THE SHOCKING TRUTH BEHIND FREE RADICALS!
Today we are going to take Immune Health to the next level! Like most women you already understand the importance of maintaining a healthy immune system. We are literally drowning in repetitive and superficial information that tells us we need to take A, B, or C to remain healthy. Women take health education seriously and are very capable of making informed choices relating to their own immune health. Whether you have a healthy or compromised immune system, the science behind the scenes is the same. Many people have never heard of a free radical but by understanding these invaders we can wage war on them! Literally! My personal experience of a compromised immune system following illness resulted in regular bouts of virus related illnesses. I will share with you why Black Elderberry is my ally to good immune health. Lets unleash the truth!
What are Free Radicals? What is Oxidative stress? How will these make us ill?
We are at war with free radicals within our Immune system! Why? Because if we don’t keep them under control, we will get sick. In fact, the potential to get seriously ill is forever looming. The good news is, there is so much we can do to gain victory over these invaders!
Our Immune System: Let’s dive in quickly for a moment!
The innate immune system (inherited). This you are born with and is active immediately. The cells inside this immune system recognize invaders and set to work destroying them. Excellent ✔
The adaptive immune system. This develops as your body is exposed to microbes or chemicals released by microbes. Our acquired Immune system is helped by the innate immune system, producing cells (antibodies) to fight harmful invaders. After first exposure, our immune system will recognize the invader and fight against it in the future. ✔
We know that Antibiotics can be prescribed to fight infections. We also know that bacteria can become resistant to future antibiotic therapy if prescribed for viral infections (image below) or taking the wrong one to treat a bacterial infection.
MEET THE FREE RADICALS! I know you can’t wait!
Free Radicals are oxygen-containing, unstable molecules. Sounds like a red flag! With an uneven number of electrons, they are easily able to react with other molecules. We need a balance of both antioxidants and free radicals to maintain a healthy immune system. Our metabolic processes normally produce this harmonious balance for us. The danger is when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in our bodies. This can lead to cell and tissue damage. The problem is that this imbalance can lead to Oxidative Stress. When we think of stress most of us think of mental stress related to our jobs or hectic lifestyle. Oxidative stress within us is very much connected. (I can honestly say I have never heard anyone complain of Oxidative Stress. Stress absolutely!) Let’s talk a little more about this important subject…
We don’t want this! When the imbalance of free radicals causes Oxidative Stress, we are in trouble! When our immune system is healthy, inflammation is attacked “head on” as our naturally produced antibodies fight to eliminate infection or repair damaged cells. However Oxidative Stress can trigger the inflammatory response, which in turn produces more free radicals creating a cycle. I discuss this in my post on Inflammation.
Oxidative stress may lead to conditions including:
Diabetes|Cardiovascular Disease|Arthritis|Implemented in Retinal Disease
DEPRESSION IS MORE THAN A MENTAL DISORDER:
Our brain is particularly vulnerable to Oxidative Stress simply because it requires a substantial amount of oxygen. 20% of our oxygen fuel is consumed by our brains! While both cardiovascular and cancer research includes the significance of Oxidative Stress, there is increasing recognition of its connection to Psychological Stress|Work Stress|Noise|Depression
Factors that increase our risk include:
High Fat Diet|Processed Food|Pollutants|Industrial Chemicals|High Alcohol and Tobacco Use|Certain Medications.
Research states that antioxidants are a powerful weapon against free radicals and Oxidative Stress!
Antioxidants act like sponges soaking up free radicals .✔
As we age our bodies lose the ability to fight free radicals. This leads to more free radicals-increased oxidative stress-more damaged cells-deterioration (including natural aging)
My recommendation: Black Elderberry!
Black Elderberry (Sambucus) I call this the medicine chest of goodness!
This flowering plant from the Adoxaceae family is native to Europe and North America. It is often referred to as Elder|Black Elder|European Elder|European Black Elder|American Elderberry native to eastern North America.
Nutritional Benefits include:
High in the following: Vit C|Dietary fiber|Phenolic acids-powerful antioxidant compounds that reduce damage from oxidative stress|High in Anthocyanins-these give the fruit its characteristic dark purple color|These contains high antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects|Works at cellular level|Deep immune support|Delicious Taste.
We may not always be able to pick and prepare fresh Elderberries. Fortunately there are several excellent sources available.NB: Freshly picked Black Elderberries need to be cooked before eating for safe consumption! When buying Black Elderberry Syrup the purest form is always preferred. Some brands may contain artificial flavors/alcohol/ fructose corn syrup.
Now we know, what can we do to win this war on free radicals and oxidative stress!
The answer is Antioxidants! Eating a healthy diet containing fruit and vegetables is essential. Counteracting oxidative stress greatly affects the course of disease including.
Beneficial effects on BP|Glycaemia reduction|Reduction in uric acid levels|Antitumor potential
Having researched Immune Health and the negative impact of free radical imbalance, I acknowledge that we sometimes need to give our immune system a boost of antioxidants!
Before adding any new supplement to your diet, always consult with your doctor. Some supplements may interfere with certain medications and may not be suitable for your treatment plan.
Celebrate our victory over free radicals! Black Elderberry goes above and beyond!
Quote for this post: “My favorite flower is the one I am looking at now” (Lee Cobbett)
Love this article? Spread the word!
This is a complicated subject, thanks for breaking it down in a more simplified way.
Thank you so much Evelyn, I am so glad you found this post helpful
Melody (Author of BloomsInHealth)
Love this quote – invokes very happy memories.