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I can never stop talking about the importance of antioxidants! These powerful substances, which mostly come from the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat, are very important for optimal health and preventing free radical damage in the body.
WHAT ARE FREE RADICALS?
Free radicals are molecules which are essential for our immune system. Our bodies produce free radicals as byproducts of cellular reactions; the liver produces free radicals to detoxify; white blood cells send free radicals to destroy bacteria, viruses and damaged cells. They live in balance with antioxidants in the body, but it is when these molecules multiply and the balance is disturbed, that they begin damaging DNA, cellular membranes and enzymes, causing oxidative stress.
WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?
As the word describes: ANTI-OXIDANTS – they are substances which prevent oxidation caused by free radicals. Major antioxidants that have been identified so far are: vitamins A, C and E, betacarotene, bioflavonoids, CoQ10, selenium and zinc. Many other phytochemicals from plants also seem to play antioxidant roles.
It is important to note that antioxidants from fresh whole foods are more effective at healing your cells than supplements.
BENEFITS OF ANTIOXIDANTS
- Strengthen the immune system
- Give you clear, glowing skin
- Support the cardiovascular system
- Improve mood
- Maintain good memory
- Repair damaged cells
- Slow down the ageing process
and much, much more…
FOODS HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
- Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
- Raw cacao
- Herbs and spices
- Soaked nuts + seeds
- Leafy greens
Having an abundance of antioxidants in our body allows us to age much more gracefully, and live longer, healthier, more vibrant lives. So drink up! And don’t stress if kiwi’s aren’t in season right now, just replace them with extra apples.