Importance of Antioxidants
We all know what it’s like seeing a new buzz word in media and different resources that make us feel like we have been missing out on the most important factor of our health and life. Truth is, it is nice to know these things so we are better equipped to care for our bodies, but don’t let it scare you into thinking everything you’ve done until now is wrong!
Free Radical Damage is one of those buzz words and I just hope to bring some clarity to what it is and help you see what God provided for us to combat it!
Free Radical Damage (Oxidative Stress) is largely caused by any toxins we ingest, breathe in, allow on our skin, etc. So those beautiful and comforting candles we burn are most likely full of paraffin and known carcinogens. That perfume we spray is loaded with fragrances known as endocrine disruptors. That amazing lotion we put on our skin (its soaks in somewhere, right?) is full of more fragrances and ingredients seen as toxins by our bodies. The list goes on.. and on and on and on. It is so important to use as little in your home products and in your home to prevent an overload. No matter how much we clean up our products, we breathe toxins in daily. We drink them in our water and eat them on our foods. They are molecules that attack our cells and destroy them.
So, what is the big deal… Cells are regenerated daily, right?
They don’t stop at one - they cling to nearby cells and attack. Over time, they form dangerous clumps and grow in our tissues, body organs, and body systems. Just take a second to think on “groups of damaged cells attacking and growing in tissues and organs”.
Free radical damage can alter what enters and exits the cell from there on out. Once damaged, what is in that cell cannot be released and not much can get in.
Oxidative stress plays a role in the development of macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, emphysema, alcoholism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ulcers and all inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, lupus and so much more.
Free radicals are directly associated with aging. Free radicals can damage our DNA code, causing new cells to grow incorrectly. When our DNA is changed from its original state, it can lead to many things, but especially aging. Cellular damage causes our bodies to age quicker and skin to wrinkle.
BUT, just like with everything else, God did not leave us defenseless. He has given us all we need.
He gave us : ANTIOXIDANTS
Defined : a substance that inhibits oxidation.
In other words, antioxidants keep free radicals in check. They are molecules in cells that prevent free radicals from taking electrons and causing damage. Antioxidants are able to give an electron to a free radical without becoming destabilized themselves, thus stopping the free radical chain reaction.
Antioxidants are natural substances whose job is to clean up free radicals and heal the cells from within. Just like fiber cleans up waste products in the intestines, antioxidants clean up the free radical waste in the cells! They are actually perfectly apt for entering into damaged cells and healing from within where most substances are not!
I love looking at free radical cells and antioxidants as a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the ultimate sacrifice He gave for us. Free radical cells are damaged. They are lifeless, under oxidative stress and just clump with other damaged cells to destroy tissues, organs, body systems, and the body. Same goes for us. Without Jesus, we are damaged, shameful, under stress, surrounding ourselves with similar broken people. Antioxidants are self-sacrificing troops coming in to heal our damaged cells. Antioxidants invade our cells, purify them, donate electrons and oxygen to heal the cell, then they die off. Jesus came in as the ULTIMATE sacrifice so our hearts would be invaded with truth, made pure, made new, and given a new life. Jesus’ sacrifice was not only an occasion that happened a long time ago.. it is something we can experience EVERY day. We see His sacrifice all the way down to our cellular level with His antioxidants.
So, what can I be doing??
Two simple steps :
Remove as many toxins as possible.
Ensuring your intake of toxins is outweighed by your intake antioxidants.
Removing Toxins :
Remove toxins by eliminating them from your everyday and household products. This takes time and education but is so empowering when you can learn what has been allowed in our products and finally understand what they are doing to our bodies. Then finding products to replace them all with! Blog post on this coming SOON! It is impossible to remove them all - we still have to breathe and cannot stay in the safety of our homes all the time. As simple as it seems, we are called to care for our bodies as much as possible in order to share the good news with others. Our bodies can combat some damage. The damage it cannot fight off can be healed with God’s antioxidants. We don’t stop sharing the good news because danger or fear has come our way - so don’t be afraid to live!! Just educate yourself on toxins and equip yourselves and guard His holy temple.
Increasing antioxidants :
I cannot emphasize enough our need for antioxidants! We now know what they do and how amazing they are. We need lots of them to come in and ensure we are combatting the free radical damage from the overload of toxins we have. Look to what God has given to us to nourish, sustain, and heal with : food, plants, oils.
Foods : Brightly Colored Produce : Carrots, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, Squash, Cantaloupe, Spinach, Kale, Radicchio, Red cabbage, Peppers, Beets, Broccoli. Dark berries, Wolfberries, Red Grapes, Garlic Cacao // Cocoa, White & Green Teas, Spices : Turmeric, Cinnamon, Oregano, Ginger, Rosemary. Side note about wolfberries : they have an astonishing and profound amount of antioxidants - more than any other food found to this day. A Comparison : 2 times more than pomegranate, 5 times more than prunes, 10 times more than oranges, 27 times more than red grapes, 55 times more than cauliflower. Young Living has a great line of products packed with this berry - let me know if you want to try some!
On top of foods, God has ordained leaves as out medicine. More specifically : the concentrated volatile liquid coming from our plants : essential oils. It is important to note that the molecular structure of essential oils is perfect to invade cells and heal them from within. HOW amazing is our God.
Essential Oils for Increasing Antioxidants : Clove, Cinnamon, Oregano, Blue Tansy, Rosemary, Lemon, Thyme, Geranium, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Cumin and many many more.
Young Living actually has a blend of oils called Thieves that is packed with antioxidants.
Just a little back story on this blend and why it was created :
During the time of the Bubonic Plague, four thieves went from house to house to rob those who had succumbed to the illness. After the thieves were captured and tried for their acts of robbery, a judge offered leniency if they would share how they were able to be around those afflicted long and often enough to rob them but not be affected by the illness. Come to find out, they had doused cloths over their nose and mouths in a blend of oils so they were constantly breathing them in killing any bacteria they came in contact with or breathed in.
The blend of oils was : Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. Which is now what is in the blend “Thieves”.
Through extensive research, Thieves essential oil blend from Young Living, has been found to be strong enough to reduce bacterial cultures by 99.96%! Bacteria cannot live in the presence of these oils. All praise to our good good Father, right there. Especially now in the midst of fall and with winter coming, I like to diffuse Thieves in our home to ensure we are breathing in good protective antioxidants. I also love using their cleaning products all over our house, or even just add a drop to your water or hot tea! I have seen people use Thieves in room sprays (by combining distilled water with 15 drops of the oil) or by rubbing a few drops of the oil on the soles of the feet, there is an entire line of products which highlight the blend.
I personally fought off a risen / nasty boil in my armpit (most likely from not changing razors soon enough - those things are expensive!!). I was able to safely kill the bacteria in three days using Thieves and a few other powerful oils like oregano, melaleuca, and lavender. I was applying them topically and ingesting them and saw immediate results.
I love seeing and using God’s provision and seeing how perfect it is for our bodies. A lot of these remedies are age old and they still ring true today. We are just remembering what He created and learning even more about How good our God is.
Everything recommended in this post I can only recommend when using Young Living essential oils. If you would like some oils for your own home, just let me know! As always, reach out if you have any questions!