Saturday, June 22, 2013

Eat Your Antioxidant-Rich Foods

With the recent haze in Singapore due to forest fires in the neighboring country, we all have been finding ways to avoid breathing in the toxic particles present in the air. These pollutants may cause inflammation in your lungs, skin sensitivity, and irritate our eyes, nose, and throat. Staying indoors, closing the windows, turning on the air conditioners and air purifiers are some ways to protect us from the haze, but there are also other ways that we can do nutritionally that can boost our immune system.

1. Drink more water. This will help our kidneys flush out toxins we inhale or absorb through skin.

2. Limit your alcohol and coffee consumption as they promote the fluid loss and leaching of nutrients from our body.

3. Eat more antioxidant-rich foodsAntioxidants fight off harmful molecules in the body called free radicals. Free radicals are toxic and highly unstable molecules that damage body cells such as DNA, lipids, and impairing the brain and other tissues. They are formed as a natural by-product of body chemistry (from things like pollution, alcohol, cigarette smoke, etc) and worsen when you consume rancid vegetable oils and those containing MSG. Stress, pollution, alcohol, and smoking cigarettes also further accelerate the formation of free radicals. Antioxidants are important to protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals and our skin from radiation from the sun, so the more you can include them in your diet, the better that your body can defend itself against free radicals. 

Deep-colored produce signify the presence of antioxidants. Here is a list of food that is rich in antioxidants:

- Berries (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, and cherry)

- Red Fruits and Vegetables, such as tomatoes, papayas, and carrots.

- Dark Green Vegetables, such as broccoli and kale.

Nuts and Seeds. These vitamin E-rich foods are natural antioxidants. Moisturizing our skin with creams that contain natural vitamin E will also protect, preserve, and renew skin cells by reducing oxidative stress.

Vitamin C-rich foods such as bell peppers and citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruits (the highest concentration of the antioxidants is in the pulp, so don't drink just the juice!).

Garlic. It contains antioxidant flavonoids that also has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

- Rooibos Tea. Naturally high in antioxidants and caffeine-free.

- Green Tea or Matcha. It has the capacity to reduce free radicals and protect cells from oxidative stress and skin damage. 

Isn't it a blessing that we can breathe in clean air? Do you realize that some of the most important things in life are free, such as oxygen and water? Thank you, Lord!

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