“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” These were the words of Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” in 400 BC. Sun Simao (581-682 AD), one of the most influential physicians in the history of Chinese medicine, also instructed his students to “Treat an illness first with food. Only if this fails should medicine be prescribed.”
What was true 1500 years ago is even truer today with the typical American diet high in processed foods full of sugar and trans fats that contaminate our bodies with anarchist-sounding rogues known as “free radicals.”
A free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron. Like an overly aggressive suitor seeking a mate, a free radical waltzes through your body, grabbing electrons from cellular tissue and wreaking havoc like a philandering home-wrecker. Each free radical may exist for only a tiny fraction of a second, but the damage it leaves behind can be irreversible. Although some free radical activity is vital for immune function and hormone and enzyme production, too many will accelerate the ageing process, suppress the immune system and be a major factor in age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. The formation of free radicals stimulates the development of even more free radicals, snowballing their production and damaging genetic material.
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