Part 2 is finally here…why antioxidants are good for you!

Antioxidants are GOOD for you, unlike your scary Aunty Oxidant

Hi readers!  As promised, here is  PART 2 about why foods with  antioxidants are GREAT for you, unlike your distant and scary Aunty Oxidant you see here on the left who you hope won’t ever come to dinner at your house!). Unlike her, you DO want antioxidants around.  As you may recall, in my last post we explored the reasons WHY antioxidants are good for your bodies!  Now …  I want you to learn how to get your hands on some!

What foods should I look for that are high in antioxidants?

There are two categories of antioxidants: water soluble, such as Vitamin C, and fat soluble, such as vitamins A and E.  Vitamin C is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in the body. The best food sources for this are fruits, berries, guavas and peppers. Fortunately, something called the ORAC Value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) was developed a number of years ago that measures the antioxidant values of foods.  BUT keep in mind the ORAC value ONLY measures water soluble antioxidants (like vitamin C), so it heavily fruit–oriented. This makes it ONLY half valuable because it totally ignores the equally, and some would say, even MORE valuable fat soluble antioxidants!

Fruits and leafy greens = awesome antioxidant power!

So do NOT be swayed by fancy marketing campaigns that promote their high ORAC scores because there are way more powerful antioxidants like Vitamin A, E.  But just to give you an idea of how this works, three of the highest rating ORAC foods are Goji Berries (ORAC 25,000), Spirulina (ORAC 9,600), and Blueberries (2,400). Drinks like green tea (ORAC 2,700) and Yerba Matte (ORAC 5,100) are also very high and very good for you. By the way, my favorite brand of Yerba Matte is from www.ecoteas.com. You can also buy it at Wholefoods!

Vitamin A and Beta Carotene (vegetable form of vitamin A) are fat soluble vitamins that are necessary to keep our cell membranes healthy. You should ALWAYS try to get your vitamin A and beta carotene by eating real food because your body absorbs and utilizes the vitamins in food much better than supplements! The food sources richest in vitamin A are liver, cod liver oil, egg yolks, dark leafy greens, and blue-green algae like spirulina and chlorella which have the HIGHTEST concentration of beta carotene of any plant. I hope you don’t mind that I give our own algae tabs a plug here becaus they really are terrific for you. They not only have the highest concentration of antioxadants in the world, but also the highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world (as well as the highest concentration of protein in the world. To learn more, or to purchase yours, I hope you’ll visit us at one of our websites at www.skinnybits.com, www.recoverybits.com, www.energybits.com or www.naughtybits.com.   Deep orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash are also good sources of beta carotene. Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the body and is one of the most efficient antioxidants available. It is also a primary defender against fat oxidation. Food sources of Vitamin E include nuts, some seeds, peas and wheat germ.

Example of ORAC’s antioxidants levels in popular fruits and veggies

So why is this important? Many things, including smoking, drinking alcohol, high-fat diets, and exposure to sun and atmospheric pollution cause our bodies to produce an excess of free radicals.  When the number of free radicals outnumber the antioxidants stored in our body, they behave like a bull in a china shop, deactivating enzymes, stealing atoms and causing massive cellular death and even DNA damage. These processes, (referred to as oxidation) are what causes inflammation, aging, cancer, heart disease and yes even those unsightly wrinkles! So guys and gals, keep your fridge and your body stocked with antioxidant-rich fruits, leafy greens, vegetables and algae and you will WOW yourself and everyone else with your dewy skin and radiant health for years to come! Greens rock!  And hey, I do apologize that this was a lengthy response but now have the equivalent of 6 months of nutrition knowledge! All in just 2 minutes! Cool!! So go celebrate by getting gorgeous with a fabulous salad and then dance the night away! You deserve it!!
With great affection,

Catharine Arnston

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