One of your best and most important wellness tools is the food you eat every day.
It’s more than eating a healthy, balanced diet. During menopause, you need to give a little extra TLC to your adrenals and thyroid since these are linked to many menopausal symptoms.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are important disease-fighting compounds. They help prevent and repair the stress that comes from oxidation, a natural process that occurs during normal cell function. You cannot pick foods at the store without seeing the antioxidant hype. Every day we are being attacked by millions of pollutants and toxins. Our bodies are working overtime to break down and remove the toxic invaders of our health systems. Unchecked free radical activity has been linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
The body attempts to balance good oxygen and bad oxygen via its production of antioxidant enzymes, and the processing of food source free radical fighters. Unfortunately, the environment is drastically increasing free radical production, and, our lifestyles and nutritional intake are decreasing antioxidant availability. We must therefore, be willing to take an active role in the war on free radicals.
Food contributors to the war on free radicals come primarily from three heavyweights. Vitamins E, C, and the Carotenoids. Each contributes a unique, but synergistic effect. This team penetrates both the water-based and fatty tissues and tissue structures.
Many studies assess antioxidant levels in more than 100 foods, including fruits, vegetables, cereals, bread, nuts, and spices. “This is the first study that has shown that dietary supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts that are high in phytonutrients antioxidants can actually reverse some of the ageing-related neuronal/ behavioural dysfunction.” – Dr. Joseph
Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest among the fruits studied – After testing 24 varieties of fresh fruit, 23 vegetables, 16 herbs and spices, 10 different nuts, and 4 dried fruits, the US Department of Agriculture determined that blueberries scored highest overall in total antioxidant capacity per serving. Apples ran a close second- after berries, and dried/frozen fruits were also leading contenders. Peaches, mangos, and melons, while scoring lower than berries, still contain plenty of antioxidants as well as other nutrients.
If not able to get them fresh –seasonal, also available in dried or frozen form, you can eat them in foods and even drink it with wine, juice or with your favourite smoothie.
While it is not reasonable to think that taking antioxidants will guarantee a cancer-free life, the association between cancer risk and a diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is undeniable. What you now take in food antioxidants, and what you could take in by either supplementation or improving your diet, or both, may be significant to your health.
I hope that heart disease and cancer never touch your life. But, I can guarantee you that aging will. The process is beyond human control, but the rate at which it progresses can be affected. You can probably, to some extent, slow the effects of aging.
Remember to burn up the sugar that comes from fruit and to avoid having them on a daily basis; you will be surprised how many calories are contained in a glass of fruit juice!!
- Life Extension Magazine | http://www.lef.org/magazine
- Me • NO • Pause | http://www.yournewhorizon.com.au/me-no-pause/
- WebMD Archive | http://www.webmd.com
- Joseph | Underwood A. So berry good for you; rediscovering the health benefits of berries. Newsweek. June 17, 2002.
- Body Building | http://www.bodybuilding.com/
- Cancer Institute | http://www.cancer.gov