Despite us relying on oxygen to breathe & therefore survive, did you know that oxygen actually damages our cells when oxygen based reactions occur in our bodies? Don't worry though, we can help reduce the impact!
As we exercise, we consume more oxygen, especially during intense sessions and this increases the stress. Not only that, as we get older, we gradually lose the battle against environmental damage from radiation and pollution which doesn't help the matter. So, what can we do about all this?
Human beings have developed an elaborate defence mechanism to limit the harm to our cells in the form of ANTIOXIDANTS which are substances that slow this oxidative damage. They come in two forms:
- Enzymes which our bodies produce naturally within our cells such as Superoxide Dismutase.
- Dietary antioxidants we obtain from food & drink.
In order for our bodies to process the enzymes and more efficiently absorb the dietary antioxidants, we need vitamins A, C, and E and minerals including Zinc, Selenium, Copper and Manganese.
People with poor diets, depleted of these nutrients may therefore be at greater risk. When considering your diet, it's really important to think about sources of these micronutrients. Here's a quick reference which may help but there are many other sources out there:
Vitamin C: Citrus fruit, green veg, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes
Vitamin E: Unrefined veg oil, egg yolks, whole grains, almonds, nuts and green leafy veg
Zinc: Oysters, ginger root, lamb, nuts, grains, eggs and peas
Selenium: Grains, meats, fish, brazil nuts, tuna, shellfish and dairy
A variety of vitamins and minerals from many different sources will ensure that the body can function nearer its optimal level. Also look out for food & drink which contains dietary antioxidants - up the anti! This will help you limit the damage caused by exercise, including injuries and help to promote recovery :)
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Rock on organic fitfam.