The Balancing Act: Your Simple Guide to Antioxidants and Free Radicals

We're breaking down why it's so important to maintain symmetry when it comes to free radicals.

Human life is nothing short of a miracle. Think about it, our bodies run almost entirely on autopilot to carry out all of our essential life-sustaining processes. You don’t have to stop and think about whether your heart is beating or if your lungs are breathing — it’s all automatic! This allows you to focus all your brain power on building a life that you truly enjoy. 

How we actually treat our bodies can determine how well we function within our daily lives. If we neglect it with poor lifestyle choices, it can lead to a wide variety of issues. One issue that we deal with on a daily basis is exposure to free radicals. These unstable molecules accumulate with normal cellular processes and exposure to toxins in our environment. While our bodies have some built in mechanisms for neutralizing them, we can also help support this natural process so that you can feel your absolute best. 

Let’s dive into exactly how we can support our bodies to find the right balance and live a healthy life. 

Free Radicals are a Necessary Part of Life 

So you may be wondering, what exactly is a free radical? Free radicals are simply defined as unpaired electrons. (1) Although they tend to get a bad rap, free radicals are a completely normal component of everyday body function. Plus, what we breathe, eat, and absorb through our skin can also accumulate free radicals. 

Free radicals in the body can often become a concern because electrons prefer to be paired (and are unstable without their pair), so they will essentially ravage the body trying to find a new “partner.” This can lead to a cascade of imbalance within a cell or organ as the electrons within the area literally fight to stay paired. If left unchecked, excessive free radicals can have an affect on our immune system function and leave our bodies in a suboptimal state.

The Importance of Balance

Free radicals have been demonized as the “bad guys.” Yet, they are a part of life that simply needs proper balancing. In fact, they are essential for transferring cellular energy, supporting our immune system, and even helping to boost insulin resistance specifically induced with exercise. (2,3) Ultimately, they just need to be properly neutralized by antioxidants in order for our bodies to operate optimally. 

Antioxidants are our cell’s built in natural support for dealing with free radicals and the “oxidative stress” they cause within the body. (4) This is because they are able to offer the unstable free radicals a spare electron.  While the body naturally creates a few antioxidants within each cell, they primarily need to be supplemented through diet for maximal benefits and balance.  

How to Support Antioxidant Balance in Our Bodies

Our body naturally produces some antioxidants, such as alpha lipoic acid and glutathione. Additionally, vitamin C, E and other compounds found in fruits and vegetables are essential for keeping a healthy electron balance in the body. Since these are not found in our body naturally, it requires a proper balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, leafy greens, cocoa, and green tea. 

Other important lifestyle factors that help regulate free radicals include reduced toxin exposure, proper stress management, hydration, and regular exercise. Unfortunately, lack of time can interfere with these lifestyle choices. Plus, getting enough nutrient density in a Western diet can be hard for picky eaters, low budgets, and certain regions with reduced options. This is where supplementation can give you the upper hand. And it is exactly why many people have decided to take supplements to boost their health potential and antioxidant availability. 

Want to boost your antioxidant levels without worrying if you’re getting enough from your diet and lifestyle? Consider these supplements.  

Krill Oil

Krill oil is superior to classic fish oils for the bioavailability of the omega-3 fatty acids in the product. Plus, it has an added benefit that other fish oils don’t provide- a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. Having healthy fats and an antioxidant in one supplement is powerful for supporting your health. While antioxidants will help negate free radicals, fatty acids will go one step further by supporting our body’s response to inflammatory reactions — which can often be affected by free radical imbalance. It’s a win-win!

Turmeric

Supplementing with a high quality turmeric product is one of the most effective ways to reduce free radicals. This traditional medicinal root can help reserve many of the outcomes of oxidative stress, such as accelerating the aging process. This is possible with the rich antioxidant powers of the curcumin, present in turmeric, that reverse the impact of free radicals, support a normal inflammatory response, and boost blood flow. (5)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the primary vitamins needed for balancing free radicals. (6) Supplementation with vitamin C can have some major benefits for boosting immunity and reducing free radicals within the body. Specifically, this powerful vitamin has been shown to enhance immune response by boosting white blood cell sensitivity, reducing the effects of stress, enhancing the body’s natural healing power. 

Which Supplement is Right for You?

If you want a powerful antioxidant supplement that supports optimal health, any of the above three options are great to consider. If you want to boost your brain and heart health too, consider Krill Oil. If you want to support your body’s inflammatory response and natural aging process, consider Turmeric capsules. And if you want to boost your immune system and healing capabilities, go for Liposomal Vitamin C supplements. 

For the ultimate antioxidant boost, you can add all 3 supplements to your routine today and begin to experience the multiplied benefits and ideal balance. Consider your diet and your health goals, and discuss your options with your doctor if you’re not sure what’s right for you. 

Final Thoughts

Free radicals are a natural part of life. They are constantly being created and reabsorbed within our body and environment. When we support our bodies with antioxidants, our bodies can naturally find a balance and neutralize any free radicals with ease. Achieving this balance is one of the keys to allowing the body to thrive and help to feel your absolute best no matter what life throws at you. 


Quick Disclaimer‍

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. Readers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the author(s) nor the publisher of this content take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Sources

  1. Jessi Szalay. What Are Free Radicals (2016)
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Understanding Antioxidants (2020)
  3. Ask the Scientists. Understanding ATP—10 Cellular Energy Questions Answered (2020) 
  4. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Antioxidants: In Depth (2020)
  5. Menon VP, Sudheer AR. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5_3. PMID: 17569207.
  6. Lobo, V et al. “Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health.” Pharmacognosy reviews vol. 4,8 (2010): 118-26. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902
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