We talk about it in pretty much every video, but establishing healthy eating habits should always be a top priority! Processed foods are high in refined sugars, fat, salt, preservatives and other artificial flavors and colors which create an excess of free radicals in the body. In brief, free radicals are unstable molecules, meaning they are missing an electron so they are in a reactive state. They are responsible for many disease states and can adversely effect lipids, proteins and DNA. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and beta-carotene, are needed to decrease the abundance of free radicals, and organic fruits and vegetables are rich sources of these molecules. Without these powerful antioxidants, an excess of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress on the body, which increases inflammation, speeds up the aging process and has been linked to certain cancers and heart disease. Vitamin E, found in kale, spinach and almonds and sunflower seeds, increases immunocompetence by increasing immunity and providing resistance to certain bacterial infections as well as inhibiting tumor growth. Vitamin C, found in most fruits and vegetables, has been shown to prevent cancer in multiple studies by increasing immunity and detoxifying the liver. However, it is important to note that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal. Genetically modified (GM), non-organic foods can also increase free radical damage due to pesticide use and these crops may also be of lower nutritional value due to genetic modifications used to increase crop yield. GM crops are also used in approximately 75% of all processed foods, and 80% of food consumed by Americans is processed. Free radicals also shorten the length of the telomeres on your DNA strands, which contributes to cellular aging and degeneration. In short, put down the cheeseburger, French fry, pizza and soft drink and pick up an organic apple and kale salad instead! Always choose water over soda. Your cells will thank you! Dr. Pacholec offers nutritional advice and meal planning as part of her weight loss and anti-aging programs at both her St. Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations.
Barbara Pacholec, MD
Dr Pacholec is Board Certified in Bariatric Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She has run a successful practice specializing in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine for the past 20 years in Lutz, FL in Tampa Bay. In January 2018, she opened a satellite practice in St Petersburg, FL which also specializes in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine.