Healthy Life & The Environment

HEALTHY LIFE AND ENVIRONMENT

As we know, the man is an integral part of Nature and, in this condition, needs the healthy environment to have wellness.

It is certain that any damage caused to the environment causes harm to human life and vice versa. “The existence of one is the very condition of the existence of the other” reason why the human being must carry out his activities respecting and protecting Nature, mainly because his physical body is a cluster of all the elements that it contains, being most by the water, 70 to 75%, just like our beloved Mother Earth.

We must remember and always be aware that our survival depends on the preservation and health of this habitat, because the problems that affect the ecosystem and humanity, such as: pollution of the land, through agrotoxics, excessive deforestation, air pollution, pollution sound and other types of devastations and incredible technology that also seems to have great participation in this current terrible and stressful of our ecosystem, affecting too much human life and logically that of the Planet. Humanity finds itself in an intense race for survival at this moment in search of healthy natural resources for a healthy life resorting to new habits such as organic foods and detox, antioxidants, physical exercises …

Effects of Environmental Pollution

Increased free radicals that are oxidizing agents, In our body, free radicals are produced by the cells, during the process of burning the oxygen, used to convert the nutrients of the food absorbed into energy. They are molecules released by the body’s metabolism with highly unstable and reactive electrons, because they do not have a pair of electrons, always seek to achieve stability by causing chemical reactions of electron transfer with neighboring cells, a process called oxy-reduction.

Producers of free radicals or oxidizing agents:

.oxygen,

.foods containing pesticides, additives,

. stress,

.smoke,

. alcohol,

ultraviolet radiation, X-ray

.some synthetic chemical drugs,

.transplants of skin or organs,

.toxicity by heavy metals caused by environmental pollution.

Free Radicals at normal levels

When these substances are produced by the organism in normal conditions, it is in charge of neutralizing them, they can combine with other molecules of the body and, with that, they are annihilated quickly, if their production is small. At normal levels are necessary to the human body have an important role in infectious and inflammatory processes. Some of the white blood cells release enzymes that give rise to free radicals that are important in fighting infectious processes. When the oxygen reaches the site of the inflammation it is oxidized, generating free radicals that promote the destruction of the bacterium.

Free Radicals at excessive levels caused by Environmental Pollution

However when the level of these substances increases, there is an accumulation of impurities that can generate harmful effects from fatigue to degenerative diseases of early aging and cell death

. lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and lipoproteins. In the case of lipids, lipoperoxidation occurs, which is nothing more than the destruction of the cell membrane.

. In proteins, the inactivation of enzymes and the acceleration of oxidative phenomena with structural alteration in the collagen, which causes atherosclerosis.

. in carbohydrates, the depolymerization of polysaccharides occurs,

.in nucleic acids, mutation of DNA and RNA.

.in lipoproteins, oxidizes cholesterol, favoring the production of LDL, which is harmful cholesterol.

It is important to emphasize that, despite the paradox, as much as oxygen is vital, it is also lethal

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that prevent other substances from being oxidized, react and neutralize the reduced forms of oxygen, which are: superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical ..

The importance of antioxidants lies precisely in the fact that they are able to regulate the amount of free radicals in the body.

A diet rich in antioxidant consumption helps reduce oxidative stress (imbalance between free radical and antioxidant levels).

 

Antioxidants Act

Antioxidants act in two ways under free radicals: inhibiting their formation and repairing the lesions already caused. The first is related to the inhibition of chain reactions involving its formation; and the second, in the removal of damaged cells, followed by reconstitution of the cell membranes.

Antioxidants also intercept free radicals and prevent their attack on lipids, amino acids, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and bases of DNA, protecting the cells from injury. Antioxidants obtained through diet rich in vitamins, flavonoids, carotenoids, among others are key in this process.

Some antioxidants, such as vitamin E, are lipid soluble (liposoluble) and protect cell membranes from lipid peroxidation, helping to remove damage and reconstitute the cell membrane.

Antioxidant Defense Systems

The human body has two antioxidant self-defense systems: the Enzyme (Endogenous) and the Non-Enzymatic (Exogenous) System.

