Health & NutritionHeidi Hadley
The World Health Organisation recently revealed that food products such as bacon and preserved meats have “highly carcinogenic or cancer causing properties.” They have classed them in the same category as cigarette smoking. As we are interested in educating ourselves to live a more somatic or holistic lifestyle, this blog is asking the question, What causes these foods to be so detrimental to our health? The answer is that they produce FREE RADICAL ACTIVITY AND DAMAGE.
Some authors use the analogy of “sparks” as free radicals. They state that cells use oxygen to burn food for energy. They also burn away germs and foreign chemicals, such as pesticides. This combustion process creates miniature bonfires within the cells. These bonfires give off “sparks” that can create fires in undesirable places. The result is damaged cell membranes. This spark action is basically free radical activity.
It is this free radical activity which contributes to ageing and degenerative diseases such as calcified or fibrotic connective tissue, causing a reduction in its function. As more free radicals cause further havoc and damage, the body’s ability to function at optimal levels is gradually reduced until the reserve function is compromised to the point of illness. It may take between 10 and 30 years for free radical damage to manifest itself.
Increased free radical activity causes cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cataracts, arthritic tissue damage, inflammatory bowel disorders, neurological degenerative conditions and inflammation from sports and trauma injuries.
Refined foods and cooked animal products create large amounts of free radicals and provide few antioxidants to stop the free radicals they create. Refined foods are those that have undergone nutritionally damaging processing. Such examples include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, sugar such as sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. These foods contain and create large amounts of free radicals. This will create long term health complaints.
As we aim to create a more somatic or holistic lifestyle, try switching food in your diet from refined or processed to natural and wholefood. Your current and future health will thank you for it.