NEED A BIT OF GET UP + GO?

 

Get your shoes on and take 5 steps with Plenish nutritional therapist, Jenna Hope to avoid oxidative stress on the body and chill out (with a green juice or a chocolate almond milk in hand).

 

What is oxidative stress?                                                                         

In science: Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between pro-oxidants and anti-oxidants. An imbalance between the production of free radicals (negative molecules) and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants (positive molecules).

In simple: When your body is struggling to detoxify itself.

 

Signs of oxidative stress

You’re probably wondering how you’d know if you were suffering from oxidative stress. Some of the most common symptoms you should be looking out for are:

  1. Are you feeling blue? Research has shown individuals with depression and low mood present higher levels of oxidative stress.
  2. Exhausted, sluggish or lethargic? You may be fatigued and in need of an antioxidant boost.
  3. Head pain, memory loss, and confusion? All signs of this imbalance.
  4. Wrinkles? Oxidative stress speeds up the effects of ageing and increased increases inflammation.
  5. Low immunity? If you find yourself getting sick and picking up bugs all too often, your immune system could be in decline from oxidative stress too.

 

Whilst these are not the only symptoms they’re definitely common in those suffering from oxidative stress. Similarly, there could be a variety of factors contributing to these symptoms so should the symptoms continue, get yourself checked out by a professional.

Don’t stress, it’s not all bad news. There are some simple dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce oxidative stress in your body.

  1. Eat your antioxidants – Fruit and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. 50% of your plate should contain vegetables at every meal, try to consume a range of different coloured veggies like carrots, spinach, red peppers and top with a squeeze of lemon. Herbs and spices, green tea and cacao (see it’s not all bad news) are also great sources of antioxidants which can help fight oxidative stress.

  2. Reduce your alcohol – Reducing your alcohol consumption can reduce the effects of oxidative stress in your body by freeing up anti-oxidants to work on counteracting naturally occurring free radicals, rather than being used up on excess free radicals from drinking and detoxing. I recommend having at least 3-4 alcohol free days each week to let your body do its thing without over working.
  3. Weight maintenance – Maintaining a healthy weight and not radically fluctuating from one season to the next is another way to reduce oxidative stress. Research has shown that excess body fat can contribute to oxidative stress. One study showed a reduction of 10% body weight showed a significant reduction in oxidation, listen to your hunger signals and opt for foods which will stabilise your blood sugar levels to help prevent over eating. Foods such as proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will help keep you fuller for longer over processed and sugary foods.
  4. Regular exercise – Research has shown that regular exercise can help to moderate oxidative stress. The best results here are to keep it interesting, try mixing up some lower intensity workouts such as pilates, yoga and walking with HIIT or running.
  5. Relax – And breath! Excess stress is a major contributor to oxidative stress on the body, it is essential that you give yourself ‘me time’ to reduce this. Take a bath with some Epsom salts and try starting the day with 10 minutes meditation. Nail two birds with one stone and swap up your alcoholic drinks for Plenish’s delicious chocolate almond milk which contains Vitamin E and antioxidants to reduce inflamationa and oxidative stress instead of increasing free radicals.

 

For more on Plenish’s chocolate almond milk, click here.

Want to become a morning person? We have 8 hacks to make it happen here.

 

References

Vetrani, C., Costabile, G., Di Marino, L., & Rivellese, A. A. (2013). Nutrition and oxidative stress: a systematic review of human studies. International journal of food sciences and nutrition64(3), 312-326.7

Sies, H. (Ed.). (2013). Oxidative stress. Elsevier.

Furukawa, S., Fujita, T., Shimabukuro, M., Iwaki, M., Yamada, Y., Nakajima, Y., … & Shimomura, I. (2017). Increased oxidative stress in obesity and its impact on metabolic syndrome. The Journal of clinical investigation114(12), 1752-1761.

Black, C. N., Bot, M., Scheffer, P. G., Cuijpers, P., & Penninx, B. W. (2015). Is depression associated with increased oxidative stress? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology51, 164-175.

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