If you’ve ever picked up a health magazine, then you’re probably familiar with the term “free radicals” — at least enough to know that they get a bad rap from doctors and beauticians alike. But what are they, exactly? According to Live Science, free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons that have split off from oxygen molecules in the body and started to “scavenge” for other electrons to pair with. That wouldn’t be problematic, except that these atoms tend to damage cells, lipids, proteins, and even DNA along the way, and that destruction has serious consequences. As Live Science puts it, “Free radicals are associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. They also may have a link to aging, which has been defined as a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage.” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to entirely avoid free radicals and the havoc they wreak. The process that forms free radicals, called oxidative stress, can be kick-started by a variety of different substances found in food, water, medicine, and even the air we breathe, according to the Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford University. Unsurprisingly, these substances are things already considered unhealthy, like alcohol, exposure to X-rays, ozone, fried food, chemical pesticides, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke. THE FREE RADICAL 411 How to Minimize Age-Inducing Atoms
That said, there is one molecule that is stable enough to stand up to and reduce free radicals: the antioxidant. According to a study published by Pharmacognosy Reviews, antioxidants can “donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it, thus reducing its ability to damage.” Synthetic antioxidants exist but can sometimes have harmful side effects, so scientists advise protecting yourself by avoiding free radical triggers like alcohol and processed foods, including meats, and ingesting natural antioxidants in the form of berries, stone fruits, olives, onions, garlic, and green and black teas. Herbs and spices like cinnamon, basil, turmeric, and fenugreek can ratchet up your antioxidant levels too. While it can’t guarantee immortality, the right diet can certainly help you stave off aging and disease, so why not start today?
Keto Pesto Grilled Shrimp
• 1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/4 lemon)
• 1/2 cup basil, packed • 1 small garlic clove • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted • 2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated • 2 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper, to taste • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined • Skewers for grilling
1. Pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth to make pesto. 2. In the fridge, marinate shrimp in the pesto for 20 minutes to overnight. 3. Skewer shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve warm.
Safe, Effective Health Care Without Drugs & Surgery
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