• 28Jul

    If you ever feel that you’re not as healthy as you should be or always feeling very tired, it is most likely due to oxidative stress.

    What is oxidative stress?

    Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

    The process of oxidation happens as our bodies metabolize (or process) the oxygen that we breathe and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –molecules that interact with the molecules within our cells resulting in damage (or stress) to nearby cells, mitochondria  and DNA.

    Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when too many free radicals are produced, and they overwhelm the repair processes, that it becomes an issue. That is what we call oxidative stress.

    Oxidation happens under a number of circumstances including:

    • when our cells use glucose to make energy
    • when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and creating inflammation
    • when our bodies detoxify pollutants, pesticides, and cigarette smoke

    In fact, there are millions of processes taking place in our bodies at any one moment that can result in oxidation.

    Oxidation also increases when we are physically and/or emotionally stressed.  I am not very good in handling emotional and physical stress, thus I kick myself to exercise five times a week, reduce meat intake, eat more fruits and vegetables and religiously take my most trusted supplements.

    What are free radicals?

    A free radicals is an oxygen containing molecule that has one or more unpaired electrons, making it highly reactive with other molecules.

    Oxygen by-products are relatively unreactive but some of these can undergo metabolism within the biological system to give rise to these highly reactive oxidants. Not all reactive oxygen species are harmful to the body. Some of them are useful in killing invading pathogens or microbes.

    However, free radicals can chemically interact with cell components such as DNA, protein or lipid and steal their electrons in order to become stabilized. This, in turn, destabilizes the cell component molecules which then seek and steal an electron from another molecule, therefore triggering a large chain of free radical reactions.

    What are antioxidants?

    Every cell that utilizes enzymes and oxygen to perform functions is exposed to oxygen free radical reactions that have the potential to cause serious damage to the cell. Antioxidants are molecules present in cells that prevent these reactions by donating an electron to the free radicals without becoming destabilized themselves. An imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants is the underlying basis of oxidative stress.

    Damaged caused by oxidative stress

    Oxidative stress leads to many pathophysiological conditions in the body. Some of these include neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, gene mutations and cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, fragile X syndrome, heart and blood vessel disorders, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and inflammatory diseases.

    Signs of oxidative stress occurring in your body

    1. Fatigue
    2. Memory loss and/or brain fog
    3. Muscle and/or joint pain
    4. Wrinkles and grey hair
    5. Decreased eye sight
    6. Headaches and sensitivity to noise
    7. Susceptibility to infections

     

    free_radical_oxidative_stress

     

    How to reduce oxidative stress?

    You need to boost your antioxidant defense system so that it can become balanced with free radical production. Here are some ways to reduce oxidative stress:

    1) Decreasing Exposure to Oxidation

    Oxidation increases when we are exposed to stress, toxins, and infections. It is also increased by sugar and chemicals, so the more you can minimize your exposure to these things, the better – so choosing organic foods and avoiding toxins in your environment makes a big difference. Reducing stress helps too and can be done with what I refer to as “daily stress remedies”.

    2) Boost my body with IZUMIO hydrogen water.

    Many claim that they take the best antioxidant formula supplements and although some are effective, none of them have the ability to act in the multiple ways that molecular hydrogen does inside your cells.

    IZUMIO

    3) Avoid sugar and processed foods while balancing your blood sugar levels

    When the body has to process sugar it also creates oxidation and the more sugar we eat, the more oxidation happens. Processed foods often contain sugar and/or other chemicals that also result in oxidation. Eating large and infrequent meals also creates more oxidative stress, so balancing your blood sugar by eating smaller, frequent meals, also helps.

    4) Prevent infections

    When the immune system is fighting off an infection, it ends up creating oxidation which is why, when you get sick, it drains your body of energy.  I know I am about to fall sick when I feel lethargic, sleepy and extremely thirsty.  That is when I will pump in antioxidants and hydrogen water into my body, while cutting down on meat, processed food and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.

    5) Allow time for daily stress remedies

    It seems so simple, but it really pays off. That’s why you need to find time to take breaks in the day – to give your body a chance to recover. Be sure to honor the breaks in your schedule (or create them) and take them as a chance to enjoy the outdoors, breathe, and re-center. These are some ideas for daily stress remedies:

    • Exercise – rain or shine, I make time to exercise 5x a week in the form of swimming and jogging.
    • Meditation
    • Talking with a friend
    • Enjoying nature
    • Journaling
    • Watching a funny show
    • Taking a walk.
    • Engaging in whatever activities that give you pleasure.  Retail therapy helps me a lot in de-stressing!

