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Antioxidants: the key of antiaging!

Fresh red grape and juice on wooden background,healthy food

In this generation, we’ve all heard the words ‘free radicals’ or ‘antioxidant’ tossed around at some stage, and the most popular dietary change in recent times has got to be the ‘detox;’ but what does it all mean? Do we, as a population, wholly understand the processes that go on in the body on a cellular level? Lets start with the basics.

What are Free Radicals?

Put simply, a free radical is a naturally formed, reactive chemical that is created within the body when an atom or a molecule loses an electron. Free radicals aren’t all bad, in fact, they play a role within the body just like most things that are naturally forming. The problem comes when we have free radicals in excess, which is often caused by smoking, or passive smoke, toxins and pollutants from the environment, and radiation.

It’s no secret that the world we are subject to is full of pollutants; toxins in the air from burning fuels and power stations, and harmful chemicals in our foods and drinks.

But what makes this all the more worrying is what free radicals actually do when we have an abundance of them in our bodies. Free radicals are hazardous to the body, in that they are able to damage all major parts of a cell, which studies say may play a large role in cancer and other serious illnesses.

What are Antioxidants, and what are They Good For?

Like most potentially harmful substances within our bodies, the free radical has its own nemesis; the neutralizing, free radical-destroying antioxidant. When we intake antioxidants, our bodies use those chemicals to completely neutralize free radicals. While most antioxidants are acquired through dietary choices and supplements, our bodies do naturally create some of them.

It has been shown in various studies that an increase in antioxidants actually prevents the kind of free radical damage that is associated with the development of certain cancers. So a detox, as they say, is a very beneficial process to undergo- though a lifetime dietary commitment is preferable and potential much more beneficial to our bodies.

Where do we Find Antioxidants?

If you include in your meals dark colored fruits such as berries, grapes, prunes, and pomegranate you are getting resveratrol, one of the main antioxidants in the planet. Same thing happens when you incorporate green leaves, and red-orange veggies. Beta-carotene, found in carrots for example, Lycopene, Selenium, Vitamins A, C, and E are all examples of dietary antioxidants that will go into your body and neutralize the harmful free radicals and reduce the opportunity for them to damage cells.

As mentioned earlier, there are antioxidant supplements that can be taken alongside a healthy diet, though their effectiveness is debated among professionals. Generally, studies have shown that antioxidant supplements have very little effect on the development of cancer, and that a mixture of dietary antioxidants is of much more benefit to us in a number of ways.

While a supplement is the purified version of the chemical, each fruit or vegetable contains a complex mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and as such are preferable for an overall healthy lifestyle.

So in the end it shows that not all processes in nature can be replicated by science, or not yet anyway. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Dr Montserrat Rodriguez
Doctor expert in Therapeutic Nutrition

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Vegetarianism… Are you there yet?

Vegetarianism… Are you there yet

Vegetarianism… Are you there yet

With health as one of the top-most concerns of the family, many types of diet have risen in the market to meet the demand. Among all those diets, the vegetarian diet is one of the most popular and deemed to greatly help in meeting the nutritional needs of people of all ages, whether young or old, man or woman, pregnant or sickly.

Vegetarian diet is about eating meals that consist mainly of vegetables and fruits, although there are types of vegetarian diet wherein dairy products and eggs are also included. The main point of this diet is to know your nutritional needs and choosing the right foods that will sustain your body’s needs.

Types of Vegetarian Diet

The very first thing that you need to do is to know and understand the kind of vegetarian that you want or you can. Sometimes, it is hard to let go of meat or eggs or dairy and just eat vegetables and fruits especially if your diet before primarily includes them. If that is the case, you can try some types of vegetarian diet stated below:

• Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian—allows dairy products and eggs
• Lacto Vegetarian—allows dairy products such as cheese, milk, yogurt and butter, but not eggs
• Ovo-vegetarian—allows eggs, but not meat, poultry or fish as well as dairy
• Vegan diet—does not allow foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs or products that have them in it

On the other hand, if you really can’t let go of meat, poultry or fish, you can opt for the semi vegetarian or flexitarian diet, which is primarily plant-based, but allows little quantity of meat.

