Antioxidants and all their added benefits are all the rage today. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals which cause cell damage, that can ultimately lead to diseases of the heart and cancer. It seems everywhere you go its blueberry this and blueberry that. You have your choice of wild blueberry juice, blueberry pomegranate juice, blueberry-cranberry juice and so on. But, in our rush to embrace the latest antioxidant food craze (blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates) we’re ignoring some very high-antioxidant foods that are probably sitting ignored in our cupboards. Here is an essential weight loss tip for you; instead of the beloved wild blueberry try the small red bean!
Scientists have found that the body forms unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals and that antioxidant rich foods can help neutralize these unstable oxygen molecules.
A free radical is basically an atom with an odd number of electrons in its outer ring. Due to their odd number of electrons, free radicals indiscriminately pick up electrons from other atoms, which in turn convert those other atoms into secondary free radicals, thus setting up a chain reaction, which can cause substantial biological damage. Because of the biological damage that free radicals cause, they are very bad. There are many kinds of free radicals, which we are exposed to everyday, for example – pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke, and herbicides, just to name a few.
You should not restrict yourself to one particular food source because there are so many common foods high in antioxidants. Why? Well, have you ever heard the expression, “eat your colors?” That refers to the fact that foods are in different color “families” containing different types of antioxidants which have different benefits. The yellow-orange color family including peaches and nectarines offer an immune system boost. Pomegranates, plums, and berries of the purple-red color family help reduce inflammation. Eating foods from all the color groups is important to reap the full benefits of antioxidants.
The good news is, you can eat healthy foods high in antioxidants (by eating them raw, cooking them, or juicing them yourself) without having to pay a high price for the “flavor of the month” antioxidant juices being peddled in the supermarkets.
Make sure to give your blueberries some company at the dinner table tonight. Invite some beans, spinach, potatoes, and artichoke hearts onto your plate tonight and enjoy your antioxidants and your weight loss tip of the day!