A few days ago, I celebrated my birthday and the prospect of reaching 40 in a few years has awakened my interest in eating healthier. One of the ways to stay healthy is by taking foods that contain antioxidants, (besides staying active and embracing the benefits of essential oils)
How do antioxidants work?
Antioxidants can protect your body from the chemical reaction called oxidation that produces free radicals eventually leading to cell damage. The production of free radicals is a natural process due to various internal and external factors. For instance, when the body releases digestive enzymes when breaking down foods and the exposure to environmental pollutants can both cause the body to produce free radicals. Here is the good news- Antioxidants can decelerate aging process and reduce wrinkles caused by the hardening of blood vessels and connective tissues.
Here are some of the fruits and vegetables with rich antioxidants; they also come with additional health benefits:
Berries: blue berries, raspberries, blackberries, even strawberries. Make sure you are eating them either raw or mixed with low-sugar granola, not on a decadent pastry. By taking it with granola, you are also adding fiber to your diet.
Greens: broccoli, spinach and kale. These are not just low in calorie, they are rich in vitamin C, that strengthen your immune system, help form connective tissues, protect from heart diseases and lower cholesterol. For women, it is especially beneficial in preventing breast cancer.
Root vegetables: turnips and yams. They contain vitamin B 1 and B 9, respectively. Yams’ vitamin B1 keeps nervous system in good shape and generate red blood cells that prevent anemia. Turnips contain folic-acid (vitamin B 12) is especially good for pregnant women to ensure a healthy spinal core for your baby.
Finally, two items that doesn’t count as either fruit or vegetable, but also rich in antioxidants and go well with the rest I mentioned. They are walnuts and green tea. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that help with brain function and prevent breast cancer. Green tea is great for dealing with weight control and lowers the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. And don’t forget, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Above are the additional benefits along with the antioxidants all those foods contain. As my research continues, I will talk about more healthy foods, and how to keep us women strong and healthy.
Fyi- Also you can eat by colors as Jane Fond suggests in her book. See Chapter 7, “Now More than Ever, You Are What You Eat.”
As something extra, you may want to learn about the best foods for after-work.