As we have mentioned in previous articles, there are three kinds of stress that cause our bones to ‘go out’ or subluxate. (1) Today I will talk about one of those, chemical stress. I will explain what happens in the body and why eating vegetables is important. This is what I share with my patients:
Our bodies continually get bombarded with highly reactive molecules called free radicals. (2) Eating sugar and highly processed foods as well as exposure to environmental toxins is ultimately a chemical attack on the body because we must process everything we eat down to a non-damaging state. (2,3)
When I explain free radicals, I use the mental image of a magnet floating around *freely* in your body. Free radicals are usually negatively charged and (similar to magnets clinging together) would love nothing more than to cling to a positive charge from other magnets nearby.
When too many magnets are floating around with no match, they will grab anything available to cling to. This can cause chemical stress on the body and as free radicals add up over time, changes to lipids, proteins, or DNA happens. (4) This is the biggest factor of aging and has also been implicated in age-dependent diseases including cancer. (4,5)
Antioxidants are the good connecting magnets that cling to the free radicals so that they do not damage the body. (6) They do this by neutralizing the reactive oxygen species (ROS). This can reduce the premature aging of our bodies and the potential repercussions of the free radicals, which eventually cause irreversible changes to cells and age-dependent diseases. (5)
Antioxidants are the key! So, where do you get these antioxidants? The answer to this is fruits and vegetables! There are a multitude of foods that contain antioxidants, but the ones that tend to have the most are leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale as well as dark-colored fruits, like blueberries and acai berries. (7)
Of course, eating whole foods is best but it can be challenging to eat enough. When dieting, I recommend to my patients that they don’t try to take things away from themselves but rather to fill their plate and their belly with as much color and nutritious food as possible. Then they may not be as hungry and certainly may have less craving for damaging, highly processed foods.
Additional things I do keep available in the clinic are superfood supplementation from various reputable companies and a list of highly qualified medical professionals to help you on your journey. You can access our online store at Solutionschiropractic.com to look around and watch our videos on social media for more information.
Yours in Health,
- Mejia Viana, Sergio. Chronic Diseases & Microbial Physiology and Genomics. Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2017; 2:2. Available at: https://www.imedpub.com/conference-abstracts-files/2572-5548-C1-002-010.pdf.
- Rahman K. (2007). Studies on free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors. Clinical interventions in aging, 2(2), 219–236. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684512/
- Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002. How Cells Obtain Energy from Food. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26882/.
- Dröge W. (2002). Free radicals in the physiological control of cell function. Physiological reviews, 82(1), 47–95. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00018.2001.
- Di Meo, S., & Venditti, P. (2020). Evolution of the Knowledge of Free Radicals and Other Oxidants. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2020, 9829176. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9829176.
- Stress Effects – The American Institute of Stress. 2020. Available at: https://www.stress.org/stress-effects.
- Raman, Ryan. 12 Healthy Foods High in Antioxidants. 2018. Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-antioxidants.