I learned something about antioxidants this week that blew my mind.
Well, I guess it didn’t catch me completely off guard – but I DIDN’T KNOW!
It makes perfect sense.
I should have known.
How could I not know?
I’m about to show my stupidity, or my lack of knowledge, or my inability to connect dots.
Prepare to be enlightened.
All of you may already know this – for those like me – here’s your antioxidant education for the day!
What I Learned About Antioxidants That Blew My Mind
I already knew that antioxidants were great
Antioxidants are loved by all for their ability to fight disease, improve memory, maintain health and some even tout them as anti-aging remedies. There’s no dispute that antioxidants are good for us. When damage occurs in our bodies (Damage can be caused by many factors including: sun exposure, cigarette smoking, diet, injury, or illnesses) antioxidants can help with the repair work.
I already knew that I live in a toxic world
It’s funny really, the 2 things you must do to live are the 2 things that are slowly killing you: Eating and Breathing.
Ugh, ugh, ugh. I don’t even know where to start here. Even “healthy” people who take their vitamins and avoid McDonalds like the plague may be eating chlorine, fluoride, BHT (bug repellent found in many foods as a “freshness” ingredient), MSG, Round-up, and a hundred other chemicals who sneak their way into our foods & drinks. It is so hard to keep a completely “clean” diet.
How can breathing be bad for you?
We live in a polluted world. Our environment is filled with harmful things. Emissions from motors, smoke, effects of power plants, fumes, gasses. Don’t even get me started on all the off-gassing taking place in our homes, offices, building, everywhere. What is off-gassing? Ugh – it is everywhere: carpets, mattresses, walls, sofas, cabinets, counter tops, paint, etc. Chemicals used during manufacturing continue to release gas long after the product is finished (sometimes for years).
I already knew that antioxidants fight diseases, tumor growth and even aging
So, we are involuntarily being exposed to all sorts of toxins daily. All you have to do is live, eat and breathe.
The bad stuff in our world cause free radicals in our bodies. Unchecked, the free radicals can initiate bad things that lead to cancer & heart disease & make us sick. These free radicals are also suspected to be a trigger for kidney disease, diabetes, cataracts, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related blindness (source). Free Radicals = not good.
Well, since the environment and our food never stop damaging our bodies, we need to fight! We need to be sure our bodies have what they need to repair.
Because the environment never stops feeding us toxins, we need to feed ourselves a constant supply of antioxidants which can bring us healing, repair and health.
Antioxidants are the defenses against the free radical damage. Where do we get antioxidants? From food!
I already knew that I should eat foods high in antioxidants
Foods High in Antioxidants
All foods are not created equal. Some of the foods highest in antioxidants are:
1) Goji berries
2) Wild blueberries
3) Dark Chocolate
7) Kidney Beans
Even apples, cherries, plums, potatoes, raspberries and strawberries contain antioxidants.
HERE’S THE GOOD PART…. The Part that I JUST learned this week
Even scientists who applaud round-up ready crops can’t deny the evidence that organic foods contain not just more nutrition, but more antioxidants as well.
A 4 year study by Professor Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University showed that organically grown produce contained 40% more antioxidants than conventional foods. (source) Another study done by Allison Byrum of the American Chemical Society, showed that fruits and vegetables grown without pesticides and herbicides can contain 50 to 60% more antioxidants.
Did you hear that?
Organically grown foods contain 50-60% more antioxidants.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHY?
Why do organic foods contain more antioxidants?
OH BOY, BRACE YOURSELF….
If you are a plant – you are pretty much stuck right where you are. You can’t run from the squash bugs. You can’t hide from the blight. You can’t escape to greener pastures that don’t have diseases, fungi, insects and uncooperative weather. You must stay and fight.
If you happen to be a bean plant in the middle of a row and the plant on your right has Japanese beetles and the plant on your left has powdery mildew… there’s no where to run or hide. You must fight the diseases. You must stand strong and make beans!
If the farmer isn’t spraying with chemicals the plant must fight on it’s own.
What does a poor, helpless plant do when it can’t escape the pests and diseases? What can he do? How can he fight?
The plant……. makes…….. ANTIOXIDANTS!
In order to fight for life, plants make their own compounds. These compounds are what fights off the diseases and pests.
Plants make antioxidants!
The plant makes the antioxidants to fight the diseases…
The same antioxidants that fight diseases in the plants – fights diseases in our bodies when we eat it!!!
If an apple is grown organically it will contain more antioxidants – because it had to make more antioxidants to stay healthy and strong. This applies to tomatoes and berries and potatoes and the list goes on.
Just one more reason to Go Organic!
Why Eat Organic Foods?
Less exposure to carcinogenic residues (fertilizers/ chemicals/ pesticides)
More nutritious (vitamins/ minerals)
Higher in Antioxidants (whoo hoo!)
They may cost more, but if you go organic you are certainly getting more for your money.
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