Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

Some foods offer a rich source of antioxidants while others contain few if any antioxidants. But what are antioxidants and exactly how do they benefit our health?

Antioxidants have become one of the popular health buzzwords of our time. But you cannot know if you are eating the right foods that are rich in antioxidants if you do not know what antioxidants are! Help!

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants can be described as substances such as vitamins and minerals that can work to fight the damage caused by free radicals throughout the cells in the human body. Antioxidants are capable of neutralizing the oxidation process which can lead to premature aging and can lead to the onset of many diseases. Free radicals, it goes without saying, can be very harmful to the health of humans.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants on a regular basis is easier than you might think because they can be found in an abundance of foods that you can buy at grocery stores and local markets. The more you consume foods rich in antioxidant content the healthier will your body be, both on the inside and the outside.

What Should You Eat?

There are many foods that contain high levels of antioxidants. Here we look at two of the top picks. Both are green, but one is a food and another a beverage.

Broccoli: When it comes to going green for health, broccoli is a true nutrition winner! This is a veggie that is very high in antioxidant content. It is a vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family and it is instrumental in fighting free radicals when it comes to disease prevention. Broccoli contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane which reduces the risk of developing a variety of types of cancers.  This green disease fighting machine contains more of the mineral calcium than a glass of milk and more vitamin C than an orange.

Green Tea: All types of tea are healthy for you but green tea is rich in antioxidants. This is the case because it contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. This ingredient helps the body to burn fat and it also reduces the incidence of many diseases including numerous forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. If you want to shed some pounds then increasing your intake of green tea is a good idea. It is also an excellent choice of warm beverage for those who have high cholesterol. Consume two to four cups a day for the optimum benefits for your health and to receive the high antioxidant content that your body needs!


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A new year provides an opportunity to look at your health and to decide how well you are doing in terms of your eating habits. Instead of starting this year off being negative and looking at the habits you should not be doing or the foods you should not be eating, why not turn the tables and focus upon the foods you want to start adding to your daily meals?

Adding superfoods to your diet plan is always an excellent way to spruce up your health and to give you more of the antioxidants you need to stay healthy and strong.

If you do not know what a superfood is then here is a quick explanation of it. Superfoods are foods that contain compounds that have been found through medical studies to prevent the onset of disease. They are also capable of optimizing your overall level of health and well-being. Superfoods are fabulous and health enhancing!

Here are two delicious superfoods to think about adding eating more of to your diet in the coming year:


Many years ago eggs were blamed for contributing to high cholesterol levels and we were told that we should limit the number of eggs we ate per week. With time has come knowledge and we now know that it is saturated fats and trans fats that raise cholesterol levels and that eggs are not such villains after all.

Eggs are a superfood that you need to make sure you eat regularly to improve your health. Eggs are very high in protein – most of it in the white and not the yoke – and provide up to seven grams per serving. This helps to make you feel full and it also helps to break down fat in your body. If you have no cholesterol problems whatsoever then eating six to eight eggs per week (omega-3 free range eggs are best) is perfectly fine. However if you are looking for ways to reduce fat in your diet then eat only the egg whites.

Greek Yogurt:

If you have always found yogurt kind of a blah food then you have not been introduced to Greek yogurt yet! This type of yogurt is creamy and tastes more like an appetizing dessert. In fact for non-yogurt lovers you may not even realize that you are eating yogurt because it tastes so darn good!

Greek yogurt is high in protein, full of probiotics and is low in fat. It is also very thick in its consistency which gives it the creamy taste. What makes Greek yogurt different from regular yogurt is an extra straining process it is put through that gets rid of the liquid that it is common to see resting on top of regular yogurt. The fact that Greek yogurt does not have this liquid means that it is thicker and is also more concentrated in regards to the amount of protein and calcium that it contains. Consuming one half cup will provide you with 18 grams of protein and 50 percent of the daily dietary requirement for the mineral calcium.

