A Balanced Diet: What Is It and How to Achieve It?

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Having a balanced diet simply means eating the right type of food in the right amounts at the recommended levels in order for your body to take in the nutrients it needs for health. It is important to have one as it ensures the prevention of obesity, diabetes, some types of cancer and diseases.

According to the 'Australian guide to healthy eating', the number of daily servings required from each food group to meet your body's daily nutrient needs can be roughly broken down into the following:

Carbohydrates: 6 – 9

Protein: 1 – 2

Fats: 1 Dairy: 2 – 3

Fruit: 2

Vegetables: 5

Next thing you would need to know is what constitutes 1 serving of a food group.

Carbohydrates :
• 1 slice of bread
• 1 cup of Rice or pasta or noodles
• ¾ cup of ready to eat cereal
• 1 medium bread roll

Protein:
• 70 – 90 grams of cooked lean meat / fish / poultry
• 2 small eggs or 1 large egg
• ½ cup peanuts / almonds
• 2 small lamb chops

Fat:
• 1 tsp of vegetable oil / butter / peanut butter
• 5 grams of fat in food such as cakes and pastries

Dairy
• 1 cup of yogurt / milk
• ½ cup of ice cream
• 1 slice of cheese

Fruit
• ½ cup of freshly squeezed juice
• 1 apple / orange / banana
• ½ cup of chopped fresh fruit
• ¼ cup of raisins or dried fruit.

Vegetables
• Half a cup of cooked vegetables
• One whole tomato
• 10 baby carrots
• 1 cup of salad vegetables

Now, a major problem in trying to follow this guide to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to be healthy, is that a person would have to consume (for example), a minimum of 2 slices of bread, 4 cups of rice, 70 grams of cooked meat cooked in some vegetable oil, 2 cups of yogurt, 2 apples, 30 baby carrots and 4 cups of cooked vegetables per day. Though this may be easily achievable by some, for many others, especially those who live extremely busy lives or are trying to reduce their portion size and calories to lose weight , it is not. Thus, I have outlined a few recommendations and tips on how to achieve a balanced healthy diet.

• Try choosing high-nutrient density foods such as a sandwich that is packed with lean meat and vegetables. This will provide a higher amount of vitamins and minerals without too much calories

• Avoid foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. These are mainly foods like candy, soft drinks and cake.

• Always serve a salad with your main meal for lunch and dinner. This will ensure you will increase your intake of vegetables.

• Swap rice / pasta / noodles for bread, 1 slice of bread is already 1 serving of carbohydrates!

• A cup of freshly squeezed juice in the morning covers your recommended daily intake of fruit

• If you have a busy lifestyle or, you're trying to lose weight and still finding it hard to meet the daily requirements, it is also a good idea to try and take supplements. Supplements can ensure that your body will receive all the nutrients it needs if you're unable to consume enough food for your body to extract the required vitamins and nutrients to reach optimum health.

However, please keep in mind that it is important not to replace your real fruits and vegetables with the supplements (if you choose to take them). Nothing can ever replace a healthy diet!

Good luck!

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Source by Regina Cheah

Penis Power Food: What to Eat for a Wiley Willy

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Americans are slowly learning that food is sometimes the best medicine. Having a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is excellent for the body, heart, and mind. But wait, can certain foods also be especially useful for penis health? They can, indeed. Read on to learn more about the penis power foods to eat for a host of benefits for the big li’l guy.

Penis Power Foods to Boost Libido and Testosterone

It may come as a surprise, but there are a ton of foods that boost testosterone and stoke libido. Include a couple of these every day, and you’ll be in the mood for love 24-7.

Salmon – This sexy fish provides selenium, magnesium, and vitamin D, all of which support testosterone levels and keep sperm healthy.

Avocado – Full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, avocados boost heart health. They also have lots of folic acid, which regulates prolactin, the libido lifter.

Spinach – Popeye was onto something. This leafy green contains magnesium, a significant nutrient for sustaining healthy testosterone levels as a man gets older.

Bok Choy – This cruciferous veggie contains glucobrassicin, a compound that assists the body in getting rid of excess libido-killing estrogen, thereby boosting sex drive.

Celery – Aside from its alleged “sperm projectile” qualities, this bad boy of the veggie family gives off a peculiar scent that makes people go wild. The smell is derived from two steroids called androsterone and androstanol. When celery is eaten, the scent entices the opposite sex and considerably amplifies arousal. It also contains L-arginine, which expands blood vessels to strengthen erections.