Nutrition

Once you identify the type of vegan diet that you want, next is that you should know the nutrients that your body needs and adequate amount of them. Just because you are eating vegan diet does not mean that your body is able to get enough nutrients that it needs.
The good thing with vegan diet is you are able to choose between varieties of foods. Since there is no single type of food that is able to give your body all the nutrients it needs, your body has to eat a lot of different types of foods. The problem, however, in switching your diet to vegan is that it becomes difficult for you to get all the amount of nutrients that you need. In that case, you have to first know what kind of plant foods can be a good source of essential nutrients.

 

Tips on How to Become Vegetarian

If you are thinking of starting to live healthy and you chose the vegan diet as a start, here are some of ideas as to how you can get started.

• Gradually increase the meatless meals that you eat, so your taste buds can slowly get used to eating plant-based foods or foods without meat in them.
• Try to learn substituting your favorite meals without meat. You can also experiment creating your own meatless recipes.
• Learn from others, ask for advice from nutritionists and other experts or surf the net for more tips about vegan diet and how you can effectively incorporate them in your lifestyle.

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The Benefits of Antioxidants

The-Benefits-of-Antioxidants

The-Benefits-of-Antioxidants

In this generation, we’ve all heard the words ‘free radicals’ or ‘antioxidant’ tossed around at some stage, and the most popular dietary change in recent times has got to be the ‘detox;’ but what does it all mean? Do we, as a population, wholly understand the processes that go on in the body on a cellular level? Lets start with the basics.

What are Free Radicals?

Put simply, a free radical is a naturally formed, reactive chemical that is created within the body when an atom or a molecule loses an electron. Free radicals aren’t all bad, in fact, they play a role within the body just like most things that are naturally forming. The problem comes when we have free radicals in excess, which is often caused by smoking, or passive smoke, toxins and pollutants from the environment, and radiation.

It’s no secret that the world we are subject to is full of pollutants; toxins in the air from burning fuels and power stations, and harmful chemicals in our foods and drinks.

But what makes this all the more worrying is what free radicals actually do when we have an abundance of them in our bodies. Free radicals are hazardous to the body, in that they are able to damage all major parts of a cell, which studies say may play a large role in cancer and other serious illnesses.

What are Antioxidants, and what are They Good For?

Like most potentially harmful substances within our bodies, the free radical has its own nemesis; the neutralizing, free radical-destroying antioxidant. When we intake antioxidants, our bodies use those chemicals to completely neutralize free radicals. While most antioxidants are acquired through dietary choices and supplements, our bodies do naturally create some of them.

It has been shown in various studies that an increase in antioxidants actually prevents the kind of free radical damage that is associated with the development of certain cancers. So a detox, as they say, is a very beneficial process to undergo- though a lifetime dietary commitment is preferable and potential much more beneficial to our bodies.

Where do we Find Antioxidants?

If you include in your meals dark colored fruits such as berries, grapes, prunes, and pomegranate you are getting resveratrol, one of the main antioxidants in the planet. Same thing happens when you incorporate green leaves, and red-orange veggies. Beta-carotene, found in carrots for example, Lycopene, Selenium, Vitamins A, C, and E are all examples of dietary antioxidants that will go into your body and neutralize the harmful free radicals and reduce the opportunity for them to damage cells.

As mentioned earlier, there are antioxidant supplements that can be taken alongside a healthy diet, though their effectiveness is debated among professionals. Generally, studies have shown that antioxidant supplements have very little effect on the development of cancer, and that a mixture of dietary antioxidants is of much more benefit to us in a number of ways.

While a supplement is the purified version of the chemical, each fruit or vegetable contains a complex mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and as such are preferable for an overall healthy lifestyle.

So in the end it shows that not all processes in nature can be replicated by science, or not yet anyway. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment (0) →
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