Add berries to your yogurt for breakfast and any time of the day. Mix in some flaxseed powder, some wheat germ or some granola. Adding a tiny amount of honey to fat-free Greek yogurt can also give it an extra special taste!


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Coffee is a commonly discussed and disputed topic. The views on it are mixed. Some say go ahead and enjoy your jolt of java because it is good for you while others say forgo it in favor of tea. Let us look upon coffee in a positive light here and explore its health benefits.

Many of the health benefits that surround coffee are connected with consuming approximately two to four (eight ounce) cups per day. This tends to be the amount that most Americans drink on a daily basis.

Good for the Brain:

Coffee drinking has been found to be good for the brain – in moderate quantities that is. Drinking between one and five cups of coffee on a daily basis may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, according to various studies that have been conducted.

This sounds like a tall order for a hot beverage. How can this be the case?

Coffee contains antioxidants that may prevent a certain amount of damage occurring to the cells of the brain. According to experts in this area it also boosts the effects of neurotransmitters that are required for cognitive function. There are some new studies that suggest that as the consumption of coffee or tea goes up, the incidence of a form of brain cancer called glioma goes down.

Scientists speculate that there are compounds found in the brews of both coffee and tea that activate a DNA-repairing protein in cells. This in turn prevents damage to the DNA that can turn healthy cells into cancerous cells.

Reduce Risk of Diabetes:

Research studies have found that the frequent consumption of coffee, which would be four to five cups or more on a daily basis, is associated with a reduced risk of acquiring type two diabetes.

It is hypothesized that the antioxidant compounds in the hot beverage, which are quinides and cholorogenic acid, may increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin which helps to regulate blood sugar. It is not clear whether caffeinated or decaffeinated makes a high difference in this case but some studies suggest that decaffeinated may be the superior choice in this regard because caffeine has a tendency to lessen the boost found between insulin and sensitivity.

Good for the Heart:

Coffee may be heart-healthy but once again, this only works for moderate consumption.

Some research studies have proven that moderate coffee drinkers- which is to say, those who drink one to three cups per day – have lower rates of stroke than those who do not drink coffee at all. It is theorized that the antioxidants in the brew may play a role in suppressing the damaging effects that inflammation can cause to the arteries. It has also been theorized that these compounds may support the work of nitric oxide, which is a substance that widens blood vessels. By so doing it lowers blood pressure.

This does not mean that the more coffee you drink the healthier your heart will be. You can go overboard and take things to the opposite extreme by over consuming coffee.

You may like java but you do not want to drink more than five cup per day. This habit has been linked to higher risks of developing heart disease.  Medical researchers also believe that excessive caffeine can sabotage the work that the antioxidants perform.

Good for the Liver:

There is evidence that points to the fact that coffee can be of help to the liver. The research on this is limited at the present time but it does appear from what is known so far that those who drink coffee are less likely to develop cirrhosis as well as other types of liver diseases.

The initial findings point to the belief that caffeine, the antioxidant chlorogenic and caffeic acids may help to inhibit cancer cells and prevent inflammation from building in the liver.


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You are probably use to cooking with oils and fats when you are preparing meals but you may wonder what is the differences between one and the other.

You also probably wonder what is the difference between olive oil (the regular kind), virgin olive oil and extra virgin. Let me explain that below.

Olive oil is created when olives are crushed up to make a paste that is then subject to a press. When the oil comes out if it has a low level of acidity as well as an appealing taste and a good smell then it is given the name extra virgin or virgin. Extra virgin olive oil is a slight grade and quality higher than that of virgin oil. There is very little difference between them however.

Extra virgin and virgin olive oil are ideal for dipping bread into and for using for dressings on salads and for drizzling on top of vegetables and other types of foods. These types have a delicate flavor and aroma that is best when it is not heated. However some people do like to cook with these types of olive oils. In general the rule is that the deeper the color of the olive oil is the more intense its flavor will be. Only you can decide if you wish to cook with extra virgin or virgin olive oil.