Figs – These tasty bits of goodness contain a bevy of sexy-time makers such as fiber, potassium, and magnesium. This combo increases the releasing of pheromones, resulting in more amour.

Penis Power Foods to Michael Phelps Those Swimmers

Fertility on the brain and needing some Olympic-level swimmers to get the gold? Add one or two of these foods every day, and you’ll be singing lullabies before you know it.

Oysters – Slurp just two of these slippery shellfish a day to get a full day’s zinc, a mineral that boosts sperm numbers and motility.

Carrots – A favorite food of the baby-making bunny, carrots have a ton of vitamin A, which regulates progesterone, a hormone that encourages sperm production.

Brazil Nuts – Grab a handful a day to get a super dose of selenium, which is critical for sperm production and motility. And bonus… they make a great mid-day, on-the-go snack.

Penis Power Foods for Stronger Erections and Better Sex

These foods are here to (clap) pump you up! Add one in every day to turn your pony into an Arabian steed.

Beets – Okay, okay, beets are definitely a love ’em or hate ’em sort of thing. However, it behooves men everywhere to get on board. Beets are high in nitrates, making them excellent vasodilators. They open up the blood vessels and stimulate blood flow for stronger, longer erections.

Bananas – No wonder that Chiquita banana lady looks so happy. Bananas contain bromelain, an enzyme that thins the blood and increases testosterone. The potassium in bananas also helps blood circulate and bring a metaphorical banana to your trousers.

Chilies – This penis power food is no surprise! Chilies contain capsaicin, a chemical that stimulates nerves and raises heart rate. They also flood the body with endorphins and other “feel good” hormones that intensify sex.

Penis Power Foods for Penis Health

These penis power foods contribute to overall penis health and should be part of a balanced diet.

Sardines – This silvery fish so loved by the Keto crowd contains nearly one-third of a man’s daily intake of vitamin D, which has been shown to sustain testosterone levels and ward off erectile dysfunction.

Apples – Containing the flavonoid quercetin, apples inhibit the secretion of the prostate-specific, androgen-regulated, tumor markers in the prostate cells, reducing a man’s risk of prostate cancer.

Want to supplement the penis power food plan with something that will deliver numerous vitamins and minerals in one enjoyable swipe? Try adding a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil , which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) to your everyday regimen. These crèmes not only deliver vitamins A, B, C, D, and E to the penis, but also keep the penis hydrated, supple, and protected from the elements and common issues like nerve damage and dryness.

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Source by John Dugan

Sports Nutrition – What About Supplements

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Supplements are something that many people wonder about. Are they good for you? Will they enhance my performance? Are they fair to take?

There are many various types of supplements on the market. The goal of any supplement is to supplement your diet. This means it will provide for your diet what you may not already have.

In that, it goes without saying that natural is always going to be better for you. That means that it is a much better option for you to insure that you have a high quality of natural foods in your diet rather than having a bag full of vitamins and minerals that you have to take.

Do I Take Them Or Not? Only you can truly answer if supplements are in fact right for you and your needs. There is no easy to way to answer this question but we can break it down to help you to understand both points of view.

As an athlete, your body will demand more nutrients including vitamins and minerals of all sorts. It needs this as well as additional calories to keep up with your demand.

It is not simplistic to handle this need though. The best way to get the things you need to balance your diet is to get it from natural, whole foods. To do this, you need to really concentrate on what you need, what is included in what you eat and then insure it is all balanced for optimum nutrition.

That is not an easy task to do, though. Not only do you need to increase the levels of calories that you consume, but you also need to consider the various minerals and vitamins your body needs to make that happen.

Not sure what we mean?

· Niacin

· Iron

· Riboflavin

· Thiamin

That’s just to name the most essential.

In most cases, if you can eat a well balanced diet full of vegetables and variety, you can achieve these needs while doing it.

But, if you can not commit to this level of dedication, then providing yourself with a solid supplement can be helpful. Yet, you still have to pay attention to what you are taking.

When purchasing vitamins, you need to make sure that they are the highest of quality and that they are easily absorbed into your body. They should be purchased form a health food store or someplace that is designed for optimum health products.

Beware! Some vitamins can be dangerous if you take too much of them. This can do the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. If this is something you are not sure about, seeking out the help of a dietician, your pharmacist or even your doctor.

Vitamins are powerful things and they need to be kept regulated for your own safety.

