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If you have ever heard of free radicals, then you probably know that they aren’t good things and we should protect ourselves from them. But very few people understand the ins and outs of exactly what they are and how they can harm us.

Free radicals are a normal part of life and they are present in the environment. Free radicals enter our bodies on a daily basis, from cigarette smoke, pollution, germs, certain foods and drinks etc. The human body is normally able to deal with moderate levels of free radicals. However, if free radical damage becomes severe, we can become susceptible to many kinds of diseases.

Simply put, free radicals are abnormal oxygen molecules. They are abnormal because they have only one electron compared to the standard two. An electron is the bonding element that binds atoms together to create molecules. In simple terms, molecules are only considered to be complete and stable when its electrons are paired up. And most of the time, they are. However, sometimes bonds become weak and split in an abnormal way, thus creating an unstable molecule called a free radical.

Free radicals desperately try to become stable by attempting to attach themselves to other molecules in order to find the much needed electron. Free radicals are very quick, as they are motivated by nothing other than maximizing their stability by finding a second electron (even if this means stealing an electron from another molecule). They will always attack the first molecule they come across. If this molecule is unprotected, it will lose one of its electrons and become a free radical itself. This process can continue in a chain reaction, or domino effect. This can become a serious problem if the first molecule a free radical comes across happens to be an important one such as DNA molecules.

The Role of Antioxidants

The fight against free radicals is not a lost cause. Antioxidants are molecules that protect our bodies from free radical damage by putting a stop to the chain reaction of electron stealing that free radicals cause. They do this by giving up one of their own electrons to the free radical, effectively rendering it neutralized, stabilized and harmless. After interaction with an antioxidant, a free radical will no longer try to steal electrons from the healthy cells in our body because the antioxidant has willingly given it what it was looking for.

So now that we have established the role of antioxidants in protecting us against the negative effects of free radicals, the next logical question to answer is “where can we find antioxidants?” Well, the simplest and most effective way to incorporate antioxidants into your system is by eating foods that are rich in these special nutrients and contain almost no free radicals at all. Typically these include fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. Brightly colored foods such as tomatoes and greens are considered to be the most concentrated examples of antioxidants. Antioxidants include a whole variety of vitamins and minerals and it is important to vary the colors of foods you eat to get a well-rounded supply.

So we’ve discovered that free radicals are actually molecules that have only one electron, compared to the usual two electrons. To compensate for this, free radicals search for a health cell in which they can steal an electron. In modest doses, our bodies can keep free radicals under control, especially if our diet is rich in antioxidants which willingly give up one of their electrons to the scavenging free radical. The bottom line seems to be that the more healthy foods we eat, the greater our antioxidant intake will be, which in turn will determine how effectively our bodies fight against the damaging effects of free radicals.

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5 Little Life Hacks to Change Your World

Do you want to improve your life and become a better person? Of course, who wouldn’t? However, you might not know the best ways to change that are likely to have the maximum impact on your happiness and well-being. The five following life hacks are little, but applying them can enhance your energy, mood, and outlook.

Get up early

If you don’t usually get up early, you’re missing something special. Rise before everyone else, and you’ll experience a sense of peace and calm that’s not present the rest of the day. Also, you’ll get a head start. Early rising gives you the chance to ease into the morning and allow the night’s cobwebs to lift gently. Instead of rushing into everyday tasks, you can create a wise, positive intention to carry forth and set your mind as you wish. You can also begin chores sooner than you would if you got up later, and so complete them earlier, or be more productive.

Stop trying to be understood

Your happiness will increase if you cease wanting others to understand you. Seriously, you might not recognize how much time you spend fretting over whether others ‘get’ you, but it’s probably a lot. Just imagine how much less complicated life would be if you no longer cared if people had a good grasp on what you were thinking and feeling.

The good news is, it’s up to you. You can decide to drop worrying about how people’s perception of you might not match your innermost feelings and just enjoy being you.

Listen to your intuition

How often have you smacked your forehead in disbelief because you didn’t listen to the warning voice in your head and made a mistake? There’s no point saying “I knew that was going to happen” but not taking notice of your intuition the next time it speaks. From now on, respect your inner wisdom, whether it arises from a gut feeling or thought. As a result, you’ll have fewer problems.

Take a break

You live in a busy world where productivity pays, sometimes anyway. For this reason, you fill your days with activity, imagining doing so will be rewarding. Even if you’re only watching the TV or cleaning the kitchen cupboard, you’re doing something. Nonetheless, your activities often don’t make you happy because you’re stressed.

As cheesy as it sounds, stopping to smell the roses really will improve your well-being. When you slow down and do less, your anxiety decreases. You breathe a sigh of relief since pressure lifts.

Get rid of clutter

Declutter your home and your life will follow suit. You’ll think more clearly and be smarter and more positive when you don’t face mounds of junk each day. Walk from room to room, noticing where mess accumulates and consider how to accommodate it better – not by filling a box you never empty, but by putting it away in the right places.

First, though, you might have to create the “right places.” Hang hooks where items that can be hung are piled. Put goods that don’t need to live where they are back where they came from, and add storage containers where they are needed. Plus, schedule time in which to rehouse items that wind up in the wrong places, because, let’s face it, they still will occasionally.

These five little life hacks have the power to transform your well-being, but you have to do them rather than only reading about them. Add them to your routine behaviors until they become habits, and your life will improve.

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