If on the other hand the oil is not of the best quality and is high in acid then it is refined and combined with either extra virgin or virgin oil and turned into regular olive oil. Then it becomes a type of all-purpose oil that can be used for cooking purposes. However this kind can also be dribbled onto food but should be used sparingly.

All three kinds of olive oil boost benefits for the heart. However it is worth noting that the virgin and extra virgin olive oils contain additional antioxidants that make them a tad bit healthier for the heart than that of regular olive oil.

Fattening and Healthy – Huh?

You have most likely heard that oils are high in their fat content. If that is the case then how can they also be healthy?

Most oils are fattening because they contain a large amount of calories. For instance a tablespoon of oil can contain approximately 120 calories. Due to its water content even butter has fewer calories than fat. A tablespoon of butter contains 100 calories. Whipped butter that you purchase in a tub has only 60 to 70 tablespoons because of the air that has been added to it. When you consider the calories found in oils you realize that you should consume them in very small quantities.

But before we badmouth oils any further regarding the calories they contain it is worth noting that it is healthier to consume those 120 calories from oil than from any form of butter.

It is also worth knowing that our bodies require fat to be healthy. Cutting out fat all together from your diet is very unhealthy. Eating healthy fats such as those you receive from olive oil is a must.

The human body requires fat to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E and K. Practically every part of the body needs fat to thrive. This includes the brain, heart, skin, hair and all of the vital organs.

You miss out on the fatty acids when you deprive yourself of fats such as olive oil.


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Are you an avid eater of avocados? Avocados are often believed to be a vegetable, when they are actually a fruit.

They do taste more like a vegetable and are often used more in a vegetable capacity. They are also a green wonder food that is rich in antioxidants. But that is not all – eating avocados can improve your longevity and can help to slow down the aging process.

There are different varieties of avocados. The avocado is shaped like a pear although some varieties are more round in nature. Their size can be anywhere from one ounce to up to four pounds. The time of year when avocados are most readily available is late winter and early spring although most grocery stores and markets have them available practically year round (be aware that when they are out of season they may be more expensive to purchase!).

Avocados are used to make guacamole which is a popular dip for everything from crackers to chips to carrot sticks. They are also often used in the making of salads as well as in breads, main dishes and some desserts. If you have never tried an avocado or do not eat them regularly then you are missing out on the many anti-aging benefits that they possess!

Avocados are very tasty and they are choked full of nutrients that can help the body to heal itself and also can help you to live a longer and healthier life. It helps to know the good that can be found in this delicious fruit.

The Goodness of Avocados:

When it comes to antioxidants, avocados come out a winner! They are full of many nutrients that can do your body plenty of good!  They are a rich source of antioxidants and they protect bodily organs and tissues from damage that occurs over time and as a person ages. Antioxidants are also excellent warriors when they come up against the free radicals that can damage and destroy cells throughout the body.

Avocados contain folate which is a micronutrient that the body needs to be healthy. If you consume a cup of avocados this will provide you with approximately 23 percent of the folate that you require on a daily basis. Folate is very good for the heart. Individuals who consume the appropriate amount of folate reduce their potential for heart attacks by as much as 55 percent.

Avocados contain potassium. In fact a cup of avocados will provide you with approximately 25 percent of your daily recommended dosage of potassium. Potassium will help to keep your heart and your arteries as healthy as can be.  Potassium is also capable of reducing the risk of high blood pressure and the worry over having a stroke.

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat (which makes it a healthy fat) found in avocados that can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol while at the same time increasing the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. This is yet another reason to eat avocados.

For some people avocados are an acquired taste while other people enjoy the taste of them from the very first bite. It is important to point out that despite its many health benefits avocados are high in calories. For example a cup of avocados equals approximately 235 calories. For this reason you should enjoy avocados for their anti-aging benefits but you should not overindulge in them due to the high calorie count!


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