging oxidation.
While oxidative stress plays a natural role in the aging process, there are outside factors that can increase the amount of oxidative stress you undergo. Lifestyle factors - such as exposure to pollution, lack of exercise, and more - can contribute and put a strain on your body. Oxidative stress is difficult to diagnose - so if you find that you’re more tired than usual, have difficulty concentrating, or have noticed other similar symptoms, you may already be suffering from it.
NATURAL WAYS TO RELIEVE OXIDATIVE STRESS
A large body of medical research has suggested that long-term oxidative stress may contribute to the development of certain chronic conditions or lifestyle diseases. These include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and others. Of course, any of these conditions can be caused by other factors, like genetics, diet, etc., but to lessen your risk, you should try to avoid oxidative stress.
The first way you can naturally relieve oxidative stress is by making changes to your diet. Including foods that are rich in antioxidants can help your body fight off free radicals more easily. Many of us aren’t producing enough antioxidants naturally, and adding more into your diet is a great way to make up for it.
Here are some great sources of antioxidants:
- Dark chocolate
You may have noticed that there were a lot of berries in that list - and there’s a good reason for that! Dark-colored berries, like blueberries, strawberries, and more contain a type of compound called anthocyanins, which is highly antioxidant and gives berries their dark color. Tart cherries are deeply pigmented; they have extremely high antioxidant content because of it.
This is why we decided to develop our new Tart Cherry Extract supplement. While you can eat cherries and drink tart cherry juice, a lot of these products have added sugars to offset the sour taste of tart cherries.
Our supplement allows you to take tart cherry extract in its purest form - with no added sugars and no sour taste.
OTHER WAYS TO SCAVENGE FREE RADICALS
There are other things aside from diet changes that can help you reduce oxidative stress:
- Avoid pollution. Consider getting an air purifier for your home, and also get some plants to naturally filter the air. Place them strategically, where you spend most of your time. Keep a high concentration of plants in your bedroom; since your body does most of its healing work when you’re asleep, be sure to give it a fighting chance. A good water filter is a must as well.
- While including new, antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, avoid others. Try to limit your processed food intake, particularly foods that are high in sugar and fat. Avoid smoking entirely and limit your alcohol consumption. High fructose corn syrup was cleared by the FDA as safe and has a large foothold in the food industry; however, it is abundantly clear that this is a source of much of our current health problems.
- Reduce stress. It’s so important to make sure you have a great self-care routine that works for you. In addition to that, you can take up a daily yoga practice, take social media breaks now and then, and make time for the things you enjoy. Mental stress forces the body to release and produce molecules that create inflammation and oxidative stress. There is a very strong and true mind-body link and stress should be managed.
At the end of the day, it’s fairly simple to reduce oxidative stress through small lifestyle changes. But if you need an antioxidant boost, reach for any one of our Well Theory products designed by Dr. Meredith Warner, the inventor of The Healing Sole.