“Free radical damage” is a big phrase in the medical community — and for good reason. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost an electron. It’s no big deal to lose one electron, you may be thinking, but in order to fix this deficit, free radicals react quickly to gain stability. They do this by heading straight to the nearest stable, healthy molecule to steal an electron. You might guess what happens next. This once healthy, stable molecule now becomes a free radical itself. Eventually the chain reaction happens so many times that cells become damaged. The more cell damage spreads, the greater the risk an organ might stop working properly.
Obviously, anything that can help protect you from free radical damage is going to be pretty important for maintaining your good health. Researchers in Korea recently studied various herbs and spices for their radical-scavenging abilities. Herbs and spices are considered some of the richest sources of antioxidant power.
After conducting various tests, the research team came up with a top five list. The free radical scavenging activity of dill was 50.0%, bay leaf 31.3%, garlic 27.9%, white pepper and black pepper 15.1%-15.3%, and onion 10.1%. The researchers concluded that their results indicate that herbs and spices have high antioxidant activity that leads to significant free radical scavenging ability.
It’s somewhat of a health secret that dill and bay leaf could help protect your cells against free radicals. Incorporating these spices, along with garlic, pepper and onion, into your meals is sound nutrition advice.
Remember that if you stop free radical damage from spreading rapidly through your cells, you will also be putting the brakes on the aging process. Many medical experts think the diseases associated with aging are one and the same as free radical damage.
For more on antioxidants and how they could protect your cells, read The Free-radical Scavenging Acai Berry.