What are Antioxidants

I talk a lot about antioxidants so what are antioxidants? They are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. This damage plays a part in a number of chronic diseases to people that eat processed foods, non-organic produce, meat and dairy to include hardening of the arteries, cancer, and arthritis. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system. So, fighting off damage with antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong, making you better able to ward off colds, flu, and other infections.

Hippocrates said 100’s of years ago, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” i can’t tell you how important and true that statement is as fresh and powerful today as it was when Hippocrates first uttered those words 470 BC. I live my life by those words and being 60 years next month , I contribute to my health to eating fresh organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. I do not subscribe to “superfoods” that are sold on the Internet and in health food stores from exotic places. It is snake oil just as vitamins are snake oil (except B12).

Eat what is local, what is fresh and in season and is available in your community. If kale isn’t available, eat mustard greens, collard greens or spinach. If berries are not available or too expensive, then eat apples and oranges. By eating local organic food from local farmers, you are not only benefiting from fresh produce but you are also participating within your community by supporting hard working neighbors and businesses.

Adding more fruit and vegetables of any kind to your diet will improve your health. But some foods are higher in antioxidants than others. The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. You’ll find them in colorful fruits and vegetables – especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. To get the biggest benefits of antioxidants, eat these foods raw or lightly steamed;

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.

Vitamin C: Berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, orange, papaya, red, green or yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds.

These food are the “superfoods,,” the ones that are right in your own community. Health, happiness, peace, kindness to your fellow man, compassion to all animals and respect and awareness for our environment is all part of achieving wholeness and wellness… thank you Doug .