If you haven't heard about oxidative stress, don't worry! You're not alone! Here is why you should pay attention to it. More: your genes can help you eliminate toxins from your body!
Pollution, smoking, eating an unhealthy diet... Harmful and toxic substances enter our body every day through food, water and air. And our system has to find ways to get rid of all those toxins! The curious thing is: some people can eliminate those harmful substances easier than others! Do you know why?
Scientists have discovered that the answer lies in the fact that those individuals might have a favourable genetic makeup that helps them eliminate toxins from their body; others, unfortunately, don't!
How to know which is your case? Which type of genetic makeup do you have: the more efficient or the less efficient to eliminate harmful substances from your body?
Ok, let's start from the beginning! First of all, we have to understand what oxidative stress is.
Oxidative stress! What is that?
Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity.
What are free radicals? Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, such as DNA, causing ageing and illnesses. The formation of free radicals is caused by radiation, cigarette smoke, pollutants and many other substances.
And antioxidants? Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, thereby leading to chain reactions that may damage the cells of organisms.
Our body has many enzymes that help it to prevent oxidative stress. The two most important ones are quinone oxidoreductase and catalase. If those enzymes don't work properly, oxidative stress can happen.
Oxidative stress is known to speed the ageing process but also can lead to many chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetics, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation, stroke and others.
Knowing your genes can help you eliminate the toxins from your body!
Did you know that the way our body eliminates the toxins is also encoded in our genes? A mutation can influence the genetic function and, consequently, our exposure to oxidative stress.
If a person has a mutation in the genes responsible for the enzymes that detoxify our body, he/she will have a less efficient detoxification mechanism to eliminate the harmful substances.
It can also happen that a person does not have those enzymes and the body is then largely exposed to the toxins from the environment.
A person with a less efficient detoxification mechanism will have to be more careful with the diet and lifestyle to guarantee that the body will eliminate the harmful substances.
If you have a genetic predisposition for high exposure to oxidative stress, you'll be advised, for example, to increase your daily intake of vitamin C. The fruit acerola provides the highest amount of vitamin C, but it is not so easy to find acerola in every market.
You can also include in your menu: red pepper, cabbage, rosehip, oranges, grapefruits and lemons. They're all great sources of vitamin C.
Flavonoids are also important antioxidants. They are found in green tea, citruses, ginkgo, wine and dark chocolate!