Oxidative stress and antioxidants!

Oxidative stress is a disturbance of the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the ability of a biological system (such as the human body) to inactivate these toxic molecules and repair the damage they cause.

Oxidative stress has been associated with the onset or worsening of conditions such as cancer, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes mellitus, infertility, osteoporosis, bronchial asthma, nephropathy and conditions of the thyroid gland. It causes premature aging of the body while the main factors responsible for accelerating it and reducing the body's antioxidant capacity are:

- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Pollution of the atmosphere and food by chemical fertilizers
- Food packages
- Anxiety and psychological stress
- Consuming foods poor in antioxidants
- Sleep disturbances
- Smoking
- Sedentary life or even excessive sport
- Hormonal disorders posed by women or the drugs they take, such as for menopause and contraceptive pills

Oxidative stress is the damage caused to our body by the production of free radicals. If there is no balance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, then we say that there is oxidative stress. This damage is caused by the oxidation process, a normal process that occurs to all living organisms through oxygen intake. Our body can employ a variety of defensive mechanisms against oxidative stress such as various enzymes and proteins, as well as the antioxidants we take from nutrition. Antioxidants are micronutrients that inhibit the destructive action of free radicals by inactivating them. More specifically, once they are oxidized by the free radicals, they stop the chain reaction mentioned above, thus protecting us from its damaging effect.

The internal production of antioxidants from our body is not enough to neutralize all the free radicals. To help your body defend, strengthen it with your dietary intake of antioxidants. Citrus, strawberry, kiwi fruit, broccoli, cauliflower and green leafy vegetables, seeds and  nuts, vegetable oils, especially olive oil, red wine, black chocolate, tea, coffee and  honey are foods rich in antioxidants.

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