9 Benefits of Eating a Diet Rich in Antioxidants

[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.

  • Antioxidants are nutrients found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, teas, and herbs and spices. The more colorful your meal, the higher in antioxidants it is so the prettier it will be.

    Eat a rainbow of color everyday.

 

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.

  • Turmeric, ginger, parsley, rosemary, and cayenne pepper just to name a few are high in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties and support healthy liver function.


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!

  • Aging is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with a damaged nucleus that bounce around latching onto healthy cells, in doing so they damage that healthy cell. Now that cell is a free radical and bounces around trying to latch on to other cells damaging them, on and on and so forth. Sort like a zombie apocalypse on a cellular level.


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.

  • Less inflammation = less disease.

1. Antioxidants prevent cancer: According to the national cancer institute:

  • “Antioxidants are chemicals that block the activity of other chemicals known as free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to cells, including damage that may lead to cancer.”


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.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Organic-Kitchen/360972007254358

Instagram: http://instagram.com/the_organickitchen

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