Powerful Antioxidants

If you have never paid much attention to the benefits of those powerful antioxidants other than knowing that they help to protect us from Free Radicals, you are not alone. What I heard in a class recently really peaked my interest and I had to learn more. Free Radicals and we will call them FR from here on out are a normal occurrence. FR are intentionally generated by the immune system to attack foreign bodies & debris. The problem occurs when there is an excess of FR generation, and they are left to do as they please. What are some causes which can lead to excess FR? Stress (emotional and physical), poor diets as in most processed foods, pollution, smoking, inflammation, man made chemicals, drugs (prescription & recreational), radiation and depletion of the ozone.

the best antioxidants

In a very simplistic way a FR is a molecule with missing parts. FRs then go around snatching away pieces from other molecules to replace those lost, injuring and damaging the DNA of others. If death of a cell was the end of the process it would not be so bad, but that does not always happen and these damaged and deficient molecules go on to create the beginnings of aging and disease.

The DNA of mitochondria is particularly susceptible to FR damage because the mitochondria is unable to repair itself. The mitochondria is where the fuel for each cell is made. When that energy production is halted, the cell can no longer function as intended. The end result is a cascade of destruction to all tissues including the endothelial wall of arteries, nerves in the brain, skin, etc, leading to strokes, neuro-degeneration, still further leading to heart disease, certain cancers, dementia, immune deficiency, macular degeneration and so on.

Interesting article on the damage FR can do is found in this PubMed article. If you are not familiar with PubMed it is government website which houses mountains of scientific based research. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7619452

Armed with a little knowledge of Free Radicals what can we do? Some of it is completely out of our control, but we can watch what we eat, we can be sure to get as much rest as possible and try to keep stress levels down (often easier said than done). Avoid harmful chemicals that come in products we use around the home, on our children and ourselves. Eat foods high in antioxidants and I have found there are some essential oils like Clove have the highest concentration of antioxidants known. Antioxidants defend healthy molecules from those nasty grabby Free Radicals. Antioxidants will actually surrender some of those missing pieces to Free Radicals preventing them from scavenging from our healthy molecules.

radicals

This is what I found so exciting. Essential oils are an excellent source of antioxidants. Most of us probably know fresh fruits and veggies are a source of antioxidants and think of blueberries as being one of the best sources. But take a look at essential oils.

The ORAC score is the measures the absorption capacity of radicals. Clove oils has a rating of over 1 MILLION! That is astounding. There are 20 essential oils that beat the socks off of blueberries ORAC which have a score of 2,400. (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score.

ORAC Scores

  • Corriander                            298,300
  • Clary Sage                            221,000
  • Marjoram                             130,900
  • Ylang Ylang                         130,000
  • Wintergreen                        101,800
  • Geranium                             101,000
  • Ginger                                      99,300
  • Vetiver                                    74,300
  • Basil                                         54,000
  • White Fir                               47, 900
  • Peppermint                          37, 300
  • Cypress                                  24,300
  • Grapefruit                            22,600
  • Thyme                                   15,960
  • Oregano                                15,300
  • Cassia                                    14,800
  • Cinnamon Bark                   7,100

Antioxidants are an important key to cellular health and to the prevention of premature aging. Start with health foods that are organic and fresh known for the antioxidant properties. Eat a lot of clove, peppermint, thyme, and oregano. Supplement when additional immune support is needed.

FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The recommendations above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

 

 

 

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