Have you ever wondered why as we grow older our body and appearance change so much? Well, I was curious too, so I looked to the textbooks. Apparently as we age, our cells reproduce at a slower rate which accounts for many of the signs of aging such as slower healing and loss of cognition. Our skin loses collagen which in turn causes loss of elasticity. The body produces less melanin, so hair loses pigment and turns gray. Another source of aging is oxidative stress.
Our body is continuously making new cells. Cell reproduction occurs when a cell splits in two or more pieces, making exact copies of itself. Cell reproduction is responsible for creating healthy new tissue, as in wound healing.
Providing the body with proper nutrition gives the cells what they need to divide and reproduce. Eating foods that contain antioxidants can help slow or reduce oxidative stress. Source: Nutrition Facts, The Truth About Food.
Antioxidants are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts, whole grains, and some meats, poultry, and fish. Some of my favorite antioxidant foods are aubergine, avocado, broccoli, dark leafy greens, carrots, granny smith apples, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, black beans, red kidney beans, black plums, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potatoes.
Herbs and spices are also loaded with antioxidants. Using spices and herbs in my cooking is great because they add complexity and flavor to my meals which means I can reduce the amount of salt. I find that nowadays my salt intake has reduced considerably.
It’s worth remembering to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, in as many different colours as you can. Foods with bright colours, such as orange, green, red, yellow, and blue that go all the way through the food tend to be higher in antioxidants. So, eat a good variety.
What are your favorite antioxidant foods? I would love to know, leave a comment below.
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