What’s to Love About Antioxidants?

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting GNOWFGLINS with your purchases.

Whats to love about antioxidants? | What's to love about antioxidants? Quite a bit, actually. But before we dive into that fascinating topic, you may be wondering... what exactly are antioxidants? An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits or counteracts the damaging effects of free radicals. That tells you a whole lot, right? Okay, pull up your chair and get comfy... | GNOWFGLINS.com

What’s to love about antioxidants? Quite a bit, actually. But before we dive into that fascinating topic, you may be wondering… what exactly are antioxidants?

An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits or counteracts the damaging effects of free radicals. That tells you a whole lot, right? ;) Okay, pull up your chair and get comfy…

Free Radicals

When you breathe oxygen, it reacts with other molecules or atoms in your body by taking away one of a pair of electrons. The once safe molecule or atom becomes unstable, highly reactive, and now goes by the name “free radical”.

Now, free radicals aren’t totally bad guys — we actually need them to function. Normally our bodies can handle them here and there, but the negative effects come into play when we have too many running around.

So should we just breathe less? Not quite. Free radicals also come from stress, cigarette smoke, alcohol, pollution, sunlight, and a poor diet.

“Support for the importance of dietary antioxidants in coronary heart disease prevention has come from observational studies, including descriptive, case-control, and cohort studies, in which disease outcomes have been examined in relation to measures of antioxidant intake or tissue levels. In many cases, increased antioxidant intake has been shown to be associated with reduced disease risk.” (American Heart Association)

Free Radical Damage

Because of their instability and highly reactive nature, free radicals weaken cell membranes until the membranes no longer resist outside influences. Free radicals are implicated in many deteriorating health conditions, including:

  • deterioration of the eye and blindness
  • arthritis
  • Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s (nerve cell damage to the brain)
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • increased risk of cancers
  • damaged cell membranes
  • liver disease
  • signs of aging
  • tissue damage

“We conclude that in patients with angiographically proven symptomatic coronary atherosclerosis, e-tocopherol {Vitamin E} treatment substantially reduces the rate of non-fatal MI {myocardial infarction}, with beneficial effects apparent after one year of treatment.” (Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study)

Whats to love about antioxidants? | What's to love about antioxidants? Quite a bit, actually. But before we dive into that fascinating topic, you may be wondering... what exactly are antioxidants? An antioxidant is a substance that inhibits or counteracts the damaging effects of free radicals. That tells you a whole lot, right? Okay, pull up your chair and get comfy... | GNOWFGLINS.com

Antioxidants

Say hello to antioxidants. Antioxidants are scavengers — the good kind. They’re on the lookout for free radicals so they can replace their missing electron. This neutralizes free radicals and makes them stable again.

The body produces antioxidants, but it’s highly controlled by external factors such as diet, smoking, and other things. You can help your body out by eating certain foods that are rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, wine, and broccoli. But there are more, like:

  • acai berry (30 times more than red wine)
  • amaranth
  • astragalus root
  • camu-camu (contains 30 times more vitamin C [a source of antioxidants] than oranges or lemons, twice more than acerola cherries, 40 times more than kiwi, and three times more than the same amount of blueberries)
  • chia (3 times more than blueberries)
  • ginko
  • goji berry
  • grape seed
  • green tea
  • Lou Han Guo
  • maca (superfood of the Peruvians)
  • pomegranate (most powerful antioxidant of all fruits — studies show that it destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone)
  • schisandra
  • spirulina
  • tulsi
  • yacon root

All the foods/ingredients listed above are actually in my favorite source of antioxidants – Shakeology — which I wrote about here on my blog. It has a variety of foods in it, all with high levels of antioxidants. 

There are many great ways to get antioxidants! You will supply your body with the beneficial antioxidants it needs if you eat a diet high in organic vegetables and clean, unprocessed foods.

“Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.” (Dr. Fuhrman)

How do you reduce free radical damage? What’s your favorite antioxidant source?

Sources: NetDoctorAmherst.eduMariaMaeStevensAmerican Heart AssociationCambridge Heart Antioxidant StudyDr. Fuhrman.

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting GNOWFGLINS with your purchases.

Learn to cook the GNOWFGLINS way in less than an hour a week!

Provide your family with healthy, delicious, nourishing meals! As a member, you get:

  • 100s of videos in bite-size pieces
  • Weekly meal plans for you and your family
  • Access to 8 online traditional cooking classes
  • Exclusive recipes
  • and more!

Comments

  1. says

    Paula you mentioned wine. Is there one kind over another that would be better? I’m assuming red, but I just wanted to be sure.

    Also, is pomegranate juice as effective as the whole fruit? I buy the fruit when I can but here in OK it is only available for a short time each year.

    • says

      Hi Jenny,

      You’re right – red wine is considered better than others in this regard. And I’ve never found anything to say that the seed is any better than the fruit itself – the whole fruit is beneficial.

  2. Dona Landrum says

    FYI on how to get the seeds out of a Pomegranate………cut the fruit in half. Over a large bowl…….use something that is large and a little heavy at the end like a large cooking spoon. Take one half of the fruit in your hand, open side facing down. First, use the spoon lightly smacking the side of the fruit. Be careful not to hit your hand. Rotate the fruit around to hit all of the outside. Seeds at this point will begin to fall into your hand. Second, hit the top of the fruit with a little more effort than you did on the sides. Remember the fruit is upside down, so you will really be hit the bottom or end side of the fruit. The seeds will continue to fall out into the bowl. You should see the rind of the fruit starting to become limp. Turn the fruit over and using your fingers take the rind apart to access any remaining fruit. If you splatter any of the fruit juice on your clothing, don’t worry it washes out!!! :)

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.