According to the website http://www.healthcastle.com/antioxidant.shtml, ’Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body.’ The damage can be severe, like when it causes heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and cancer.
The way that they explain this, in lay terms, is that the cells in our body require oxygen. The cells naturally produce what is called free radicals, or by-products, from the oxygen which can cause damage to our bodies. Antioxidants are like the superheroes that swoop in and prevent or repair the damage done by the free radicals. Antioxidants are also able to enhance our immune defense and lower the risk of cancer and infection.
When we hear this, we want to get our hands on as many antioxidants as possible in order to live longer and stronger! These super substances are abundant in beans, grain products, fruits and veggies.
Have you ever heard that the more colorful your food is, the better it is for you? This just happens to be true. Fruits and veggies with bright color are great. As an example: lutein in some of the yellow pigments found in corn; orange in cantaloupe, butternut squash and mango; red from lycopene in tomatoes and watermelon, and purple and blue in berries.
For the past couple of days I have been presenting data on cranberries. It has been discovered in study after study that cranberries are coming out at or near the top of the antioxidant heap. They are particularly rich in polyphenols, and have a lot of other helpful phytochemicals as well. These chemicals probably explain some of the studies showing cranberries’ health benefits.
So, get your senior on the antioxidant bandwagon for as you know With Age Comes Respect and this is one really healthy method of respect!