Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts
The diet that GOD in all His wisdom recommended for mankind as shown in Genesis 1: 29 is a diet that takes care of a lot of things. In this diet are nutrients that are involved in energy production, cell multiplication and growth. There are nutrients such as amino acids, proteins and fats that take care of the structural integrity of the body. Hundreds of chemical reactions are going on in the body through out the life of the individual. These reactions being biochemical will require chemicals, minerals, co-factors and enzymes. These are all present in this diet. Like all kinds of chemical reactions, waste products are also generated in the reactions that occur in the body. These waste products will either have to be neutralized within the body or eliminated as fast as they are generated so as to render them harmless to the body.
All these nutrients required for these different functions in the body are present in this complete diet that GOD has given to man. His is a diet that takes care of the physiological as well as the pathological needs of the human being. In other words, it is involved in the normal functions of the body and whenever diseases occur, there are also components in the diet that should take care of such diseases. In the weeks ahead in this column, I intend to first of all high-light those components of this diet that deal with such conditions as premature aging and free radical destruction (oxidative stress) of cells, tissues and organs of the body.
As I continue in this article, I just want you to note certain things. Looking aged is a function of your diet and lifestyle. The way you look, whether young or old is not as much a function of your age as your diet and lifestyle. Whatever your lifestyle and type of diet the final result cannot be avoided. What this means, is that you can be old and still looks young if you eat right and adopt a proper lifestyle. From time to time we hear practitioners and individuals talking about anti-aging practices and how to look young. I have come to the conclusion that such terminologies are wrong. People are getting what they deserve based on their choices, period. You cannot continue to eat the wrong things and expect to look young, even if you are doing all the exercises in the gym. Looking young, even in old age, is the outcome of eating and drinking right and exercising.
The components of these vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grains that make this diet the right one, is our topic for discussion.
Be that as it may, we shall first of all look at the problems that these components are set up to solve. To start with, we shall look at the problem of free radicals because there is other sources of free radical build up other than diet.
It is in the mitochondria that the metabolism of glucose is carried out with the reduction of oxygen to water to produce the energy that is utilized for different functions in the whole human body. In this biochemical process, four electrons are required at different stages. In over 95 per cent of the times, all the electrons required are complete. However, there are instances when the number is less than four and at such times what is released are atoms of oxygen with a single electron orbiting in the outer space around the nucleus of the atom. Usually, there are two electrons orbiting and such an atom (molecule) is balanced. The atom with a single electron is known as a free radical. It is unbalanced, unstable with a violent movement.
The free radical is highly reactive, always seeking a negative electron from its immediate surrounding to connect to, so as to become stable. Usually, these free radicals can be contained and immediately neutralized within the cells, but occasionally they may escape from the cells into the blood circulation. Throughout the day, the 100 trillion cells of the body are releasing billions of free radicals. As they attempt to become electrically balanced, they grab an electron from another molecule, which becomes a free radical itself. A chain reaction becomes established with a cascade of free radicals and a lot of damaged molecules and cells.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.