Ways to boost your immune system, delay ageing and fight disease with antioxidants

Ways to boost your immune system

If you are serious about boosting your immune system, want to look and feel as good as you can AND want to take preventative steps to fight disease then you have to ensure you have a combination of exogenous and endogenous antioxidants.

So, what exactly does that mean?  Let’s start at the beginning and find out what an antioxidant really is.

 

What is an antioxidant?

Antioxidants are nature’s little miracles! They are natural biochemical substances that guard and protect your body and your trillions of cells from the many damaging effects of free radicals. They serve to fight ageing and disease inside and out and help extend your life.  By eating foods high in antioxidants and taking antioxidant supplements you really can protect your body from disease and premature aging, live longer, look better and stay healthy. Once you understand what antioxidants are, you’ll pay much more attention to your diet and what you eat, wanting to include them as much as possible!  You cannot have too many antioxidants!

Free radicals are molecules that have at least one unpaired electron and then go around just taking electrons from other healthy molecules causing damage (oxidative stress). Antioxidants have extra electrons to share so they give one or more of their extra electrons to the free radicals. By donating an electron to a free radical, antioxidants neutralize that free radical and stop all the oxidative stress (damage) in our cells.

Antioxidants exist as different nutrients, such as:

  • Vitamins, such as vitamin A(beta-carotene), C, E, K.
  • Minerals, such as Zinc and Selenium
  • Amino Acids, such as Glutathione (GSH), Methionine, N-Acetyl Cysteine
  • Enzymes, such as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx), Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and as whole foods, such as Turmeric and Garlic.

By eating a diet rich in these nutrients you can provide your body with a variety of antioxidants.  These antioxidants will protect your cells and your whole body.

To understand how antioxidants protect our cells by neutralizing free radicals you need to be aware that there are actually two main types of antioxidants: exogenous antioxidants and endogenous antioxidants.

Exogenous antioxidants

Exogenous antioxidants are antioxidants you get from your diet by eating antioxidant-rich foods and by taking supplements. Some well-known examples of exogenous antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E.  Even though exogenous antioxidants can be obtained from food sources, in our modern day world it is nearly impossible to get enough exogenous antioxidants from our diet to neutralize all of the free radicals generated.This is why antioxidant supplementation is so vital!

Endogenous antioxidants

Endogenous antioxidants on the other hand are made by your body. Because they are produced by your body and not obtained from food sources, they are far more potent than exogenous antioxidants.

Endogenous antioxidants repair ALL of the free radical damage by initiating cell regeneration from the inside out, whereas, exogenous antioxidants only repair some of the free radical damage from the outside in by stimulating (not initiating) cell regeneration.  There are five extremely powerful endogenous antioxidants:

  1. Glutathione(GSH),
  2. Alpha Lipoic Acid(ALA),
  3. Superoxide Dismutase(SOD),
  4. Catalase and
  5. Coenzyme Q10(CoQ10).

 

Unfortunately, your body’s production of endogenous antioxidants declines as you age. For example, our glutathione (the body’s # 1 antioxidant as it has the most “extra” electrons to share) levels decline at about 10-15% per decade, as you grow older. This decrease is found to be a strong factor in contributing to premature ageing and degenerative diseases. Research has supported the fact that by increasing your endogenous antioxidant cellular levels, such as our glutathione levels, you can greatly help prevent many age-related health issues and degenerative diseases like Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Heart Disease, and many other health concerns.

For more information on ways to keep your skin, hair and body in peak shape; hydrated and radiant, how to stop the visible signs of ageing, boost your immune system, delay ageing and fight disease please complete the contact form.

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