Another reason to speak with your doctor is to insure you are not deficient in any of your vitamins as well. This will help you to balance yourself naturally and therefore find the best success overall.

Oh, before you go, it may be useful to check out the latest in health supplements’ discoveries about cell-to-cell communication taking place in our body – some 700 trillions of them! It’s about ESSENTIAL Sugars our body need – call Glyconutrients.

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Source by Paul S

Metabolic Syndrome – What is it and Why Avoid it?

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The Danger of Muffin Tops and Man Boobs!

So you think that your “muffin top”or your “man boobs”are telling you that you are a little overweight, but that does not mean you have any health problems? Think again. That little bit of excess body fat could be causing you more harm than you think. Excess body fat and its often close relative, insulin resistance, are key drives in the development of Metabolic Syndrome (previously known as Syndrome X).

What Is Metabolic Syndrome and Why Do I Need to Avoid It?

Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Having several of these risk factors puts you on the path that rapidly increases your risk of the major causes of death in our society.

So what are the risk factors? Firstly central abdominal obesity (a waist greater than 88cm in females or 104 cm in males), insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (as measured by a fasting blood sugar level), dyslipidaemia (irregular cholesterol and triglyceride levels), high blood pressure and fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic).

Are There Any Other Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome?

Look out for :

  • Darkening and roughening of the skin, particularly behind the neck and/or skin tags;
  • Mental health problems such as depression, memory loss and dementia;
  • Migraines and headaches;
  • In females, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, irregular or infrequent menstrual periods, infertility or early puberty;
  • In males, low libido, erectile dysfunction, impotence or prostate problems;
  • Sleep problems such as sleep apnoea, snoring, and daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

Sadly it is generally believed that our poor lifestyle habits are responsible for initiation of this syndrome.

Abdominal obesity (visceral body fat) is known to contribute to cholesterol problems, blood pressure and heart problems, blood clotting problems, increases inflammation, hyperglycaemia, glucose intolerance, and possibly renal problems. Maybe that extra serve of chips wasn’t such a good idea after all??

High calorie, nutrient poor foods, lack of exercise and poor stress management all contribute. The good news is – all of these factors are easily rectified when you make small, but regular lifestyle changes. Try eating ¼ of a cup of nuts every day, replace white flour with high protein or nut flours, use good fats such as olive oil instead of bad fats and eat fish regularly. In an age of fast living and fast foods, it is unfortunate that so many of us have forgotten how to cook and give our body the fuel that it craves for.

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Source by Vivienne Savill

What Are You Hungry For?

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I do it. I’m sure you do it. It’s a pretty common behavior but we often try to hide or ignore it. What is it? Eating for comfort. For any number of reasons, many people turn to their refrigerators, a fast food drive through, or the bakery isle at the grocery store. We are looking for something that will take the edge off our day. Whether we are trying to hold back words that we know can never be said outloud, or find a way to push away the sadness of living alone, food has been used for many issues other than hunger.

For some people, the actual feeling of true hunger is unfamiliar. They have been so conditioned to eating around the clock that their systems never get the opportunity to send out the signals for hunger. Studies have shown that our bodies are designed to let us know when our energy stores are low- grumbling stomach, feeling empty, or a slight headache. For most of us, these signals start about three hours after our last meal. We are meant to eat when we feel hunger. However, we tend to eat for any reason at all: stress, celebration, boredom.

There is research information that shows a relations hip between several neurotransmitters in our systems that are designed to help regulate our eating behavior. Several popular books and articles recently have discussed how ghrelin and neuropeptide Y cause you to feel hunger. After you begin to eat, other chemical reactions come into play and your system releases CCK to help you feel full and stop eating. However, when you eat without being actually hungry, your body does not release CCK so there is no natural signal to indicate that you have had enough. That is the primary problem with emotional eating: the real issue bothering you is not being addressed and now you add guilt about the overeating. Picture a sleek lioness out hunting. Once she has finished her meal of elk, she doesn’t look around for something else to nibble on. We need to learn to listen to and respond to our bodily signals of hunger and fullness.

It seems that some of us are afraid to feel hunger. That’s why we eat so often and so much. The idea of being hungry makes us uncomfortable because it reminds us of being poor or lacking something. Just be aware that these are additional connotations that have nothing to do with true hunger. I do believe that along with that fear, some of us are trying to avoid other types of hunger. We don’t like to think of ourselves as being needy in some way – it sounds weak and negative. However, we all have needs. One of the steps in conquering emotional eating is to ask yourself what else (other than food) are you hungry for? When you can identify what you really need, be it a friend’s shoulder, a nap, or a good sweaty workout, you will be on the way to a healthier solution for handling the everyday stress in your life.

