How Free Radicals are formed and How to avoid them?

In recent years, there has been a great deal of attention towards the field of free radicals in chemistry. Free radicals are essential to life and exists as a natural phenomena. Free radicals in chemistry means an atom or a molecule which is free in its space and independent in its nature. Now let’s understand how free radicals are formed in the body ?

How Free Radicals are formed?

Whenever we breathe or eat, our body breaks down the food into smaller molecules, some of which are highly reactive and unstable and need a partner to stabilize itself. In this process, they snatch an electron from another molecule making that molecule deficient and unstable. This domino effect of trying to stabilize itself results in damage to other cells of the body.

Free radicals can be damaging when they outgrow in number and start impacting the cells in the body. Reducing free radicals in your body includes both reducing the chance they will form and providing your body with antioxidants. Antioxidants attach themselves to free radicals and neutralise their power without causing any further damage. (Why do we need anti-oxidants?)

How to avoid Free radicals?

Our body has many free radicals scavengers. Anti-oxidants protect our body against free radicles damage caused to our cells. They are found in two properties, enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Enzymatic ones act as a primary gateway of defense against free radicals scavengers while non-enzymatic ones like vitamin A, C, and E, selenium, coenzyme Q10, and glutathione (GSH) help antioxidant actions protect neuronal tissue from free radical damage. Non-enzymatic anti-oxidants are found in food, while enzymatic ones are created by the body, during the metabolic process. (How to retain vitamins in food while cooking?)

The body produces antioxidants itself, but not in sufficient quantities alone. However, free radicals continue to be formed as a result of normal breathing or eating or exposure to sun, pollution etc. It’s impossible to entirely eliminate the exposure to free radicals. That said, adopting a healthy diet rich in a wide variety of antioxidants is a great starting point. (Recipe of anti-oxidant that kids love.)

Avoid food high in sugar, processed food, refined flours, processed meat, preservatives and artificial additives to reduce the formation of free radicals. This not only saves you from chronic diseases but also AGING. (What does sugar do to bones?)

Purple sweet potatoes, purple grapes, purple potato, purple carrot are all great food sources of anthocyanin (antioxidant) which help in fighting the free radicals scavengers.


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