It is important to understand the role that free radicals play in the body.
As you read in, “What Your Blue Corn Tortilla Chips Are Not Saying...,” “Free radicals are unstable molecules that create inflammation in the body. If not counteracted by antioxidants, they can cause serious damage by irritating and breaking down the body’s tissue.”
Free-radicals are actually a normal by-product of metabolism. They are generated in the body, by both chemical and enzymatic reactions. They are also generated in the metabolism of fats. In other words, free-radicals are an everyday occurrence. Period.
The body, the forever clever, and protective mechanism, that it is, produces antioxidants to counteract the effects of these little troublemakers. So what is the big deal then?
The EXCESS of free radicals, cause the problems.
Foods like, potato chips, chicken fingers, french fries, hydrogenated products, chemicals (environmental and food additives), etc. all lend a giant helping hand in the creation of excess free radicals in the body.
In addition, stress of all shapes and sizes, increases free-radical formation in the body. This includes aerobic exercise.
Exercise, of course, has its many benefits, as it increases the circulation of oxygen throughout the body. The point of this article is not to discuss the benefits, or drawbacks, of exercise. What is important to understand is the exercise mentality many a gym-goer holds (and I used to be one of them).
I am speaking loosely here, but it is often assumed that as long as the body is burning calories, and the body is lean and mean, then one can consume whatever it is they like.
I have come across many a fit individual, that come a certain age, starts to drastically age. This can be attributed to a number of things. First of all, exercise to the point of exhaustion lends itself to acid buildup in the tissues. It also places extra stress on the body. Stress, of course, leads to the increase of free radicals in the body.
Working out is not the solution to a poor diet. A poor diet, especially one high in cooked fats, processed and fried foods, and animals proteins, is not only is acid-forming, but as mentioned numerous times throughout this article– generates an excess of free radicals.
In addition, a “gym-goers” diet that reduces healthy raw fats, like avocados, coconuts and cold-pressed oils, and one that instead stresses lean proteins, like grilled chicken, and meatless protein meals, like bars and shakes, will not nourish the body. In the short term, protein rich diets and extreme exercise, may grant the determined individual a sculpted body, but undoubtedly it will create stress on the body (and a whole slew of ailments*) without the addition of raw fats, greens, etc. I should also point out that the allotted proportion of the foods I have deemed “healthy,” (i.e. greens, avocados, fruits & veggies)– should far outweigh the proportion of high “protein” products, for optimal health.
On the other hand, an individual that focuses on wholesome foods like, nourishing raw fats, greens, vegetables, etc., will find that their body will be naturally lean, their skin effortlessly young and radiant, and their overall well-being, to be envied. See My Philosophy on nutrition and food combining.
*I also want to mention that a diet that is overly acid and rich in animal protein can cause hair loss.