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Source by Jacqueline Lewis-Lyons

Reactive Hypoglycemia and Weight Training: What You Should Be Eating!

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If you are anything like me when it comes to weight training, or exercising period for that matter, you hate to miss a workout! When I first started having problems with Reactive Hypoglycemia or Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome, it affected everything!

I could no longer eat like before. I could no longer train hard like before. I had no idea what was going on, what to do and couldn’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone on what I should be doing… and yes, anyone included my doctors!

So, I had to try and beat this thing on my own. The dizzy spells, the panic attacks, the hypoglycemic episodes, the weakness, the fatigue, the shakes, the heart palpitations… and, well, I did!

I didn’t get the right formula in a day’s time! It literally took almost 2 months to get my diet nailed down and for my body to adjust.

I researched everything on the net. I talked to dietitians, nutritionists, bodybuilders, personal trainers and honestly tried to avoid doctors, they only seemed to make it worse!

For the sake of keeping things short, and getting right do the heart of what “works” (for me anyway), I found that a diet high in fat, protein, fiber and very low in carbohydrates kept me from having any episode at all! That’s right! My diet eliminated my episodes all together and for good!… but don’t ask your doctor(s) about this, because chances are they have no idea and only want to stick you on some medicine!

Hopefully by now you know that eating refined foods, simple carbohydrates and sugars, caffeine and alcohol will cause you (a person with Reactive Hypoglycemia or Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome) to have an episode. However, if you are working out, you are definitely going to need some carbohydrates right?… Complex carbohydrates that is!… but getting the perfect amount and knowing how to eat them is key!

What I did when I first changed my diet was to go on the Ketogenic diet for about 5 days straight. (You should research the Ketogenic diet more. Basically it’s a diet that gets your body to switch from burning carbohydrates as a fuel source to burning fat as a fuel source.) I recommend not working out and consulting someone knowledgeable about this diet (or your physician, if they truly know about it) before doing this.

I can’t tell you how long you will need to stay on the Ketogenic diet, it will vary from person to person. However, after you think you have reached ketosis (the state where your body is burning fat as an energy source), you should be ready to re-introduce small amounts of complex carbohydrates (raw oatmeal) back into your body to help you through workouts. If you are going to be training, and especially training hard, you will need some form of carbohydrates.

Making the switch from carbohydrates as a fuel source to fat as a fuel source will not be fun at first! You will be tired, cranky and have zero energy! However, your blood sugar is stabilizing. Again, consult with someone knowledgeable about this diet before you begin.

Now, once you have gone “x” period of time on the Ketogenic diet (amount of time depends on individual), start having some small amounts of complex carbohydrates in the morning such as raw oatmeal (quarter to half cup with butter and/or coconut oil if you are weight training). The important thing here is to eat this with butter, some heavy cream and/or a tablespoon of coconut oil. This will slow down the absorption of the carbohydrates and keep your insulin levels from spiking. This is crucial to avoiding a reactive hypoglycemic episode. So remember that as a general rule; whenever you eat complex carbohydrates, make sure to eat them with fat.

Depending on your day, and how intense your workout will be, you may want to have a quarter to half of a sweet potato at lunch with butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Along with each meal, have some protein and fats like steak, cottage cheese, whey protein, peanut butter, etc. (I have a sample diet on my website.) You will want to eat small, frequent meals about every 2 to 2 and a half hours. Your body will adjust and you will be back to feeling normal.

Now, it’s workout time, what do ya do? Well, remember, your diet has to always fit your activity. So, you have to take in enough carbohydrates to get through your workout (think about intensity and the length of time you will be training), but not so many carbohydrates you kick your body out of ketosis (that whole deal where your body is burning fat as an energy source). Your complex carbohydrates from breakfast and lunch may work fine, but, if you are doing high intensity training, you may want to try eating 2 to 4 glucose tabs while working out. These tabs are made of Dextrose and are immediately absorbed and will be used immediately for energy to help you get through your workout.

Now, if you are eating every 2 to 2 and a half hours a day, you will be eating about 7 meals a day give or take, and only 2 of those meals will include small servings of complex carbohydrates depending on your workout for the day. The rest of the meals should include foods like, whey protein shakes, cottage cheese, steak, eggs, fish, bacon, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter, decaf coffee with heavy cream, etc. (For more information on a sample diet, see my website.)

