If you are interested in alternative medicine and health, you may have heard of chaga. Harvested in the northernmost regions of the world, chaga has been used as a folk remedy by Alaskan and Siberians for generations. Now the world at large has taken notice of chaga and its ability to combat disease, fight cancer, reverse the effects of aging, and much more. Much of chaga’s nutritional value comes from its antioxidant content, but what are antioxidants and how exactly do they affect the body.
The answer is that antioxidants are some of the most valuable nutrients that you can consume. Read on to discover how antioxidants can help you and why chaga is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world.
Chaga and Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that prevent oxidation. Oxidation is a process by which atoms are turned into free radicals, free-floating particles that travel through the body colliding with cells. This collision process results in damage to the affected cells, manifesting in the form of aging and decreased organ function. This process can also result in the creation of tumors due to the unpredictable effects of collision on certain cells. Oxidative stress is the technical term for the damage caused by free radicals.
Antioxidants reduce or eliminate oxidative stress by stabilizing free radicals, eliminating the chemical compulsion that leads to them spreading throughout the body. With fewer free radicals, there is subsequently less damage caused to the body’s cells, manifesting as reduced aging and improved organ function. Moreover, antioxidants also allow the body’s cells to heal themselves from the damage caused by free radicals, meaning that aging can actually be reversed in some cases.
Chaga’s particular blend of antioxidants has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects. As mentioned above, consuming chaga can help fight aging. Free radicals are created in the body due to exposure to sun, pollution, and other impurities in the human environment. Consuming chaga will lead to the deleterious effects of these pollutants being slowed, eliminated, and in some cases, reversed.
Another positive effect of chaga’s antioxidants is that they can lower your risk for heart disease. Chaga’s antioxidants have been shown to lower the prevalence of low-density lipoprotein in the blood. Also known as LDL, low-density lipoprotein is commonly identified as a “bad” type of cholesterol, responsible for clogging arteries and causing heart attacks and strokes. If you are worried about heart disease, the antioxidants in chaga can be a big help to you.
Just as importantly, chaga’s antioxidant content has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Tests have shown that chaga is capable of slowing the growth of cervical, breast, and lung cancer cells due to its reduction of oxidative stress. Chaga contains one particular type of antioxidant known as triterpenes, which have been shown to cause tumor cells to self-destruct upon contact. Not only that, this self-destruction process does not cause harm to healthy cells in the tumor’s vicinity.
Another reason for those at risk of heart disease to consider chaga is the effect its antioxidants have on blood pressure. High blood pressure has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular ailments. Chaga has been shown to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of these and other heart problems from occurring.
Antioxidant content in food is measured through Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, or ORAC. The higher a food’s ORAC value, the more antioxidant-rich it is. Chaga is recognized as having one of the highest ORAC values of any food in the world, with an ORAC value of 146,700 μ mol TE/100g. Other foods rich in antioxidants include blueberries, acai berries, and turmeric, but none come close to the sheer nutritional value that chaga possesses.
It is worth pointing out that chaga must be prepared in a certain way in order to unlock its full antioxidant value. In particular, chaga needs to be boiled in hot water in order to release the antioxidants within its tough, chitinous interior. This is why chaga is traditionally consumed as a tea, though in recent years, creative chaga users have come up with many new and creative ways to consume the mushroom.
Antioxidants are one of the most vital nutrients your body can get, and the fact that the modern diet does not typically contain foods that are rich in them is a problem. Antioxidants are your body’s primary means of preventing cancer, aging, organ damage, and other issues caused by the prevalence of free radicals.
If you are worried about any of the above ailments, chaga is right for you. In regards to antioxidant content, few if any foods can hope to rival the sheer quantity of antioxidants that are found in the chaga mushroom. With chaga, you can help preserve your youthful looks, fight cancer, prevent heart disease, and improve your health in countless other ways.