When produced in excess, free radicals can generate a phenomenon known as oxidative stress , this can have negative consequences for health, since it deteriorates cell membranes and also other cell structures, such as lipids, proteins, lipoproteins and deoxyribonucleic acid known as (DNA).

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are atoms with an incomplete structure . Specifically, an electron is found without a partner but still has a function. They are highly reactive and unstable. Its presence and development causes damage to the body causing various diseases and aging. But what is its true effect and how does the process occur?

Answering both questions, it could be stated that the unpaired atom tries to “steal” an electron from a nearby atom that is complete. If the process is successful, a complete atom and a new free radical are obtained. Failure otherwise results in two incomplete atoms and the game doubles creating a chain reaction. Cells are the main affected in this imbalance.

How do they work?

Through an oxidative process of oxygen , this reaction damages the cell membranes . In the worst case, the DNA is affected. Free radicals have always existed in the human body, their purpose is to fight bacteria and viruses. However, it is necessary to control them through antioxidant protection, because otherwise oxidative stress can cause serious consequences in the body and is related to more than 200 disorders and diseases [Link].

How do you notice excess free radicals?

If there is an increase in free radicals, the body resents it . The skin is one of the first superficial layers to show change. Initially it is dry and in advanced stages aging can be more noticeable. A blood test could detect the alteration .

If it has been confirmed that you suffer from this imbalance, then combating it should be a priority. The traditional medicine is effective, but they must be consumed hand in hand with diets so that the reduction is guaranteed.

Diet to fight free radicals

To maintain your health at an optimal level, as always, natural nutrition plays a very important role even to prevent excess free radicals in the body and the subsequent damage that it may cause.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera leaves traditionally used due to their medicinal and therapeutic properties, must be incorporated into the diet, due to their potential antioxidant activity that helps fight free radicals . The fleshy part of the aloe vera plant is where its properties are most concentrated to counteract the formation of excessive free radicals, you can learn in detail how to make aloe vera juice to take advantage of all its therapeutic benefits.


One of the ways to treat this type of problem is to consume raspberry . Apart from being a delicious fruit, it favors intestinal transit and the elimination of cholesterol through the feces. Adding this fruit to the diet is recommended as it also helps to counteract constipation and colon cancer. Its benefit comes from its properties, the main one being its function as an antioxidant .

Red berries, blackberries and currants

These foods are characterized by containing low levels of calories and a high content of Vitamin C. Any of these fruits is advisable for people with high levels of free radicals . Its size and flavor make it possible to ingest it as if it were a delicious juice.

Plums or raisins


Both fruits are essential for optical health. Plums and raisins are dehydrated foods that contain more than 20 antioxidant properties . For nutritionists, their high concentration of peliphenols makes them allies in the prevention of cancer and the direct fight against incomplete atoms.

Apple but with peel

The skin of the apple contains a high percentage of polyphenols (powerful antioxidant). It is recommended to incorporate it into the diet to eliminate free radicals from the body . It is also ideal for the prevention of cardiovascular risk and cancer.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits stand out for being rich in antioxidant vitamins and another series of substances with beneficial properties for health. They should be consumed every day, their intake increases the chances of preventing some types of cancer, but especially to prevent damage caused by free radicals.

Final recommendation

Damage caused by oxidative stress

Better safe than sorry, and this saying applies perfectly to the subject. Free radicals can be prevented by following these tips:

  • Avoid the consumption of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and the like.
  • Do not ingest chemicals such as herbicides, detergents and industrial soaps, which many times, although it may seem strange, we can do without realizing it, through the use of poorly rinsed utensils or glasses.
  • Stay away from environments polluted by factories or smoke expelled by vehicles.
  • People who live with high levels of stress tend to lower their defenses and therefore the ease of increasing free radicals is imminent .
  • A diet based on fruits and vegetables. Rationing each of them is essential, as mentioned, their antioxidant power is an effective way to avoid the problem that oxidative stress can trigger.
Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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