By: Rex "Ito Domo" Fortu
Have you been feeling under the weather lately? Has your head been aching, and you’ve noticed you’ve become sensitive to noise? Are you experiencing muscle pain and deprived of energy? If your answers are yes to these questions, then there is a big possibility that you are stressed.
Sometimes we mistake stress as just having a long day at the office or a result of lack of sleep, but there are underlying principles that we need to know and understand in order to prevent it and promote a sense of wellbeing.
What exactly is stress and how do we avert it? Stress, or properly termed as “oxidative stress” is brought about by oxidation. Oxygen is essential to life, and we need a whole lot of it to survive. The process of oxidation occurs as our bodies metabolize oxygen. When our cells utilize oxygen to produce energy, as well as when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and when our bodies detoxify pollutants, free radicals are also produced. Free radicals are normal and necessary to a degree but when so many of these are produced, your body becomes overwhelmed, thus becoming a health issue. When these excess free radicals interact with the molecules in our cells, it may result to damage in the nearby cells, proteins and DNA. This is what we call oxidative stress. This stress is known to cause aging, wrinkles, decreased eyesight, arthritis, diabetes, immunodeficiency, high blood pressure, alcoholism or even cancer.
This is similar to what happens during the browning of the flesh of an apple after it is sliced open and exposed to air. Oxygen atoms interact with the apple molecules, forming radicals. These radicals break down the molecular structure of the apple, then it develops a brown color and begins to rot. Free radicals also arise when we are exposed to external sources such as cigarette smoke, industrial chemicals, and x-rays. The formation of free radicals also heightens when we are on physical or emotional distress.
Now, if oxidation is inevitable and we cannot fully avoid oxidative stress, how can we at least fight it or slow it down? This is where the antioxidants come into play! From the words itself “anti” and “oxidant”, antioxidants block oxidation and neutralize free radicals. This neutralizing effect helps protect our body from stress. Some famous examples are vitamin A (retinoic acid), vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin D (cholecalciferol).
A person’s diet is an important source of antioxidants as there are some vitamins and minerals that the body can’t establish on its own. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to provide the body what it needs to produce antioxidants. These include carrots, tomatoes, kale, prunes, lettuce, and berries. Other examples of dietary antioxidant sources are fish, ginger, cinnamon, nuts, and tea.
Tea? You read that right! Tea is not just a beverage that we can enjoy for its taste and aroma, it is also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that our bodies require. Take for example, Carnaval Tea. It's a masterful blend of grape seeds, apple, rosehip, melissa and okra flowers loaded with antioxidants including anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. It helps improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure, support brain health. It doesn't contain caffeine, so you won't have to worry even if you drink it before bedtime. It improves quality of sleep and can definitely help you to feel more relaxed.
Speaking of relaxation, the Relaxing Infusion surely hits the spot. It's a melodious mix of chamomile, pomegranate, Isparta rose, orange, hibiscus, lemon, and melissa flower. This tea is loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium and magnesium which strengthen the immune system and helps improve brain health. Its chamomile content binds to specific mind receptors that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep.
So don't forget to take a quick break, relax and sip a good cup of tea to get your daily dose of an-tea-oxidants. The more antioxidants we consume naturally, the better we can fight oxidation, ward off stress, and live happier and healthier lives. Visit our website bfhlifestyle.com and check out a wide variety of antioxidant-rich teas!
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