1. Enzymatic System (Endogenous)

The enzyme system is formed by a set of enzymes produced naturally by the body.

With the passing of the years, the efficiency of this production system tends to diminish by the natural aging process, since the production of the antioxidant enzymes is losing its efficiency. Being thus very important to maintain the quality of the second system of defense, the non-enzymatic, by eating foods high in antioxidants.

2. Non-Enzymatic System (Exogenous)

Composed of groups of substances such as vitamins, plant substances and minerals that can be ingested through the diet.

The main antioxidants of the non-enzymatic system are:

Beta-carotene and lycopene

They are carotenoids, natural dyes present in fruits and vegetables. They act as antioxidants, since they hijack the oxygen, reducing the availability of free radicals to carry out oxidative reactions. They are associated with the prevention of carcinogenesis and atherogenesis by being able to protect molecules such as lipids, proteins and DNA from undergoing oxidation. In addition, they are precursors of vitamin A in the body.

List of foods rich in antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene

They are found in reddish, orange and yellowish foods, such as carrots, tomatoes, orange, peach, pumpkin; and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, peas and spinach.

.Curcumin

It is a pigment that occurs naturally in the roots of turmeric. Much used as a seasoning in Indian cooking, turmeric sequesters free radicals and inhibits the damaging of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes.

List of foods rich in antioxidants Curmumine

Turmeric, saffron and curry are sources of curcumin.

.Flavanoids

Flavanoids are a set of substances naturally produced by plants to help protect against solar radiation and fight against pathogenic organisms. They have the capacity to inhibit the activity of the enzymes responsible for the production of free radicals, thus avoiding their formation.

List of foods rich in antioxidants Flavonoids

They are found in fruits such as grape, strawberry, apple, pomegranate, blueberry, raspberry and other fruits of reddish color; in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, parsley and cabbage; in nuts, soy, linseed; besides being found in drinks, as in red wine, teas, coffee and beer, and even chocolate and honey.

. Vitamin A (retinol)

Vitamin A has the ability to combine with some free radicals before they cause injury.

List of foods rich in Vitamin A

It is present in foods such as carrots, spinach, mango and papaya.

.Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Soluble in water (water-soluble), therefore, it reacts with free radicals available in aqueous medium, like what exists inside the cell. Vitamin C is also able to regenerate vitamin E and keep the enzymes of the endogenous antioxidant system in reduced states, sparing mainly glutathione.

List of foods rich in Vitamin C

It is possible to take vitamin C in fruits: melon, cantaloupe, acerola, citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, mandarins) kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and cranberry; and vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, red and green peppers, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and tomato.

.Vitamin E (tocopherols)

Vitamin E is a set of tocopherols, the most important being as an antioxidant, alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is fat-soluble (liposoluble), therefore, it acts to protect cell membranes (formed by lipids) from the action of free radicals. It also protects low-density lipoproteins (LDL) that act to transport cholesterol.

List of foods rich in Vitamin E

It can be found in vegetable oils and derivatives, green leaves, oleaginous (nut nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, nuts) and seeds, whole grains and leafy vegetables: spinach, watercress, arugula, among others.

.Copper

Essential for the proper functioning of the endogenous self defense system, as it influences the action of the enzyme superoxide dismutase.

List of foods rich in Copper

Beans, chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds, peanuts, raisins, nuts, almonds and legumes are great sources of copper.

.Selenium

It works in conjunction with vitamin E, fighting the action of free radicals. It also contributes to the normal formation of the thyroid.

List of foods rich in selenium

Selenium-rich foods are mostly Brazil nuts, brown rice, and sunflower seeds. Selenium is a mineral present in the soil and therefore its quantity in food varies according to the soil’s richness in this mineral.

.Zinc

Like copper, it influences the performance of the enzyme superoxide dismutase.

List of foods rich in Zinc

Pumpkin seeds, cooked soybeans, almonds and peanuts are sources of zinc.

 

Vitamins Supplements

In this item we can not forget the medical guidance in this way, it is fundamental to maintain the quality of the exogenous antioxidant defense system through the ingestion of antioxidants.

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