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

Want to Feel Fine? Eat Alkaline when you Dine!

I think these had algae in them!!!With spring and summer now on their way, if you really want to feel fine – eat alkaline when you dine! Here’s why:

Alkaline Diets

To be healthy, not only do our bodies need to maintain a constant temperature of 98.6  they also need to maintain a constant pH of 7.4 – the middle point between being acid and alkaline. It’s quite likely that you’ve never heard about this alkaline/acid balance before but it has been around for about 75 years – its just not well known in the mainstream. So here’s the scoop – virtually all physical activities (even breathing) have an acidic affect on your body, so its important to eat as many alkaline foods as possible – to bring your body back into balance. Everything that you eat either makes you acidic or alkaline and the more acidic your body, the easier it is for disease to take root. If you eat too many acidic foods, your body will automatically do things like steal calcium (which is alkaline) from your bones to bring your pH back into balance. And guess what? This is one of the main causes of osteoporosis!  But before you run and grab a glass of milk to protect yourself, be aware that milk is HIGHLY acidic!  In fact, drinking milk can actually rob your body of calcium – not provide it. Frankly, milk isn’t good for you for a whole host of reasons and being acidic is just one of them. Heck even the world famous Dr. Spock went on record advising people not to drink milk after the age of two. So if HE didn’t think you should drink milk, you might want to think twice about that milkshake or bowl of cereal?

think twice about that glass of milk!

But look, I’m no party pooper and I’ll also admit that I love most of the same acid foods you probably do (wine, cheese, bread). So I have found that the answer is to eat as many alkaline foods as possible and enjoy smaller amounts of everything else. A girl has to have some fun…right?? So go ahead, be a bit naughty and enjoy that glass of wine like I do, but try to balance it out with other alkaline foods like the ones I have listed below. If you want to see a more detailed chart, just click here.acid-alkaline balance.

One very important addition to this list of alkaline foods is algae. As you know, we sell algae tabs at www.skinnybits.com or www.recoverybits.com and www.naughtybits.com. Algae is quite possibly THE MOST ALKALINE food in the entire world! It also has the highest concentration of chlorophyll (5%) and the highest concentration of protein (60%) and a roomful of other antioxidants like beta carotene. So, if you find it difficult to add more greens and alkaline foods to your diet, just take algae and you’ll get all of the same health benefits!

Bottom line, the medical community is finally understanding the benefits of an alkaline diet, so maybe its time you learned about it too?  The expert on all this is Dr. Robert O. Young. His website is www.phmiracleliving.com. By the way, Dr. Young also believes that negative emotions cause the body to become acidic (especially fear, anger, and resentment) so, don’t be angry that you didn’t know about this! Just be happy that you do now! Enjoy the holiday season and every season! And may they always be filled with lots of naughty greens! Hmmmmm I wonder if this is what Dr. Seuss had in mind when he wrote his Cat in the Hat book “Green Eggs and Ham” www.seussville.com. Makes you wonder!

Cat in the Hat is my hero!

Alkaline Foods:

Fruits: lemons, limes, watermelon grapefruit

Vegetables: Algae, all greens, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, garlic, cauliflower, radishes, chives, watercress, turnips

Nuts, Seeds: almonds, pumpkin seeds, sprouted seeds, sunflower seeds,

Drinks: water, green tea, lemon water, herbal teas,   almond milks

Oils and Fats: olive, avocado, flax, evening primrose, flax

Acidic Foods:

Meats: pork, beef, chicken, turkey, seafood (salmon is not included)

Dairy Products:  milk, cream, cheese, yogurt, eggs, ice cream

Fats: saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, margarine, corn oil, vegetable oils,

Nuts: peanuts, cashews, pistachios

Fruits: Fruits other than the ones in the alkaline category are considered acidic.

Drinks: sodas, tea, coffee, beer, spirits, fruit drinks, dairy smoothie, milk

Affectionately yours,

Catharine Arnston

Greens cocktails rock. Shaken not stirred!