Reprinted with permission from the book MIND/BODY ATTUNEMENT
Free radicals cause wear on the inside of your body ... these unstable molecules bump around looking for other molecules to latch onto. When they find one they cause damage to it which can be compared to metal rusting.
Anti-oxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals. The body produces them as enzymes called superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, methionine reductase, and glutathione peroxidase. The can also be obtained in foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
All anti-oxidants have anti-aging value because they counteract the effects of free radicals. In one study patients reported improved well-being and many demonstrated improved vision and an elevated intake appears to be especially protective against cancer.
The good news is that vitamins A, B2, C and E ... along with beta-carotene and selenium ... are antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and leaves them harmless.
By eating foods rich in these substances (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) you can eliminate this primary cause of aging.
But there is more good news! Just like a smoker's lungs which become like new after quitting for 10 years ... your body will heal itself of the damaging effects of many years of free radicals attacking your body.
Your body is truly a magnificent organism ... if you feed it right ... and treat it right with relaxation and exercise ... then it will demonstrate miraculous abilities to heal itself.
No matter what age ... you can bring yourself to the state of health that nature intended for you. Who knows what the maximum life-span for the human being might be?
Carrots, Sweet potatoes, Cantaloupes, Papayas, Apricots, Peaches, Broccoli, Pumpkin, Spinach, Prunes, Endives, Watermelon, Oranges, Tangerines, Kiwi fruit, Brussels sprouts, Guavas, Kale, Grapefruit, Chili peppers, Whole Grains, Wheat germ, Almonds, Mushrooms, Garlic, Radishes, Cabbage, Celery, Cucumbers, Fish, Nuts, Cheese, Legumes.
Many herbs are rich in anti-oxidants like bilberry, astragalus, echinacea, fenugreek, Fo-ti (a longevity herb used in China), ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, and licorice root ... all have anti-aging applications.
Pycnogenol: Made from the bark of a tree which grows in sandy soil on the coast of France (south of Bordeaux). Decades of research and studies show it to be a powerful anti-oxidant.
Pycnogenol also has other anti-aging properties because it strengthens capillaries, arteries, and veins ... improves circulation and skin smoothness ... fights inflammation and improves joint flexibility ... also improves the elasticity and integrity of connective tissues.
Melatonin: Many anti-oxidants are only capable of operating in certain areas of the body but this "super" anti-oxidant penetrates any cell in any part of the body. This is the most powerful anti-oxidant known and it even allows damaged cells to repair themselves.
Melatonin is a chemical released by the pineal gland of the brain. It follows a 24-hour rhythm with blood levels up to ten times greater at night than during the day (this is a good reason to get your required amount of sleep).