Why Antioxidants Are Vital To Your Health

Antioxidants have gotten a lot of good press over the past decade or so. The more we learn about them the more we realize just how essential they are to good health. Among the things we know they do: fight disease, boost the immune system, nourish healthy skin, fight the effects of aging, preserve or restore heart health, increase stamina, kick start your energy, and combat cancer. Scientists are still discovering all of the things antioxidants can do.

After 40

Why do we age? And, more importantly, why do we have to look old as we age? One theory of aging that is gaining a lot of traction today is the free-radical theory of aging (FRTA). Free radicals are rogue, unstable molecules that cruise around the body. Because the free radicals are unstable and off-balance, they seek to attach themselves to more stable molecules, including the cells of your skin, your heart, your lungs, and other important body areas. But once the free radical gloms onto the healthy molecule, it creates damage. So now you no longer have a free radical, but you do have a damaged cell. Everybody has free radicals, even babies. The miraculous human body contains many built-in systems aimed at keeping these rogue molecules in check and destroying them. But sometimes the free radicals overwhelm the body’s natural defenses. This can happen when you get sick, you are overly stressed (including being tired), or you do not nourish your body properly. Many foods are just loaded with free radicals, so you could be doing some of this damage with your own fork. One other thing that can cause the free radicals to go haywire—age. As we get older, our bodies’ natural defense systems get weaker. The FRTA theory states that over time, damage from free radicals builds up and we start to look and feel old. Antioxidants are substances that take out free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules and the very name antioxidant tells us that these substances are “anti” free radicals. Antioxidants wipe out free radicals and, in so doing, may reduce the signs of aging, preserve health, boost the immune system, raise our energy level, and make us feel good.

Seven Good Food Sources For Antioxidants

So now you need to know: just where can I find these antioxidant free-radical-busters? Three of the best known antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, but did you know that there are more than 4,000 compounds that have antioxidant properties in the foods that we eat? That’s right, many foods contain antioxidants. And, no, these foods are not cheeseburgers and Twinkies. There are lots of benefits to eating a healthful diet, and top on the list has to be that you get plenty of natural antioxidants. Here are the big seven antioxidant-rich foods.

Berries

All kinds of berries are good sources of antioxidants; Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and cranberries. The best way to eat these are fresh or frozen (frozen is nearly as good as fresh). Strawberry jam or strawberry flavoring doesn’t count—these have sugar and sometimes chemicals in them. Stick to natural food and eat it as close to its natural state as you can to get the maximum antioxidant punch.

Broccoli

Broccoli is powerhouse of a vegetable. Besides its high amount of vitamin C, it also supplies calcium, minerals and other vitamins. It can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted (try roasting it in the oven), or even juiced.

Beans

Small red beans are rich in several nutrients including iron, magnesium potassium, copper, thiamin and phosphorus. Other beans with high antioxidant content are pinto, black and kidney beans.

Nuts

Almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts are high in antioxidants. They’re also cholesterol-free and low in sodium. They can be high in calories, so you cannot overdo them. However, adding some nuts to salads or taking a handful of almonds as a mid-afternoon snack is a great idea that gives you an antioxidant kick.

Veggies & More

Berries are the antioxidant king of the fruit world, but most fruits contain lots of antioxidants. Apples (eat the peel), cherries, pears, peaches, plums, red grapes, pineapple, kiwi, orange, and grapefruit are all excellent sources of antioxidants. Broccoli is the standout in the vegetable world, but nearly all veggies contain some antioxidants, with carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoe, spinach, and potatoes particularly high in antioxidant content. Remember; eat the veggies as close to natural as you can. French fries are not a good source of antioxidants!

Green Tea

It is hard to go wrong with a few cups of plain green every day. This super-drink contains lots of vitamin C and many other powerful disease-fighting substances. This is an antioxidant cocktail and the best part … zero calories and a boost in hydration.

Grains

Just about any whole grain (whole wheat, whole rye, brown rice) contains a lot of antioxidant goodness. Oat based products are thought to have higher amounts of antioxidants than other grains.

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About Lady Fab

Hello & Welcome to My Life In The FAB Lane! First and foremost my name is Tameca D. Jones; FABulously known as Lady Fab. I am from the sunny state of Florida but was born and raised in Alabama. With a new vision and outlook on life … I have discovered the true meaning of being FREE and loving & accepting the person that God has made me to be … so much so that I have decided to document my life through blog. So buckle your seatbealts & come along for ride, as I take you into a glimpse of what it is really like Being Lady Fab. Love You Much & Always remember a Lady should always be two things … Classy and FABULOUS! ~ Lady Fab

Posted on July 13, 2012, in Healthy Fab and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. mary e. jones-knight

    Life is beautiful, if you know how to live it. The thing of it all…….. we don’t eat naturally. All processed foods and no fresh vegetables. We live in a microwave age and not enough time to think healthy, but always on the move. Slow down……..and enjoy!!!

  2. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the net.

    I will highly recommend this site!

  3. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other
    sites? I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you
    discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my viewers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

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