What are antioxidants ?
To put it very simply, antioxidants are a substance that prevent cell damage due to oxidation.
How does oxidation happen ?
For the functioning of our muscles, our organs and our immune functions, our cells naturally produce energy by burning sugar, fat or even proteins.
Oxidation is a natural and inevitable phenomena due to these chemical reactions which take place in the presence of oxygen and generate a form of waste, called 「free radicals」.
Free radicals are weakened molecules in our body that react quickly and attempt to strengthen themselves by weakening the molecules around them.
Exposure to pollution, sunlight, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides can also create free radicals in your body.
What are the consequences ?
In the long run, these free radicals damage cells. Major cell damage can reduce our body’s ability to protect itself from diseases, cancer and premature aging.
Antioxidants = against oxidation
These are the antioxidants that help fight these attacks. Antioxidants prevent oxidation by strengthening the weakened molecules before they have weakened another molecule
The aim is not to stop oxidation which is impossible, but to strengthen our cells so as to keep healthy longer, to reach eternal youth.
The best – easy – antioxidant-rich food are :
Dark chocolate : Dark chocolate is delicious, nutritious and one of the best sources of antioxidants. Generally speaking, the higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants the chocolate contains.
Pecans : Pecans are popular nuts rich in minerals, healthy fats and antioxidants. They may also help raise blood antioxidant levels and lower bad cholesterol.
Almonds : Rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, almond is a true ally of our cardiovascular health. They also play a role in the immune system, dental and muscle health.
Blueberries : Blueberries are among the best sources of antioxidants in the diet. They are rich in anthocyanins and other antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease and delay the decline in brain function that happens with age.
Strawberries : Like other berries, strawberries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Goji berries : Goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants, including a unique type known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. These have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and may help fight skin aging.
Raspberries : Raspberries are nutritious, delicious and packed with antioxidants. Like blueberries, they are rich in anthocyanins and have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Green tea and coffee : Coffee and green contain phenolic acids (caffeic acids for coffee and oxalic acids for tea) as well as flavonoids. Moderate coffee consumption can have benefits in reducing the risk of cardiovascular and digestive diseases. Coffee would also have the advantage of fighting depressive states. Rich in proteins and minerals, green tea has beneficial effects on the digestive system
Ginger : Ginger is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Cramps, bloating, aerophagia, ginger is ideal for relieving all intestinal ailments. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic, they soothe rheumatism, dental pain and sore throat. It also strengthens the respiratory system and stimulates blood circulation, hence its fame as an aphrodisiac.
EATING A RAINBOW EVERYDAY TO LOOK BEAUTIFUL FOREVER
Understand ingredients color to understand antioxidant properties
Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green and white/brown. Each colour carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour and of course some of their healthy properties.
Red = lycopene
An antioxidant that helps keep your heart healthy and protects against some cancers.
Tomato – Radishes – Strawberries – Watermelon – Red Apples – Cherries – Raspberries – Red Grapes
Orange/Yellow = Beta-Carotene
An antioxidant that, when digested, is converted into vitamin A, contributing to healthy eyes and a strong immune system. The spice turmeric is also an effective antioxidant.
Carrots – Lemon – Sweet Potato – Pumpkin – Pineapples – Mango – Corn – Orange – Peaches – Apricots
Green = Chlorophyll
An antioxidant that works together with other vitamins and minerals to help the body protect itself against cancer
Spinach – Asparagus – Avocado – Broccoli – Peas – Cabbage – Celery – Cucumber – Kiwi
Blue/Purple = Anthocyanin
An antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer.
Beetroot – Red cabbage – Eggplant – Blackberries – Blueberries – Purple grapes – Plums
Brown/White = Allicin
An antioxidant well known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Cauliflower – Mushrooms – Garlic – Bananas – Dates – Onions – Ginger – Parsnips – Turnip
The rainbow is a simple way to say that variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet will get you the vitamins and minerals you need. It also calls out the fact that you can learn a lot about your food just by looking at it
Phytochemicals: Eating from the Rainbow!
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