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Health: The Importance of Antioxidants

7 DISEASES THAT ANTIOXIDANTS FIGHT

  1.  Heart disease
  2.  Autoimmune diseases
  3.  Aging
  4. Cancers
  5. Rheumatoid arthritis
  6.  Immune deficiency
  7.  Inflammation

 ANTIOXIDANTS: YOUR BEST BET THIS COLD AND FLU SEASON 

When you eat a nutritional, well-balanced diet, many other factors fall in place that keep your body functioning optimally. Foods that are rich in nutrients help fight infections and may help to prevent illness. Because a wide array of nutrients in foods — some of which we may not even know about — are essential for wellness, relying on dietary supplements (vitamins and minerals) for good nutrition may limit your intake to just the known nutritional compounds rather than letting you get the full benefit of all nutrients available in food.

Let’s look at some of the top recommendations for Foods High in Antioxidants 

Eating foods high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E may be a helpful cold remedy. Antioxidants are essential nutrients. They help protect your body against life’s stressors, and are thought to play a role in the body’s cell protection system. They interfere with the disease process by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are special molecules that can disrupt the normal function of a cell and tear apart vital cell structures such as cell membranes. Antioxidants may take away the destructive power of free radicals, thus helping to reduce your chance of illness. They may also help you recover from an illness more quickly.

Including more raw fruits and vegetables and their juices in your diet is the best way to ensure a high intake of antioxidants. And when you cook these super-nutrients, be sure you cook them using as little liquid as possible to prevent nutrient loss.

If you follow the guidelines issued by most health organizations and eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you can easily get enough antioxidants. For example, one quarter of a cantaloupe gives you nearly half the recommended daily requirement of beta-carotene and is a rich source of vitamin C. Spinach is not only full of beta-carotene, but also contains vitamin C, folic acid, and magnesium.

Foods rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids include: Apricots, asparagus, beef liver, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, guava, kale, mangoes, mustard and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash (yellow and winter), sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.

Foods rich in vitamin C include: Camu Camu, Acerola, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Foods rich in vitamin E include: almonds, corn oil, cod-liver oil, hazelnuts, lobster, peanut butter, safflower oil, salmon steak, and sunflower seeds.

Colds and Foods High in Bioflavonoids 

Foods high in bioflavonoids may also help speed healing from a cold. Hosts of experiments on bioflavonoids have suggested that these key nutrients increase immune system activation. These biochemically active substances accompany vitamin C in plants and act as an antioxidant. You can find bioflavonoids in the pulp and white core that runs through the center of citrus fruits, green peppers, lemons, limes, oranges, cherries, and grapes. Quercetin is a highly concentrated form of bioflavonoids found in broccoli, citrus fruits, and red and yellow onions.

Colds and Foods High in Glutathione 

Glutathione is another nutrient that has been found to strengthen the immune system so it can fight infections. This powerful antioxidant is most plentiful in the red, pulpy area of the watermelon near the rind. It can also be found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and other cruciferous vegetables.

Colds and Foods High in Phytochemicals 

Foods high in phytochemicals are also important for wellness and battling a cold. Phytochemicals appear in all plants, therefore, a diet that includes a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables will provide these healthy substances.

Foods rich in phytochemicals include: Acai, mangosteen, goji, noni, apples, apricots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, legumes, onions, red peppers, soybeans, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

Colds and Yogurt 

Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.

Colds and Foods High in Zinc 

The mineral zinc also has antioxidant effects and is vital to the body’s resistance to infection and for tissue repair. Zinc is also thought to stimulate the immune system.

Some studies show that sucking on zinc lozenges at the start of a cold may reduce the duration of cold symptoms. However, study results are conflicting and suggest that zinc may have a minimal benefit at best. Researchers continue to study zinc to determine its true effect on colds. For now, your best bet may be to eat foods packed with the healthy minerals.

Food rich in zinc include: eggs, meats, nuts, seafood, seeds, wheat germ, and whole grains.

Protein is vital to build and repair body tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections. Immune system powerhouses like antibodies and immune system cells rely on protein. Too little protein in the diet may lead to symptoms of weakness, fatigue, apathy, and poor immunity. Choose lean sources of protein like skinless chicken, lean beef and turkey, beans, and soy. Colds and good old Chicken Soup.

9 WAYS TO REV UP YOUR METABOLISM 

Did you know that your metabolism slows down 5% for each decade after 40? What is your “metabolism”? Your metabolism, experts say, involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.

“The process of metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly we gain weight or how easily we lose it,” says Robert Yanagisawa, MD, director of the Medically Supervised Weight Management Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Of course, not everyone burns calories at the same rate.

Your metabolism is influenced by your age (metabolism naturally slows about 5% per decade after age 40); your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women); and proportion of lean body mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be).

And yes, heredity makes a difference. So here are ways to rev up your metabolism:

#1. EAT BREAKFAST. It’s what your body needs to get your motor started. All it takes is a 250 calorie snack to boost your metabolism. Remember also that you shouldn’t go more tha 5 hours in between meals except when you are sleeping.

#2. AN OCCASIONAL BLAST OF COLD WATER DURING YOUR SHOWER. Studies show that by blasting yourself with a shot of cold water will increase your heart rate and get your metabolism going. Be careful if you have a heart condition and please consult your physician.

#3. VITAMIN C. Add some Acerola juice or Camu Camu juice or some Kiwi to your diet. By adding 500mg of Vitamin C to your diet you can burn up to 39% more fat while exercising. Now that’s a nice boost! Don’t over do it because once you go over 2000 mg you can get bloated and gassy.

#4. STRIP THAT CHICKEN! Lean protein in the form of skinless chicken meat and egg whites are great for turning up your metabolism. 30% of your daily food intake should be in the form of lean protein.

#5. SPICE IT UP! You can add some vroom to your metabolism by adding black pepper, chili pepper and ginger. According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon is one spice that increases your metabolism twentyfold ‚Äî and all you have to ingest is a mere 1/4 to 1 tsp per day! (Dr. Tim’s Tibetan Goji has cinnamon in it)

#6. SHORT BURSTS OF AEROBIC EXERCISE. Short intense bouts of aerobic exercise for a couple of minutes at a time can speed your metabolism in just two weeks. So take the stairs, sprint to the mailbox or pull the clothes off of that exercise bike in your bedroom and spend 10 minutes a couple of times a day pedaling with intensity.

#7. PUMP YOU UP! Take up weight training or resistance training. You don’t have to lift like Arnold but studies show that regular weight training increases muscle mass and muscle burns more calories. So pump up your muscles and pump up your metabolism.

#8. ICE IT BABY. Some studies show that by adding ice to your favorite drinks it forces your stomach to increase it’s temperature to counteract the cooling effect of the ice. Adding ice to a drink makes your body work harder because it has to heat it up in your stomach, which increases your metabolism.

#9. CONSUME COMPLEX CARBS. I call this the “No White Diet”. Avoid white flour, white rice and white sugar. Eat whole grain breads and steel cut oats. Complex carbs require more energy to break down and therefore increase your metabolism.

Source: Brazil Botanicals’ Newsletter for November 2011

From DrTim S. Hollingshead,  Brazil Botanicals 

Zadly Company of  KSA is the Exclusive Distributor of  Dr. Tim’s Acai Berry Juice for Middle East, Africa and Asia.