What is Free Radical Damage and Anti-Oxidants?

What is Free Radical Damage and Anti-Oxidants?

If I took an apple and cut it in half and left it out…what happens to it?  It turns brown right?  That’s basically free radical damage…rusting of the cells.  Once oxygen hits the apple it starts to go through oxidative damage.  Now, if I cut it in half and immediately coated the exposed areas with lemon, it won’t turn brown.  I learned this when I was a teenager working in catering.  We made the fruit salad then poured lemon juice to cover it.  I didn’t understand then what I know now.  Basically the anti-oxidants from the lemon (vitamin C etc.) protected the apple from free radical damage.

What is Your Immune System?

Immunology, the study of the immune system, is a complex subject which encompasses all of the cells, chemicals and organs that defend the body against disease: from cold and flu to allergies, from bone marrow to lymph nodes, and from leukemia to AIDS.

Did you know – Your immune system routinely kills cancers?  Your immune system is your body’s defence department. It is able to identify and destroy foreign invaders (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) before they cause harm to the body. Once detected, they are tagged for termination and eliminated by immune cells. The immune system battles cancer cells as well. When working optimally, the immune system can identify and eradicate abnormal cells – especially those made abnormal by a virus or carcinogen, before they become problematic.

What Is the ORAC Value in Food?

ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, or basically how many free radical scavengers are in a food.  The higher level of ORAC the higher anti-oxidant capacity.   It is essential to protect your body all year long through optimal immunity – not just during the traditional cold and flu season. Where to start? Begin with daily preventative measures by increasing foods high in ORAC and anti-oxidants.

What Foods and Supplements are Best to Supply High Anti-Oxidants and ORAC Value?

There are so many things that help keep the immune system strong and fight free radical damage.  Below is a list of foods high in ORAC and anti-oxidants:

Herbs have huge ORAC value and are much higher in the ORAC list than any foods.  Some of the highest would include: cloves, cinnamon, oregano,  garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric, cocoa, cumin, parsley (dried), basil, ginger, sage and thyme to name a few


  • Berries are the highest on the ORAC list for fruit but most fruits are high in ORAC
  • Dark chocolate (yippee!)
  • Red wine (another yippee!)
  • Artichoke
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Most vegetables

There are simply too many foods to list.  For a full list of ORAC value in foods, click this link:  http://www.phytochemicals.info/list-orac-values.php

Vitamins and Supplements

There are many, many, many supplements available now that offer great anti-oxidant protection.  I make a protein shake every morning and add a powdered greens, powdered berries, fish oil and probiotics.  I couldn’t eat all day long and get the amount of nutrients that I get in my shake.  So, if you want to increase your anti-oxidants and protect your body against free-radical damage which causes major diseases including cancer, add the foods mentioned above and consider adding some of these supplements:

  • Superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • Glutathione
  • Vitamin A, C, E, Selenium (ACES)
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
  • CoQ10 (Ubiquinone)
  • Resveratrol (Red wine extract)
  • Carotenoids (Beta carotene for example)
  • Astaxanthin
  • Green Tea

MCT Oil Vs. Coconut Oil

MCT Oil goes Straight to Your Liver for Fast Burning Energy for Your Body and your Brain

Unlike other fats that must go through normal digestive processes, MCT oil goes directly to your liver where it’s converted into ketones for quick energy, rather than stored in your fat cells.  Do you want to speed up fat burning, optimize your brain function or increase your  energy?  Take MCT oil.  I use it for my salad dressings with apple cider vinegar and spices.  You can make home made veggie dips with it, add it to your smoothies or just take a shot of it with your meals.
MCT oil is typically derived from coconut oil but they are NOT the same thing.   MCT oil is far more concentrated.  MCT oil should be consumed every day for many reasons: it helps you maintain or lose weight, burns stored body fat, raises metabolism, is an appetite suppressant, increases energy, helps you think more clearly, aids in digestion, balances hormones, improves your mood, helps to absorb fat soluble nutrients from food and even fights bacterial and viral infections.
MCT oil is tasteless so you can virtually add it to any foods but do not cook with it.  Instead, coconut oil should be used for all of your cooking as it is extremely stable under heat.  How many ways can you think to add MCT oil into your daily diet?


Why Do I Need To Take Vitamins?

Our bodies can’t produce all of the nutrients that we need to function properly, so we have to eat them.  Vitamins are necessary for our normal growth and function.  Most vitamins cannot be manufactured within our body so we must get them from our foods.  Some doctors will say that you can get all the vitamins you need from your food however I beg to differ and here’s why.

  1. Most of us don’t eat a balanced diet every day
  2. Our soils are depleted of vitamins and minerals. If it isn’t in the soils, it isn’t in our foods
  3. We are bombarded with toxins which require additional nutrients to deal with them
  4. Nutrient absorption declines with age so additional nutrients are necessary
  5. Children need additional nutrients to support growth
  6. Exercise causes free radical damage, which requires additional antioxidants to compensate
  7. Stress depletes nutrients in the body

Start by taking a high quality multi vitamin.  This will supply all of the vitamins and minerals you need daily.  Not all vitamins are created equal so don’t buy cheap, low dose multi vitamins.  Go to your local nutrition house and ask the natural health consultant for the best quality multi vitamin.  They should be gender specific.  Men and women have different needs and therefore will require different multi vitamins.  Children have different multi vitamins as do senior citizens.