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Steamboat Magazine

Real Food: Antioxidants for Anti-Aging

03/26/2018 11:22AM ● By Alesha Damerville

Photo credit: christheobscure on / CC BY-NC-ND

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – For the last three years, dieticians at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center are offering hour-long presentations to educate the community on healthy meal options. Nutrition is at the forefront of these presentations, provided free of charge by the staff at the medical center.

“Antioxidants are natural chemical substances that protect human cells from the effects of free radicals,” says Cara Marrs, dietician and educator at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. “Free radicals are unstable molecules that are formed when humans are exposed to pollutants, toxins, smoking, alcohol and drugs. However, they are also a natural byproduct of aging, and endurance exercise also produces free radicals.”

“They’re things we can avoid, but not totally,” Marrs says. “Free radicals basically scavenge once they get inside our bodies. They look to stabilize themselves and they do that by taking an electron from a healthy molecule. That molecule then becomes unstable, which sets off this whole cascade leading to damaged cells and tissue and rapid aging. We stabilize those by eating antioxidant rich foods like nuts, vegetables, fruits and seeds. Antioxidants donate an electron to the free radicals and stabilize them, so they don’t cause damage.”

These presentations are designed to help people consider food as medicine. The next food-based program is Real Food: Antioxidants for Anti-Aging will be held Wednesday, March 28 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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