    The benefits of exercise

     

     

    6) Avoid toxins

    Choose organic foods and avoid cigarettes, candles, hair and nail salons, carpet, exhaust fumes and plastic. Check your personal care and cleaning products for toxic ingredients and replace them with non-toxic alternatives. Sulfate and paraben are some of the harsh chemicals in shampoos that you should avoid.

    7) Increasing Antioxidants

    No matter what you to do avoid them, you are going to be exposed to some toxins and stress, so your next step is to increase the antioxidants you have in your system either by helping your body make more, or by consuming them in food or supplements.  Antioxidants’ role is to block oxidation. They squelch it and make it non-harmful to our body.

    One supplement that I am currently consuming and find that it helps to strengthen my immune system and that of my kids is Super Lutein.

    SUPER LUTEIN delivers six carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, crocetin, a-carotene, B-carotene and lycopene), anthocyanin and DHA to the body.

    The first seven are all phytochemicals, and the last is an omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish oil. The carotenoids and anthocyanin are antioxidants that actively play a part in neutralizing the free radicals created through oxidizing processes triggered by the ingestion of toxins and other harmful substances. This helps to prevent damage to vital organs, maintain healthy skin and vision, and help protect the body from illness and disease.

    Ingredients at a Glance

     

    If you want to know more about Izumio hydrogen water and Super Lutein, do drop me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com or Whatsapp me at 019-266 4290 with no obligations to purchase anything.

     

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  • 22Jul

    The humble pumpkin is a staple item in our household.  Pumpkins are such versatile vegetables. Well, they can be labeled as a fruit too. They  are both dependent on what definition you use.  They are fruit because they are the part of the plant that contains and protects the seeds. They are vegetables because they are eaten cooked, not raw (one of the definitions) and because they belong to the vegetable kingdom.

    Everyone in our family loves pumpkin, except the littlest one but she is slowly learning to acquire the taste and texture. I am sure she will soon grow to love pumpkin too, just like our 2 older girls who didn’t like pumpkin when they were little but have grown to appreciate it now.

    Our favorite type of pumpkin is the organic Japanese pumpkin as the flesh has a very creamy and smooth texture.  We have tried other types of pumpkins but didn’t really like those as the flesh tends to melt and turns watery when cooked too long.

    Pumpkin Japanese (Organic) 500g

     

    Here are some key points about pumpkin:

    • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
    • Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
    • The potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
    • The antioxidants and vitamins contained within pumpkins could prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.
    • Pumpkin is an extremely nutrient dense food, meaning it is high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
    • According to the USDA National Nutrient database, one cup of pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained and without salt contains 49 calories, 1.76 grams of protein, 0.17 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and 12 grams of carbohydrate (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar).

    Pumpkin Queso Fundido

     

    Here are some of the possible health benefits of pumpkin

    1) Keep eyesight sharp
    Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their bright orange color, including beta-carotene, which the body converts into a form of vitamin A for additional peeper protection.

    2) Aid weight loss
    Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.

    3) May reduce cancer risk
    Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.

    One particular type of cancer where research has shown a positive benefits of a diet rich in beta-carotene is prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

    4) Protect our skin
    The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free.

    5) Good for your heart
    Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.

    Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

    6) Fertility
    For women of child-bearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets appear to promote fertility, according to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

    7) Protect Your Package
    Pumpkins, especially the seeds are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health.

    In the early twentieth century, people used pumpkin seeds to treat enlarged prostate symptoms. They contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may help shrink the prostate.

    8) Pumpkin seeds treat intestinal worms
    Pumpkin seeds can also help your body get rid of nasty gut parasites that can make you sick, according to registered pharmacist Debbie Edson in Living Well Magazine. They have traditionally been used for this purpose by Native Americans. Even today, pumpkin seeds are used to treat tapeworms in some parts of Africa.

    There are many interesting ways of incorporating pumpkins into your diet. Pumpkins are so choke-full of nutrients, they taste delish and  are inexpensive. I like my pumpkin roasted, steamed, braised, added into breads and buns and I heart pumpkin desserts and pumpkin chips! I just Googled ‘pumpkin recipes’ and in 0.62 seconds, 17,100,000 search results popped up!

     

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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