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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Antioxidants & Free Radicals

I want to revisit the topic of good nutrition - eating healthy to nourish our bodies. It is so important to pay attention to nutrition after gastric bypass; first to ensure our diet is healthy and balanced (using supplements) and second to make the most of this new chance at living. We sacrificed greatly to become healthy - we owe it to ourselves to be vigilant about nutrition.

Antioxidants & Free Radicals

One reason to keep your body nutritionally well is to aid in the defense against free radicals by building an army of antioxidants. The body’s normal metabolic process produces free radicals – unstable rebellious compounds that are intent on destroying the genetic structure of the body. They seize other elements in the body and make them unstable – free radicals are blamed for causing cancer, heart disease, cataracts, arthritis and neurological diseases. They recruit from the environment too, gathering toxins from heat, radiation, environmental pollutants including cigarette smoke and excessive alcohol consumption. Together the free radicals and environmental toxins attempt to catastrophically damage the body.

The body has mechanisms to fight the free radicals and the intake of antioxidants can help in the battle. Antioxidant nutrients include Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta Carotene. The antioxidants are powerful: they can repair the damage caused by free radicals and deactivate their chain reaction of destruction.

The antioxidant repair process is exciting for the bariatric patient: you had surgery because you suffered co-morbidities associated with obesity: arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immune system, asthma and others.

After you have surgery and you intentionally incorporate antioxidants in your diet you give your body a fighting chance against the free radicals that were literally destroying your basic genetic material – your DNA. Feed your body antioxidants: take your Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Bite-by-tiny-bite incorporate beta carotene in your diet; it’s found in orange fruits and vegetables (carrots, cantaloupe, yellow bell peppers, pumpkin and winter squash). When you do these things your body will be armed with a known disease fighter and your immune system will be strengthened. You will feel well.

Make certain your supplements include the RDI of Vitamins A and C, also.

Here are some quick links to some of our previous conversations about nutrition and supplementation:

B-Complex Vitamin

More Thoughts on Supplementation

WLS Myth Busting: After Sugery You have to Take All Those Vitamins

Iron Deficiency

Harsh Reminder

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debra said...
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