Social factors Poor dietary habits Lack of physical exercise Lack of sleep Emotional stress Environmental factors Industrial and car emissions Food additives Cosmetics, air freshener Chemicals, heavy metals in air and soil Oxidative Stress Substance and prescription drugs abuse
Unchecked free radical activity will result in: Biochemical changes Mutations in the genetic material Inactivation of enzymes Loss of cellular membranes function (flow of substances and information in and out of cells) Impaired mitochondrial function Premature aging and disease Degenerative diseases (cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer) Cognitive impairment
How can we avoid oxidative stress-related diseases?
Here are a few tips to reduce oxidative stress hence disease: Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Have plenty of fish and sea foods. Consume moderate amounts of meat and meat products. Use essential fatty acids rich oils (flax seeds oil, olive oil) when preparing salads. Eat cereals and whole grain bread as well as freshly prepared nuts. All contain fibers (un-digestible carbohydrates) that help remove the deposits formed on the colon wall. Stay away from fast foods, such as hot dogs, hamburgers and pizzas. They are loaded with saturated fats, carbohydrates and salt. No real nutritional value. Drink plenty of water (preferably spring water), 1.5 -2.0 l/day, between meals. Exercise daily for 30-60 min. by engaging in activities such as moderate gym-type exercises, swimming, bike riding, walking, etc. Physical activity improves all body functions and helps prevent degenerative diseases.
This Combination of Foods May Lead to: Dietary Component % Reduction Wine (150 ml/day)32% Fish (114 g 4x/week) 14% Dark Chocolate (100 g/day)21% Fruits and Vegetables21% (400 g/day) Garlic (2.7 g/day)25% Almonds (68 g/day) 12% 76% decreased risk of CVD Franco et al. BMJ 329:1447-1450, 2004
There are several factors that influence our food choices such as: - Appetite (a desire rather than a need to eat) and emotions - Family, friends and peers - Cultural and ethnic backgrounds - Advertising Since life in big cities is more “oxidant” than in the countryside, foods rich in antioxidants should be high on the agenda. We need to balance the above factors when making our food choices. Good, healthy nutrition keeps us healthy and hence enhances the quality of life and make us more prepared for life’s challenges. In the following video you’ll see that big city dwellers, because of the fast paced life need to pay attention to good nutrition, which implies plenty of fruits and vegetables, that keep oxidative stress level down and in so doing prevent some degenerative diseases. The more so as not many of us can live in nice, quiet places, away from the city’s noise and air pollution. There are some pockets of quiet neighborhoods in a mega-city like Toronto but many people still live in crowded high-rises close to areas of high traffic. Let’s watch the video clips, which are separated by short notes of what each clip is about.
In the first clip you’ll see an upscale residential place located by the Lake Ontario and not far from downtown Toronto. The place is so beautiful, it looks so serene and stress-free. A little corner of paradise!
Here is a nice neighborhood in mid town Toronto with lovely homes and a vibrant shopping district. The atmosphere is much more relaxed and life seems less stressful than in downtown Toronto with its fast pace of life. In a mega city such as Toronto some people are fortunate enough to live in their own homes with lots of trees around but many also live in high-rises, some located near busy highways, which contribute to noise and air pollution.
Next we visit downtown Toronto where most of the financial district, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, is located. Here, where all the action is. The streets are busy with traffic and people are moving about in an ever increasing fast-paced work environment. The mass transit system pumps in and out of downtown area tens of thousands of commuters each weekday. At lunchtime scores of people fill the fast food restaurants in the big shopping malls because many did not have the time or patience to prepare a healthy lunch at home. And so, they miss out on important micronutrients that can only be found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Young people in particular seem to be "addicted" to fast food. Fresh fruit and vegetables in high- end supermarkets keep you healthy!
We hope you enjoyed the show and you’ll keep healthy by always looking at the bright side of things and bear in mind that good nutrition coupled with stress reduction, healthy lifestyle and proper rest are powerful factors in avoiding what most of us dread, i.e. disease and a miserable life associated with it. We wish you success in your noble endeavor!