There are a lot of unknowns in all of this because obviously every individual is different. It make take some people 5 days to reach Ketosis and other people 10 days to reach Ketosis on the Ketogenic diet. Some people may do just fine with a half of a bowl of oatmeal in the morning for their workout others might need the quarter to half sweet potato and the glucose tabs. You will have to learn by trial and error what works for you. Keep a detailed food journal and tweak your diet as needed, but remember the key points here. Don’t eat sugar, refined foods, simple carbohydrates, caffeine or alcohol. Eat more fat, protein, fiber and when you do eat your small amounts of complex carbohydrates, eat them with fat. Eat small meals 2 to 2 and a half hours throughout the day, and be consistent! This is the key to stopping your episodes!

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Source by Elvis Jackson Jr.

Antioxidants – What Are Antioxidants and the Benefits of Antioxidant Fruits & Supplements

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I am sure you have heard the word "antioxidants" many times. You probably know from the news and articles that you have read that fruits and vegetables have high levels of antioxidants but trying to understand what antioxidants actually are can be very confusing. Well, here it is going to be explained quite simply.

In order to explain what antioxidants are, you need to understand that your body is made of trillions of different cells. Each organ in your body (for example, the heart, the brain, the liver, etc.) is made up of many different cells.

As we get older, cells in our bodies can get damaged by many different things. For instance, pollution can damage our cells … poor diets can damage our cells … poor water can damage our cells … smoking (as well as second hand smoke can damage our cells.), Etc. Depending on the extent of the damage, different organs (remember, each organ is made up of many cells) can get damaged. Once they get damaged too much, it leads to problems such as heart disease, liver problems, cancer, alzheimers, etc.

Antioxidants help repair damaged cells in our bodies and antioxidants also help prevent our healthy cells from getting damaged. Hopefully, if we take enough antioxidants when we are younger, we can prevent ourselves from getting problems such as heart disease, liver problems and cancer.

So it is definitely good to try to prevent your cells from getting damaged. You can start this at any age.

Antioxidants can be found in our foods as well as in different supplements.

The fruits with the most antioxidants in them are any kind of berries … blueberries, strawberries, etc. Dark green vegetables also contain a lot of antioxidants such as spinach and kale.

Some good supplements that contain high levels of antioxidants are green tea extract, grape seed extract and turmeric curcumin.

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Source by Hope Pope

What is a Green Juice and Why Should You Be Drinking One Everyday?

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You’ve probably heard of the term green juice but might not really know what it is. In this article I will explain to you what a green juice is and the benefits of drinking a green juice everyday.

What is a Green Juice?

A green juice is usually a non sweet juice (it usually does not contain much fruit, if any) that is usually composed of:

Cucumber Celery

and your choice of leafy greens such as:

Spinach Chard Kale Collards Parsley Cilantro Broccoli Cauliflower

Sprouts… (etc.)

Some extras to add to the juice if desired:

Lemon Lime Fennel Jicama Zucchini

and pretty much any non starchy vegetable. For extra sweetness it is permissible to add small quantities of:

apples carrots beets

or pretty much any starchy vegetable. Here is a great juice recipe that includes some apples for sweetness but you can take them out if you want.

Apple Lime Spinach Juice

5 ribs celery 1 large English cucumber 1/2 lime 1 bunch spinach (wash thoroughly) 2 apples (optional)

Put all the ingredients through a single auger juicer or a juicer that is good at choosing greens. If you don’t have a juicer you could chop the cucumber, apple, and celery and place it in a blender (cucumber first) with the spinach, peeled lime, and a cup of water. Blend on high for about thirty seconds and then pour and squeeze the mixture through a sprout bag, strainer, or cheese cloth over a big bowl.

It is best to drink the juice first thing in the morning, an hour or so, before you eat your regular breakfast. Think of it like a living vitamin supplement instead of a meal replacement. By juicing your greens you are removing the pulp which makes all the nutrients in the leafy greens easy to digest and absorb.

Why is it important to drink a green juice?

It is important because it is one of the easiest ways to absorb the vitamins and minerals from leafy greens.

Leafy greens have an abundance of nutrients including:

* Trace minerals: iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins

* Good Source of Vegetable Protein

* Alkalizing abilities

* Enzymes, Chlorophyll, and a host of Antioxidants including Beta-Carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage.

