11. Helps prevent aging
One of the theories of aging is the Free Radical Theory. To explain this, we need to go back to the chemistry books. Ordinary, ordinary atoms and molecules (groups of atoms) have a balanced number of electrons. Electrons are minute, negatively-charged sub-atomic particles that usually exist in pairs. When in pairs, you can achieve balance so that the atom or molecule is stable and not highly reactive. Free radicals have unbalanced, unpaired electrons that move around looking for electrons to remove from other molecules. In the process, they cause damage to the body.
Free radicals steal electrons from molecules such as proteins and the DNA in our skin, causing stress to the cells and damage. The accumulation of damage is, according to the theory, what causes aging. Free radicals can be found all over the place, including inside the body as the result of normal processes. However, being exposed to external factors such as UV rays from the sun, pollution and smoking result in the production of a lot more free radicals.
Oxidative stress occurs when the level of free radicals present is too high for the body to defend itself. The body’s natural defense products are called antioxidants. Antioxidants work by giving free radicals the extra electrons they need so that the free radicals don’t take electrons from other places we need them. But it is not only our bodies that produce antioxidants.
We also carry in other natural antioxidants in our diet. One example is vitamin C, which is present in high levels in the banana flower, as well as in citrus fruit and leafy greens. Banana flowers also contain other powerful antioxidants such as tannins and flavonoids. These antioxidants relieve conditions of stress in the cells of the body. They also slow down the aging process, thus preventing premature aging.