By now you have probably heard about antioxidants, it is everywhere online. Doctors and nutritionists tell us all the time to eat foods that are both good for the heart and the stomach but what exactly are these foods? The critical word here is antioxidants. Let us start by understanding the basics
These are simply compounds that naturally occur in certain foods especially in vegetables and fruits. For instance, have you heard of flavanols on chocolate? This is a common example of antioxidants. Other common antioxidants include resveratrol in red wine, betacarotene in carrots and lycopene in tomatoes. All these are types of antioxidants that are very good for your health.
How do Antioxidants help keep you healthy?
In a nutshell antioxidants just as the name suggest helps to prevent cells from the damage that is done by oxidants. On the other hand, oxidants are the free radicals that the human body naturally produces to defend itself against viruses and bacteria. When the number of antioxidants is too high, they may begin harming and attacking cells in the body.
Too many oxidants put you at the risk of developing serious ailments such as cancer and heart trouble. These harmful oxidants are all around us including in the external environment from pollutants such as alcohol and smoke. When the body is ravaged by oxidants, the antioxidants that you consume through food will get rid of them by removing the oxidants from the bloodstream through neutralization. Knowledgeable and experienced researchers and nutritionists insist that it is extremely important to maintain the balance between oxidants and antioxidants to remain healthy with a functioning immune system. The problem is that because of our lifestyles and the environmental pollution around us, oxidants also known as free radicals will greatly outnumber the amount of antioxidants that are naturally produced in the body.
The best way to have a continuous supply of antioxidants to supplement what is naturally produced by the body is through an external source which by dieting. It is therefore extremely important that you choose foods that are packed with antioxidants that will help to eliminate the free radicals that threaten to harm your body and damage your body organs. Additionally, having more antioxidants than oxidants in the body has a slew of benefits other than preventing cell damage. These include; substantially slowing down the signs of aging, help make your skin remain healthy and appear youthful and also lowers the risk of developing heart disease. A diet that is rich in foods packed with antioxidants will help ensure your gut remains healthy and also help keep your brain active. Needles to say that it is all these factors that will keep your healthier for longer ensuring you live a long and quality life.
Below are 7 foods packed with antioxidants at you need to include in your diet daily if you have not already;
Great news for all lovers of chocolate! It is not all bad; it is actually extremely healthy so you do not need to feel guilty when you indulge in tasty chocolate every now and then. Cocoa pack and dark chocolate are packed with antioxidants known as poylphenols and flavanols, According to a 2011 Harvard study published in the Online Journal Heart, dark chocolate has antioxidants that are good for your health. This study goes on to say that the best type of chocolate is one with at least 70% cocoa. What to keep in mind is that a little chocolate goes a long way, taking too much will substantially increase your caloric intake. When it comes to chocolate, moderation is key.
All types of beans whether it is pinto, kidney, red or black beans are high-octane sources of incredibly powerful antioxidants. Additionally, beans are also packed with muscle boosting proteins and also have very little fat and no cholesterol at all. Combining kidney beans with other grains makes a meal more wholesome.
There are other creative ways of consuming beans such as adding them to salads or sandwiches to add nutritional value and a bit of crunch and flavour. There are many people who find beans quite difficult to digest and end up being constipated or bloated, the best way to help prevent this is to drink a lot of water throughout the day when you consume beans.
If you are looking to add more antioxidants into your diet then a handful of raisins a day will get you sorted out. It is especially better to focus on dark raisins because they contain anthocyanins that help provide you with a much needed energy boost. Simply sprinkle the dark raisins on breakfast oats. Alternatively you can throw them in a salad then blend some with your smoothie. Although grapes are lauded for their antioxidant content, raisins actually contain three times more.
This is an ancient grain that is considered by most nutritionists a super food and for good reason. Barley is lauded for its powerful antioxidant properties that help strengthen your immune system and help you remain healthy despite age. Additionally, numerous studies have ascertained that when grains such as barley are soaked and sprouted then the levels of antioxidants tends to rise. Moreover when they are soaked in water and sprouted, these grains become more digestible making it much easy for the human body to absorb the nutrients contained in barley.
