by ADMIN on MARCH 14, 2012
You cut or bite into an apple and let it sit. The flesh begins to brown. Happens all the time, right?
But then you sprinkle a little the apple with lemon or orange juice and voila, no browning
Why is that?
It turns out that oxygen from the air is reacting with the cells of the apple, causing a break down of the plant tissue into a brown-colored product.
Sprinkling the lemon or orange juice coats the apple’s flesh with antioxidants which protect the cells. The antioxidants react with the oxygen before the oxygen can get to the apple.
Well guess what? The same thing is happening in your body.
We have free radicals bouncing around in our bodies. They are naturally occurring from eating certain foods, exercising intensely, and from digestion. To an extent, we need some free radicals to help with certain chemical reactions in the body, as well as to help fight infection.
Yet if we have more free radicals than the body needs, these little unstable molecules can cause damage.
You see, free radicals are basically unstable oxygen molecules. They’re missing an electron and will react with anything to become stable again. When overabundant, they end up reacting with our cells and DNA, causing damage.
Think of this damage similar to how an apple turn brown in the presence of oxygen.
If left unchecked, this damage is what can lead to heart disease, liver problems, kidney problems, diabetes, and early aging. In fact, almost every disease is related to the damage caused by these little molecules.
But there’s good news
We can help prevent free radical damage – and therefore disease and early aging – the same way we prevent browning of an apple: By eating more Fruits and Vegetables.
Produce have antioxidants that protects our cells and DNA from those nasty little free radicals. Antioxidants react with the unstable molecules before any damage can be done.
Every color fruit and veggie has a different array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect different tissues in our body. So be sure to eat all different colors to get the nutrients your body needs from optimal health.
You can also help to reduce the amount of cell damage (and therefore disease) by decreasing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and excess sugar and sodium in your diet. When these nutrients are digested, they produce more free radicals than other foods.
As you eat your way to good health and energy, try to include a fruit or vegetable with each meal and snack.
And anytime your diet starts to get a little off track, just think of the browning of the apple and how easy it is to prevent that damage. You can help prevent your own browning (aging and disease) with a sprinkle of produce!