Human body requires oxygen to survive and oxygen leads to oxidation which is important part of healthy body metabolism. Oxidations process in the body produce highly unstable free radicals which will start a chain reaction that cause cellular damages. Therefore, our body naturally produce some antioxidants that neutralise free radicals so that keeping free radical level on check.

Our body cells are subjected to free radicals attack on a daily basis. Free radicals can easily outnumber antioxidants and cause oxidative stress. Here are some factors contributing to oxidative stress

  1. Toxic chemicals : cigarette smokes, pesticides, excessive alcohol, drugs
  2. Radiation : Ultra-violet light from sun, x-ray, electronic devices
  3. Inflammations and infections
  4. Stress
  5. Over exercise
  6. Lack of exercise
  7. Malnutrition
  8. Trauma and injuries

Excessive free radicals in the body leading to oxidative stress and eventually cause chronic diseases by damaging major components of the body cells.

Free radicals attack cells and leading to chronic disease.

Here are some of the powerful protective effects of antioxidants

  1. Protect cells by shielding them from free radicals attack
  2. Repair damaged molecule due to oxidation
  3. Induce self-destruction in cancer cells
  4. Promote higher antioxidants production in the body
  5. Prevent formation of free radicals by attaching to heavy metals and removing from body

Human body can naturally produce some antioxidants. However, the production capacity of antioxidants in the body declined as we age. In addition, human body cannot produce some vital antioxidants.  Therefore, it is very important to obtain sufficient antioxidants from diet.  Higher level of antioxidants are usually found in plant-based foods as compared to animal-based foods.

Antioxidants value of food is measured by ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). Although there is no established daily recommended ORAC unit, according to USDA, daily intake of 5000 ORAC unit is suggested. FDA suggested 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to ensure around 3500 ORAC units intake. Here are some of the tips to increase antioxidant intake from diet.

  1. Eat fruits with skin
  2. Quick stir fry, steam or eat raw
  3. Avoid slow cooking
  4. Avoid pre-soaking fruits & vegetables
  5. Eat variety of colours
  6. Use high antioxidant spices such as turmeric, cinnamon & ginger

According to Dr. Richard Cutler, Former Director of the National Institute of Aging, Washington DC, “The Amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.”

 抗氧化剂的保护力量
人体需要氧气来生存而氧气将会引起对健康体内代谢重要的氧化作用。氧化过程里会产生非常不稳定的自由基。自由基会启动破坏细胞的连环作用。因此,我们体内自然会产生一些用来中和自由基的抗氧化剂以便维持自由基的水平。
人体每一天都面对自由基的攻击。体内自由基量可以轻易的超越抗氧化剂, 最终导致氧化应激。以下是引起氧化应激的因素。
  1. 化学毒素:香烟,农药,过量酒精,药物
  2. 辐射:太阳紫外线,x光,电子产品
  3. 发炎和感染
  4. 压力
  5. 过量运动
  6. 缺乏运动
  7. 营养不良
  8. 创伤和受伤

过多自由基引起氧化应激然后导致细胞重要的组件受损而最终演变成慢性病。

自由基氧化细胞重要组件导致慢性病

以下是抗氧化剂的保护力量
  1. 保护细胞免受自由基攻击
  2. 修补被氧化的分子
  3. 引发癌细胞自我凋亡
  4. 促进提高体内抗氧化剂生产
  5. 和重金属结合然后排除以便预防自由基产生

人体自然可以产生一些抗氧化剂。无论如何,体内抗氧化剂的产生随年龄增长而下降。加上人体不能产生一些对人体重要的抗氧化剂。因此,饮食里摄取足够的抗氧化剂对健康非常重要。通常植物性食物含有的抗氧化剂比动物性食物高。

食物里的抗氧化剂含量价值是以ORAC(氧自由基吸取能力)来衡量。虽然没有公认的每日摄取ORAC 含量的设定,美国农业部曾提议每日摄取5000ORAC。根据美国食物和药物管理局提议,每日摄取5份蔬菜水果将确保每日大约3500ORAC的抗氧化剂。以下提供了一些提高饮食里提高抗氧化剂摄取量的贴上。

  1. 水果鼓励连皮进食
  2. 蔬菜最好小炒,蒸或生食
  3. 避免慢煮
  4. 蔬菜水果避免浸泡
  5. 摄取多种颜色蔬菜水果
  6. 多用高抗氧化香料比如黄姜,肉桂,姜等

根据美国华顺顿特区国家老龄研究所前主任理查德.卡特勒医生指出 “您体内抗氧化剂量和您寿命的长短比例是成正比的。”

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