When we breathe, oxygen enters the blood and diffuses through the cells providing them with the energy necessary to perform daily activity. However, while this important work is taking place, a series of reagents that damage the cells and reduce their potential are generated in our body. These reagents are the so-called free radicals and the chemical process that causes them is known as oxidative stress or oxidation.
The realization of physical activities increases the oxidation considerably, since when it requires more energy, the consumption of oxygen is greater. In high mountain sports the problem is exacerbated, because the low availability of oxygen in the air causes, during the process of oxygenation of cells, to increase the imbalance between the production of toxic reagents and the capacity of the antioxidant defense systems of the body to repair the damage caused.
According to specialists from different branches of medicine, oxidative stress is the cause of a wide variety of diseases, such as atherosclerosis (accumulation of lipid substances in the walls of the arteries), Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Likewise, it is also considered one of the main responsible for aging. With this in mind, there is no doubt that we must incorporate habits into our daily life that help the body to neutralize the effects caused by oxidation.
One of the most effective, and at the same time simplest, ways to combat this process is to eat a healthy and balanced diet. In addition, there are especially useful foods for this purpose since given its composition rich in phytochemicals, vitamins and other antioxidant components, they can reduce the production of free radicals and prevent cell damage. Below we recommend some of the most effective.
Superfoods that prevent oxidation
Ganoderma is a fungus from Southeast Asia in which we can find hundreds of different components. This wealth is what makes ganoderma a powerful natural medicine that helps improve various changes that occur in our body.
In the case of cell oxidation, mainly triterpenes stand out, known for being one of the most antioxidant organic compounds in the world. Polysaccharides, also present in this superfood, reinforce our immune system, and the enzyme superoxide dismutase promotes the elimination of free radicals and slows cell aging.
Ginger has been used by Asian medicine for thousands of years to defend the body from various conditions. So much so that his name comes from the word Jiang, which means to defend.
Ginger is considered a powerful antioxidant because it acts to strengthen our defense systems and inhibits lipid peroxidation that occurs in some organs such as the liver or intestine.
The seeds of some plants such as chia or flax have significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Thanks to this, these superfoods are able to protect the body against toxic fats and prevent inflammation of tissues.
Fruits like orange, tangerine, lemon and grapefruit can help us fight oxidative stress. In addition to vitamin C, this group of foods has several phytochemical compounds whose consumption provides benefits to the body, such as slowing down aging and preventing diseases associated with it.
Spirulina and chlorella are two algae grown in fresh water that have a high chlorophyll content. In fact, chlorella is the food of the world with the highest percentage of chlorophyll. This pigment is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve the immune system.
In spirulina, we also find the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which, as we have already mentioned in the case of ganoderma, effectively fights free radicals.
In the composition of cocoa we find polyphenols and flavonoids, two substances known for their antioxidant power and their effectiveness as neutralizers of toxic reagents.