Antioxidants: top seven super protectors (prevent damage to your body cells)

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We can read everywhere that we should eat more antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that protect us from the free radicals that inevitably arise in our body. They are now added to all kinds of food products. But is that the way we need them? First, let me explain why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting plenty of them. Especially if you are over forty and want to grow old healthy, vital and with few wrinkles.

What does that mean; 50 trillion cells?

Your body contains about 50 trillion living cells.

Fifty trillion is a huge amount that I can’t even imagine. Last week I read something that made me realize just how unbelievable there are. One minute consists of 60 seconds. An hour consists of 3600 seconds. One trillion seconds is the same as 32,000 years. And that’s only one trillion, so times fifty. All these cells need healthy building materials to do their job, build themselves up and also break down and dispose of them. They get healthy building materials from healthy food.  How well do you take care of all the countless cells of your body?

Antioxidants to neutralize free radicals

If you cut an apple you will quickly see that brown spots appear. That is the influence of oxygen, we call it  oxidation . We cannot live without oxygen, but this literally ‘acidic substance’ also has disadvantages in our body. When sugars, carbohydrates and proteins in our body are burned, oxygen is consumed, creating by-products that we call free radicals.

Free radicals are therefore unavoidable , and you don’t have to. They are also in the air around us and sunlight on your skin also gives a reaction that creates free radicals. But it’s good to avoid  too much . Cigarette smoke contains a lot of free radicals and long-term  stress , intensive exercise or eating a lot of sugars and trans fats or drinking alcohol you quickly get an overdose. So try to avoid all this as much as possible. This will not always be easy, which is why eating foods with antioxidants is a good idea. What do antioxidants actually do?

Antioxidants prevent damage to your body cells

Free radicals can be seen as aggressive molecules with a “loose hand”. With this free hand  they tear other molecules, cells and DNA apart . This causes hardening of tissues and loss of function.

Free radicals are therefore the source of diseases and aging in your body.

An overdose of free radicals in your body is associated with all kinds of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, but also think of inflammation, stroke, stiff joints and Alzheimer’s. Something as innocent as getting wrinkles quickly has a link with too many radicals in your body. Just look at the skin of older smokers and you’ll see what I mean. This also takes place inside the body.

Free radicals can be neutralized by antioxidants.

A low dose of free radicals in your body is also useful, because they help our white blood cells to fight viruses and infections. But in general, we quickly have an overdose of free radicals in our body.

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How do you get antioxidants?

The best way to get enough antioxidants is through a  wide variety of healthy foods . There are now also antioxidant supplements and, as mentioned, they are added to foods. That, in my opinion, is the world upside down. In a factory, healthy products are first processed in such a way that they no longer contain healthy antioxidants (and other building materials) and then they are artificially added again. Nature never intended it that way.

My advice is to eat them fully through a healthy diet, because you need that anyway to grow old healthy and vital.

We just still don’t know  exactly  what’s in a carrot. There are many unknown substances that we have not yet discovered when it comes to our diet. If you start eating supplements instead of food, you will definitely miss building materials that your cells also need. It’s like buying four wheels and a steering wheel and thinking you can drive a car with them. Smooth driving needs more. So just eat your antioxidants through your diet.  Fortunately, they are abundant in delicious food. Below you will find my favorite top seven. I opt for the organic version as much as possible.

  • Vegetable

Vegetables are and remain my number 1 superfood. If the basis of our diet consisted of vegetables again, we might be surprised at the energy that would be released in everyone. All vegetables are a fantastic source of antioxidants, especially the brightly colored ones. So eat them plenty and in great variety. My favorites are garlic and steamed broccoli. Looking for delicious dinner recipes with plenty of vegetables? Then take a look here.

  • Fruit

All fruits contain antioxidants, although some are much more than others. Toppers are all forest fruits, so all small red fruits. But also think of avocados, raw figs and pomegranates. Eat fresh fruit preferably organic with skin. Dried fruit also still contains a fair amount of antioxidants, but the disadvantage is that it often has a high sugar content. That is not so good for your blood sugar level.

  • Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices are the absolute top when it comes to antioxidants. Therefore, use them extensively in the kitchen! Both fresh and dried are fine. Toppers include basil, savory, chili powder, tarragon,  ginger, curry, garlic, cumin seeds, ground  turmeric , oregano,  parsley,  and mint and thyme. Provencal herbs in particular are therefore excellent antioxidants. Be generous with it.

  • Sprout

Germs are little bombs full of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. Young life in the bud contains many building materials. We should be eating them a lot more in my opinion. The topper here is broccoli sprouts. According to researchers, the antioxidant effect of broccoli sprouts remains active in our body for days after eating it. Thirty grams of broccoli sprouts contain as many antioxidants as 600 grams of broccoli. You can grow them yourself quite easily. Seed packets are available online or in health food stores.

  • Nuts

Unroasted, unprocessed nuts are not only delicious but also excellent suppliers of antioxidants. In particular, think of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pecans. Eat them neat or make your own milk. Be careful with packs of nut milks, they usually only consist of water with sugar and 2% nuts. Just read the label. Store unroasted nuts in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.

  • Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate (more than 70% cocoa) is a treat that I can never refuse. Fortunately it is healthy. In moderation of course! It contains  magnesium and numerous antioxidants. The same also applies to raw cocoa powder. You can make a lot of delicious things out of it.

  • Kernels and seeds

Kernels and seeds also contain unprocessed antioxidants. I use them a lot. Toppers here are sesame seeds and hemp seeds. Hemp seed is a delicious and easily processed superfood. I sprinkle it on salads and spreads and on soups. Sometimes I add a spoon to a smoothie. It is a rich superfood with a high dose of antioxidants. Read more about hemp seed here.  But remember: first your vegetables in a large variety and then superfoods!

The message is actually simple:  eat the largest possible variety of fresh and unprocessed products . Then you not only get enough antioxidants, but also enough other building materials. If you want to know more, read my book  The Energetic Women’s Nutrition Compass. In the case of intensive sports or serious illness, supplements can be a valuable addition. Do this in consultation with a good orthomolecular doctor or therapist.

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