Free radicals are the cells in the body that like to ruin everything. They destroy cellular DNA chromosomes. Researchers believe that free radicals are partly responsible for the aging process, cancer, cataracts and heart disease.
How these little menaces get into ther body is through cellular metabolism. Cells are constantly changing to adapt to the current status of the body. Each cell in the body is made up of molecules. These molecules produce energy absorbing important nutrients. Through this process of energy production there are waste products via the oxygen system. An incomplete oxygen molecule is developed, and these are known as “free radicals.” These cells then reap havoc in the body by attacking healthy cells. If a person’s immune system is not strong enough to fight off intruding free radicals then illness or disease could develop giving free radicals free reign of the body.
How can you stop the menacing free radicals? Antioxidants!
Antioxidants are molecules that actually make free radicals a complete oxygen diffusing their destructive behaviors.
The most common antioxidants are selenium, beta carotene, zinc, and vitamins E, C, and A. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain these and other antioxidant substances.
Broccoli is a great antioxidant source. Broccoli is rich with beta carotene. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that stays in the blood for a considerable amount of time helping to clear out free radicals.
Researchers are finding that diets rich in antioxidants help protect against cataracts and some cancers caused by free radical scavengers.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed