Boosting Antioxidant Levels with Foods
So just what are antioxidants? These substances are found in the body and they come from the foods we eat. Their main purpose is to combat the effects of free radicals in the body. Antioxidants in their many forms neutralize free radicals. In effect, they prevent them from latching on to our delicate organs.
Free radicals are by-products of the process known as cellular respiration. As oxygen is metabolized, substances are released that can wreak havoc on the internal systems. This includes wrinkles, cataracts, digestive ailments, arthritis, cancer and more. Free radicals also come from our external environment: pollution, cigarette smoke, stress and the sun.
So, how do we get these antioxidants? There are many sources that you may have already heard about. Think of vitamin A, C and E for beginners. Some minerals like zinc also have antioxidant properties. Many foods contain these vitamins and other vital antioxidants like lycopene, flavonoids, lignans and such.
Antioxidants are all around you but you have to know where to look. Antioxidants are even showing up as functional substances. They are being added to foods such as sodas, milk and juices. They are also added to certain cosmetic products like skin cream, cleansers and soap. They are best in the natural form. These natural forms are found in foods.
Boosting your antioxidant levels is a matter of knowing where to find them and incorporating those foods in your daily diet. Here are a few places to look for these valuable little gems.
Juicers have been a big product, especially with fitness and health guru Jack Lalanne. Juicing fruits and vegetables increases their potency and antioxidant value. Also, you get to taste their natural essence instead of when it is covered with sauces and dressings.
Fruit smoothies are easy to make and can include whatever fruit combination you desire. Use fresh or frozen fruits. You can make a batch and freeze it. When you are ready, thaw out a cup and have it for breakfast or as a snack when you want something sweet.
Try adding more vegetables to sauces and casseroles. What better way to slip in a few extra antioxidant-rich foods than by dicing them into soups, sauces and casserole dishes?
Itís a great way to incorporate vegetables into a diet especially if there is a picky eater involved.
Be sure to plan ahead. We often eat poorly when we are in a hurry. Planning ahead for the next dayís meals so you can reach for foods that will help you fight aging and illness whenever you want something to eat.
A major key in longevity are antioxidants. By adding them to a daily diet in everyday foods it can increase the chances of a healthy beautiful life for you and the ones you love.