First off, a quick word on what oxidation is
Oxidation? It's basically when something turns to rust. It's the process when oxygen combines with an element, in this case a body's cell, and causes a chemical reaction that involves changing it. Typically, a free radical is a previously healthy cell which has had its electron taken by a bad cell, which means it’s become oxidized, and is now an unstable, harmful cell.
Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals; they're one of the first lines of defence that the body employs to keep free radicals in check and prevent them from causing their chain reaction of damage to other cells. Antioxidant compounds can ‘donate’ electrons to unstable free radicals so they don't have to snatch electrons from unsuspecting nearby healthy cells. Importantly, antioxidants also stimulate apoptosis (from the previous chapter) into action.
The good news is that Mother Nature provides us with the whole spectrum of nutrients to keep an organism healthy - whether human or horse - via its own bio-intelligence, and antioxidants are one of these amazing nutrients. Constituents such as the vitamins C & E are powerful antioxidant substances that can prevent oxidation happening.
Plants also very cleverly have their own immune system - they literally make their own, amazing, natural pesticide. Bugs and fungus want to eat the plant’s sugar, yet plants are clever enough to makes their own protection via its own sugar - not daft, these plants. So, the plant creates a substance called resveratrol (resveratrol is a member of a group of plant compounds called polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants), which kills the bug if it eats it - clever! Red grapes are especially high in resveratrol, and red wine is just one perk giving us plenty of this potent nutrient. 😊
Plant fructose also contains natural prebiotics which the gut microbiota use for food. If the microbiota is fed plentifully with natural plant prebiotics, this stimulates the immune system which surrounds the gut.
In nature, plants thrive because of a symbiotic relationship with their surrounding environment, including micro-organisms in the soil. If we feed the soil, the plants feed us right back. Plants contain green chlorophyll, which takes the sun’s energy combined with water and Co2 to make its own natural sugar, and from this it makes proteins and all the phytochemicals which protect us from disease.
The beauty of this whole business is that in the middle of the chlorophyll molecule is magnesium, but there’s a bit of a dark side here. Our UK soil is well known for being deficient in minerals, especially magnesium, and if the plant doesn’t get enough magnesium from the soil to grow, it won’t make chlorophyll, so it won’t make enough of its own sugar energy fuel and its other chemicals.
The medicinal argument is beyond, er, argument
Take the fructose and other natural sugars sitting in the plant matrix, in the middle of the natural plant’s cell membrane with the fibre and phytochemicals around it, and it gives health for free. But switch from natural sugar to refined, processed sugar, and the only thing you get for free is disease; obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease and cancer, amongst other diseases that come with refined sugar.
Nature gives us natural medicine. Our grandmothers knew this and passed it down. We’re all made from the earth’s energy and substances (unless you’re an alien, of course). So, what’s going to work best in a broken body? Nature’s remedies! You’d think. But modern medicine has taken a little bit from plants, twisted it around a bit, patented it, told us it's the only medicine we're allowed to use, then charges us a fortune to use it. We live in hope that it fixes our bodies, except it doesn't. What it does is patch us up and covers up the symptoms, which means we keep having to go back for more, which puts even more more money in BigPharma's pockets. Ker-ching.
Back to our car to the garage, where the mechanic says, “So turn up the radio. Can you hear it now?” Hmmm.
“When we feed the soil with artificials, it creates artificial plants, which make artificial animals, which make artificial people, and they’re all kept alive by artificial medicine”.
Sir Albert Howard, the Godfather of Modern Scientific Aerobic Composting, “An Agricultural Testament”, 1943
It's said that genetics may load the gun but there's no doubt that the environment pulls the trigger. Now we get to environmental pollutants that we’re not even aware we're taking because we have no control over them. We’re living in a toxic world, from chlorine and fluoride in our water to pasteurisation and homogenisation of our foods. Then there's crop spraying, chemtrails, irradiation, electro-smog (think cell phones and their towers which emit radiation). Our water and air are contaminated and our soil is sick - you only have to look at the trees to see they’re gradually dying. Sadly the list goes on.
Our exposure to chemical pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins simply throws more bad fuel on the fire; for example, pesticides and fungicides have a hormonal effect which can damage cell DNA and make mutant cells grow. Our bodies are simply not designed to be ingesting, or be exposed to, molecules that aren’t from nature. Put simply, toxins kill healthy cells, which damages the immune system.
The good news is that there’s a simple way to fight back against our modern toxic world. We can take the control back through species-appropriate, unprocessed, unrefined, uncontaminated nutrition, alongside nutrition therapy to keep the body’s healing mechanism strong, and the only way to do this on a permanent basis is to keep the body clean by way of regular Detoxification.
There's an amazing little-known mechanism that’s hidden in the body - it's a built-in, and very sophisticated, detoxification system that directly protects the body against toxins, and it’s all-natural. Meet the liver, kidneys and lymph nodes, or as I call them, the '3-Amigos'. All we have to do is activate it 😉.
All covered for you in our Herbal Nutrition by Condition/Detoxification chapter.