In the past decade this vegetable has risen from obscurity to become one of the most popular super foods. Broccoli is making waves among nutritionists and doctors because it is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants. Out of all cruciferous vegetables, it is broccoli that has the most beneficial antioxidants in large supply such as beta carotene, carotenoid lutein and zeaxanthin. According to experts the best way t prepare broccoli without lowering its nutritional value is simply steaming. Cooking them this way is a great option because some antioxidants just like vitamin C are completely destroyed by heat. On the other hand other antioxidants such as beta-carotene actually become more potent when the vegetable is cooked.
Including foods rich in antioxidants in your diet is the best way to ensure that your body is not ravaged by free radicals that damage your immune system leaving you vulnerable to a variety of diseases.
Super-foods that are rich in antioxidants can also play a key role in fighting cancer as detailed below…
Everywhere in the world cancer is recognized as a scourge that is killing millions annually. Based on reliable research and extensive studies, among the top causes of cancer is consistently consuming a poor diet that is devoid of all essential nutrients needed to keep your immune system functioning optimally. Knowledgeable and experienced oncologists are of the opinion that one of the ways to avoid developing malignant tumors is to adapt a diet that is full of nutrients and avoid ultra-processed foods. The national cancer institute estimates that about 30% of all cancer-related deaths are related to diet. However, on the flip-side, we can use food to our advantage by identifying cancer-fighting foods and incorporating them into our diet.
It’s vital to eat a wholesome and well-rounded balanced diet since there is no single food that can be able to fight cancer on its own. This approach is capable of providing the body with the critical support that is required to fight cancer.
Below are some of the best cancer-fighting foods that can be of great help:
Leafy green vegetables
You guessed it right. Vegetables play a wide variety of roles in our body among them prevention of cancer. They are rich in antioxidants, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, vegetables are low in calories, fats, and sodium.
Your focus should be on kales, green collards, spinach, arugula, and watercress. Alongside antioxidants present in vegetables are glucosinolates in natural form which are known to fight bacteria and viruses.glucosinolates can also prevent the formation of tumors by shutting off carcinogens.
Berries are easily available and hence make for great foods to fight cancer. Blueberries, strawberries, Camu Camu, goji berries just to mention a few are rich in antioxidants.
These antioxidants present in berries have been observed to also have anti-aging characteristics and have the capability to lower free radical damage. Goji berries and Camu Camu though less familiar have been used in Chinese medicine since 200BC.
Orange colored foods
The colored pigments found in plant foods are an indication that they must be rich in phytochemicals, carotenoid antioxidants to be specific. Studies carried out show that complex carbs like sweet potatoes and carrots have been linked with a decline in risk of potential tumor growth.So there you have it. To lower risk of cancer incorporate brightly orange colored foods in your meals.
These kinds of vegetables include cabbage, Brussels, sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. These types of vegetables are very rich in vitamin and are very powerful when it comes to fighting cancer.
Just like leafy green vegetables they contain powerful antioxidants. You may need to add one or two to your meal every day to boost your body’s natural ability to fight cancer
Fresh herbs and spices
One of the most powerful foods’ in the fight against cancer should be turmeric. It contains an active ingredient known as curcumin. This ingredient is widely known in reducing the size of the tumor and also in fighting breast and colon cancer.
If fighting cancer your aim should be a teaspoon f turmeric powder alongside a quarter teaspoon of black pepper on a daily basis.
Beef or chicken liver are considered to be rich in nutrients and very high in vitamin B12.minerals present in these foods are very helpful I that they cleanse the liver and therefore enhance its ability to detoxify the blood and also the digestive tract.
These healthy foods also help in dealing with the negative effects of high triglyceride levels, alcohol, hormone disruptions, obesity and viral infections.
Cultured dairy products
These dairy products provide a “good bacteria” known as probiotics; microorganisms that help boost immunity. These probiotics foods can help stop the growth of tumor in cancer-fighting patients. It also helps also in renewing cells.It is essential to consume these probiotics in their most natural state in form of kefir, yogurt, and cheese. Six ounces per day of cultured dairy should be enough.
