The Use of Antioxidants in Fighting Chronic Illness
Steve Warren M.D.
As our population ages, we are facing more chronic illnesses than ever before. Our nutrition impacts the quality of our lives and can impact the quantity of our years. What food we put into our bodies markedly determines how we feel and function. Functional foods - foods which promote health and fight disease need to be consumed in order to battle this rising epidemic of chronic illnesses. This article will help you understand how chronic illnesses occur and the process by which the body tries to limit the damage.
Over 200 diseases, which affect us as we age, are related to the formation of free radicals. A free radical is formed when oxygen reacts with our body molecules abnormally forming a molecule with an unpaired electron. This is called oxidation. An example of oxidation is when oxygen reacts with a banana turning it brown and quickly rotting it away. These free radicals travel through out our bodies damaging our cells. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dental caries, eye disease, arthritis, aging skin, dementia, cancer and even aging are the result of free radical damage.
The body needs a natural food to provide additional antioxidants in order to prevent damage to our body. Phytonutrients are chemical components of plants which provide when digested antioxidants and other health promoting substances. One of the strongest food antioxidants is dark cocoa. Cocoa/chocolate contains a very strong antioxidant called flavonoids. Flavonoids have been studied extensively and are shown to be very beneficial to our health.
A combination of dark chocolate and berries include concentrated sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Studies have shown that by taking these food products one may:
- Decrease cardiovascular disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, prevent blood clot formations, and lower blood pressure.
- Help the body utilize sugars better thus preventing diabetes as well as decreasing the complications of diabetes.
- Fight bacterial and viral infections.
- Prevent dental caries and gum disease.
- Improve memory and slow down dementia and fight depression.
- Prevent certain types of cancer.
- Improve breathing problems and help with allergies.
- Improve the quality of your skin.
- Decrease the inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Decrease the size of the prostate and prevent urinary tract infections.
- Lower overall weight and decrease appetite and provide energy.
In Summary, the combination of these antioxidants - chocolate and berries is not a replacement for a proper nutritious diet with daily exercise, but the nutrition this powerful combination offers can definitely improve your health and hopefully slow the aging process and the diseases related to it.
© Steve Warren M.D.
Steve Warren, M.D., is the Medical Advisor for MXI Corporation. MXI has introduced a new functional beverage called XOCAI (sho-sigh-EE).