What are Free Radicals?

What are Free Radicals
What are Free Radicals

Free radicals are, quite simply, byproducts within the body. All processes that take place in the body, such as the breakdown of nutrients and the production of energy, involve oxidation: your body reacts with oxygen. Free radicals are then released during this oxidation.

This always happens, no matter how healthy your life is – you cannot avoid the production of free radicals in all kinds of essential body processes. Fortunately, the substances cannot cause a lot of damage in this context: you also produce certain enzymes that capture and neutralize as much of the radicals as possible.

What are Free Radicals?

You have probably heard the term ‘free radicals’, probably in a context that strongly emphasizes how dangerous these substances are. And indeed, almost all negative processes that take place in our body are probably a result of these substances!

But does that also mean that you should be afraid of it, or is it actually not too bad how dangerous free radicals are? And what do you do if you want to counteract their effect as effectively as possible? We are happy to tell you all about it.

Radicals from the outside

However, that is a different story for radicals that come from outside your body. Toxins that you ingest, for example via chemicals in make-up or pollution in the air, ensure that there are more free radicals in your body than your ‘protection system’ is set for. An excess of radiation, from the sun or a tanning bed for example, also results in more free radicals.

Also read this: What are antioxidants

The consequence? Your body can no longer clean up all the radicals so that the substances can eventually cause the damage for which they have become so notorious.

Free radicals problem

What exactly is the damage that these substances cause? In short, they disrupt all kinds of bodily processes by attaching to cells and then hindering those cells from performing their task. With a large amount of free radicals, there are also a lot of cells that can no longer do their work!

Aging is one of the main consequences, but it can also cause arteries to calcify and increase blood pressure. There are even several studies that link a large amount of free radicals to the development of tumors. In short, your body is seriously disrupted by an abundance of these substances.

How can you avoid them?

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prevent you from producing and ingesting excessive radicals. For example, avoid serious air pollution, so do not regularly walk along busy motorways and avoid getting caught in the tobacco smoke.

Foreign substances in food can also cause more free radicals, and the same applies to heavy metals in make-up and deodorant, among other things.

By only choosing pure foods and skin products, you can therefore prevent quite a bit of damage. Finally, stress is also an important factor here: if you suffer from it for a long time, your body will produce more free radicals.


Finally, nutrition is of great importance in the fight against free radicals, especially those that contain many antioxidants. The name says it all: these substances counteract oxidation that causes free radicals to form in the first place, so that your body has to do less work to make them all harmless again.

Antioxidants are a lot of fruit and vegetables – broccoli, blueberries and avocados, for example. Also, garlic and various herbs are useful to go against free radicals, and raw nuts and dark chocolate can be a healthy snack because of their antioxidant content!

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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