What are Free Radicals and How They Cause Cellulite?
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that are found everywhere in the environment and in our bodies. They react with almost everything they come in contact with so they are considered quite damaging. Besides cellulite they are responsible for aging and cause many of the worst diseases we suffer; including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. They may be the main agents of damage to our circulatory system that results in cellulite. We are constantly taking in free radicals from the environment as well as creating them within every cell in our body. They are leftover pieces of molecule, which include oxygen and are lacking one or more electrons. Our immune system uses them to destroy unwanted elements such as bacteria, viruses and cancer cells. Unfortunately this destruction of invaders includes considerable collateral damage as the free radicals are not intelligent and will react with anything that can supply the electrons they need. Whether we create the free radicals or absorb them from our food or environment the results are the same: cell walls get weakened and the genetic DNA molecules become damaged. Over time this leads to cancer and interrupted circulation (responsible for cellulite, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s, etc.).
Sources of excess free radicals within our bodies, responsible for cellulite, are:
* High intensity exercise (OK in short bursts, dangerous when straining)
* Bacterial and viral infections (our immune system sprays them with free radicals)
* Allergic reactions (e.g. immune reaction to pollen, dander, house dust)
* Insufficient deep rest (too little or poor quality sleep)
* Emotional and physical stress (body needs 6 to 8 week recovery period)
* Partially digested foods (swallowed before completely reduced to a paste)
* Overeating (causes dangerous chemicals to be absorbed into the blood)
* Poor elimination (causes build-up of free radicals that are absorbed by body)
* Estrogen and other hormone imbalances
Sources of excess free radicals outside our bodies, responsible for cellulite, are:
* Processed foods (junk foods and foods treated with chemicals, heat or radiation)
* Old food (frozen and canned as well reheated leftovers)
* Burnt foods (particularly barbecued and grilled or broiled)
* Animal products especially red meat
* Cigarette smoke (active and passive)
* Alcohol and coffee
* Pesticides (Insecticides, insect repellants, poisons)
* Household cleaners, paints, glues, fire proofing agents, furniture polish, etc.
* Vehicle exhaust fumes
* Industrial pollution
* Chlorinated water (drinking water and swimming pools)
* Too much sun (when sunburn causes peeling and pain)
* Birth control pills and HRT
Neutralizing Free Radicals
Our bodies protect themselves from the continuous onslaught of free radicals with agents known as antioxidants; these are a group of substances that include vitamins, enzymes and many herbal extracts. They are most abundantly available in fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables, particularly during the hours immediately after they have been harvested and when they have been organically grown. Vitamins C and E as well as beta-carotene (the building block for vitamin A) have been found to be particularly effective. Even more powerful are certain herbal extracts that act as antioxidants.
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