Another point to note is that cultured dairy is a rich in calcium. It’s estimated that calcium in combination with vitamin D3 lowers the incidence of cancer by 35-60%.some studies have also associated calcium with a reduction in breast and ovarian cancer risk.
Nuts and seeds
When you talk of seeds chia seeds and flaxseeds come into mind. They are dense in nutrients alongside fiber, a range of minerals and omega 3 fatty acids.
Other seeds that can be beneficial in the fight against cancer include sesame seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Also full of healthy fatty seeds are walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts.
Healthy unrefined oils
The need for healthy unrefined oils comes from the effect hydro generated oils have on membranes of the cells including those of the brain. About 60% of our nervous system comprises fatty acids.
Refined and hydrogenated fats will create problems throughout our bodies, which in case lowers immunity, leads to congestion of cells which then leads to a myriad of other complications. instead of using refined oils you could use flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil. They will nourish your gut and improve your immune system and also help to keep your weight in check.
Despite the fact that mushrooms vary in terms of taste and appearance one thing remains equal for all varieties of mushrooms, their immune enhancing capabilities. Many of these varieties of mushrooms have been used to fight cancer for centuries.
Reishi, maitake, and Cordyceps, in particular, can help boost your immune function, also in fighting any tumors that may begin developing in your body. They also help in the regeneration of cells. If you can’t cook them whole; you may take them in capsule or in the form of tincture.
Metastasis is the main condition that causes the death of most cancer patients. That is the reason as to why its one of the most vital issue in cancer-related research today. Several clinical studies have shown that traditional teas specifically green tea can help in the reduction of risks associated with cancer. Green tea is known to contain epigallocatechin-3-gallate a major polyphenolic compound that prevents tumor invasion.
Small Wild fish
Higher fish consumption leads to a well functioning immune system according to a study carried out by Richerche Institute of Pharmacology. Small and wild fish are related to a better functioning brain and the health of the nervous system as a whole.omega-3-fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and have been connected to the prevention of cancer.
There is no doubt that what you eat determines your general health. Your ability to prevent and keep cancer at bay dwells so much on the kinds of food you incorporate into your diet.Make one or two changes just for starters from this list incorporate them into your diet and see how you will rid the risks associated with cancer out of your life.
Additional Indispensable Tips
With these foods, there is no doubt that you will be able to proactively fight off the development of malignant tumors. To get you started in the right direction here are more tips that will ensure you are living the healthiest lifestyle when it comes to cancer prevention.
Exercise regularly and maintain an active lifestyle
There is no doubt that being overweight will significantly increase your chances of developing a myriad of chronic diseases. Additionally, when you are overweight you are extremely vulnerable to inflammation that causes cancer. If you can it is best to adapt to a regular work out regimen. If this is not a possibility then perhaps your best option is to try s much as you can to maintain an active lifestyle. Instead of always taking the elevator, how about the stairs every now and then?
Avoid Cigarettes as much as possible
The fact that tobacco causes the development of cancer is no longer just a mere claim. It is a fact that has been unequivocally proven. Cigarettes are packed with tobacco that is extremely difficult to detoxify and also accumulates in the body making you susceptible to developing inflammation-related illnesses. While tobacco can lead to many types of cancer the most common type of cancer caused by tobacco is lung cancer.
Go for a checkup regularly
While most people think that cancer is a death sentence. It is not necessarily the case. Sometimes the difference between a cancer survivor and the person who ends up dying from cancer is early screening. For women, you need regular screening for breast and ovarian cancer while men especially those over 40 need to be screened regularly for testicular cancer.
While there is no doubt that the checkups can be scary, there is no other way of ensuring that you catch cancer early (at the early stages where treatment is more effective). As a rule of thumb learn to listen to your body. This is only possible if you take great care of your health (active lifestyle and eating healthy).
Cancer is a debilitating illness that is affecting more and more people all over the world. Anything that can make you reduce the risks of getting affected is indispensable. This12 foods will help fight the development of cancer.