~ Food Has Power ~
[Guest Blog Post from Linda Spiker of The Organic Kitchen.]
I am sure you have heard the buzz about antioxidants, but many people still don’t know what they are and why we should eat an antioxidant rich diet. Simply put, antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Say what? That didn’t sound so simple.
Let’s begin counting down our ‘nine benefits’ Dave Letterman style and by the time we get to #1 you will get it!
Nine Benefits of Eating a Diet High in Antioxidants:
9. Your food will be prettier: Sounds like a shallow reason but it’s not.
8. Improved Circulation: The antioxidant vitamin E benefits circulation and plays a part in the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen to all your organs and tissues!
7. Your food will contain more fiber: Antioxidant rich foods are high in fiber. Fiber acts like little scrub brushes for the intestines, ‘cleaning you out’ so to speak.
6. Your bathroom habits will improve: All that fiber spoken of above makes for very ‘regular’ digestion and elimination. We all know how much better we fell physically and emotionally when things ‘go smoothly’.
5. Detoxification: Herbs and spices high in antioxidants help the liver do its’ job more effectively.
One of the liver’s jobs is to filter toxins from your body. It’s a very important job. Help a liver out, eat your antioxidants.
4. You will get sick less often: Foods high in antioxidants are natural immune system builders.
3. Anti-aging benefits: Believe it or not I had an internal struggle about whether or not I should make this #1. Hey I am as vain as the next girl. So let’s get to the nitty-gritty of how antioxidants slow the aging process!
What causes free radicals? A diet of processed foods, soda (diet and otherwise), toxins in our environment, too much sun exposure, cigarette smoking, alcoholic beverages, and chemical exposure.
What stops free radical damage? Only one thing known to man, antioxidants. Bam!
2. Antioxidants prevent inflammation and therefore disease: Inflammation is the cause of almost all disease. Foods, herbs, spices and teas high in antioxidants are natural anti-inflammatories.
1. Antioxidants prevent cancer: According to the national cancer institute:
So free radicals don’t just damage cells causing aging, they are a catalyst for inflammation and disease…all disease, including cancer.
As a rule rich, dark and brightly colored foods are the highest in antioxidants. Think blueberries, pomegranates, acai berries, beets, black beans, plums, peaches, cherries, bell peppers, ‘dark greens’ like romaine, kale and spinach…your choices are infinite and delicious!
Linda Spiker is the owner and operator of The Organic Kitchen cooking school, author of two cookbooks and a food blogger. “I love food! And I love teaching people that cooking should be enjoyable, eating well doesn’t have to be time consuming and fresh is always better!”
Linda is also a wife, mother of six, grandmother to three and a yoga instructor. Please visit her website at The Organic Kitchen.