* Dark leafy greens even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Green juices also taste surprisingly good and refreshing. Making one every morning can be an event for the whole family. For extra nutrition an ounce of aloe vera juice can be added to the juice. Aloe vera juice is good for your joints and a healthy digestive system.

Also, 1 ounce of wheatgrass juice can be added to the juice recipe. Wheatgrass is the grass of the wheat berry and can be juiced to make a chlorophyll rich juice that contains as many nutrients as two pounds of vegetables.

I hope that this article clarified what is a green juice and I hope it encouraged you try try and make one at home. For more in depth information about green juices, green soups, and green smoothies I encourage you to check out the resources below.

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Source by Cecilia Benjumea

What Are Some of the Causes of Body Fat?

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What are some of the causes of body fat,is in some cases pretty easy to answer. You eat too much and you eat entirely, the wrong foods when you do eat. Food with low nutritional value, high caloric intake, fats and sugars, all very baaaadddd for you. Your daily diet and what you put into it is a major cause of weight gain.

Another thing that has a big effect on your body fat gain is you too late. You should never eat a meal or have bowls of ice cream 4 or 5 hours before you lay down for the night. Your body continue to digest all of the calories that you ate and store it as fat. You being immobile, your body doesn’t burn any of them. Stored fat ready to be used. The problem is it never get used, because you start the next day with more food so it remains stored and you become fatter.

The lack of any type of physical activities. You sit at your desk all day or you do some other kind of work that doesn’t require you to be very active. You eat breakfast. You sit. Eat lunch. You sit. Get home, eat dinner. Sit some more. Are you starting to see the whole picture here? You’re doing nothing to help burn the calories that you took in during the day. Have you ever heard the song by Olivia Newton John “Let’s Get Physical”? Well, it’s that time. Put in a DVD or CD and dance along to the music, anything to get up the heart rate and burn a few calories.

So, you are starting to get a little older, and that means that your metabolism is starting to slow. Which means that your body will not naturally burn body fat the way it once did. You will have to force yourself to be more active. It is said that for every decade over 20 that you are your metabolism slows by 2%. Forty, you will have to increase your metabolism artificially by 4% to start burn fat.

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Source by Thomas H Richardson

Antioxidants – What Are They?

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Antioxidants are nutrients that are present in the food that we consume. You can also purchase various nutritional supplements that are chalk full of antioxidants. Antioxidants can repair and prevent oxidative damage that often occurs to our body. Bi-products are naturally produced in our bodies when our body cells use oxygen. This can be very damaging to our health but antioxidants intercept these bi-products and help prevent them from causing such conditions as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

We know antioxidants more commonly as foods that are rich in vitamin A and cartenoids such as carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes, kale, cantaloupe, peaches, collards, and apricots. Foods rich in vitamin C are the whole citrus fruit family, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables. Foods that are rich in vitamin E are whole grains, nuts and seeds, vegetable and liver oils, and again green leafy vegetables. Selenium is also important as an antioxidant and can be found in foods like the fish family, red meat, garlic, chicken, grains, and eggs. If you notice some foods like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and strawberries show up in multiple vitamin and antioxidant families. These would be fantastic choices as they would provide multiple food benefits.

Antioxidants further break down into other categories such as flavonoids and polyphenols. These include soy, red wine, purple grapes, pomegranates, tea and cranberries. We want to eat foods that are rich in lycopene and lutein such as tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruits, dark green vegetables, especially spinach, brussel sprouts, kiwi, kale, and broccoli.

We are always hearing about the health benefits of antioxidants and how they prevent heart disease, ward off cancers and dementia, and they may even slow the aging process. The above mentioned foods are loaded with antioxidants but antioxidants are also found in some foods that would not necessarily be considered “healthy” foods, like the foods mentioned above, such as chocolate, coffee, and red wine which can deliver many beneficial antioxidants.

Antioxidants are responsible for preventing oxidation but they really do a whole lot more too such as reducing inflammation and to keep our arteries flexible. The way that each antioxidant is delivered will be responsible for the part of the body that it is most effective for. In other words, such foods as berries, which are full of flavonoids, would better improve artery health and since spinach is full of lutein would be best for preventing macular degeneration.

Of course all of us would love to eat a perfectly balanced diet rich in all the above-mentioned foods but that isn’t always reality. Antioxidants are also available in nutritional supplements. The popular acai berry juice is loaded with antioxidants. A small dose once per day is all you need to ensure you’re fighting that free radical damage that can be so harmful to your health.

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Source by Shannon Pollock