This Week’s Nutrition Tidbit: Antioxidants (AO)

Nowadays, you ALWAYS hear about how this berry or this juice or this new “next greatest food” gives you a powerful dose of antioxidants.  But do yall understand what antioxidants are and why they are so important to have in your diet?  It’s kinda complex, I’ve been reading about it lately and it’s definitely something I want to break down & share.

Ellen Brown, MS RD put it like this, “Antioxidants are a substance in your diet that reduces cellular damage caused by oxygen.”  Including AO in your diet helps boost and supercharge your immune system which is important all year long, but especially important now during flu season.

When your cells come into contact with oxygen, a change happens to those cells.  When oxygen comes into contact with molecules in the body they produce free radicals.  #PAUSE….oxygen is necessary for life! YES true your 5th grade bio class didn’t lie! But in this case, the oxygen isn’t acting as a positive agent and when it interacts with cells in your body,  it has negative outcomes.  SO to put it simply, free radicals cause the functions of the cells to become disrupted. One huge disruption happens to the immune responsibilities for the cell.

Source: Love Wine With Me

Source: Love Wine With Me

If you need a visual aid picture this: You bite into an apple set it on the table and come back a couple hours later. What happens to your apple? It gets brown due to the oxygen; your apple flesh has been oxidized. When oxygen hits your cells they become oxidized. When cells become oxidized they produce free radicals

For the most part our body can handle the effect of free radicals, BUT when you are in short supply of antioxidants or the radicals are being produced at an excessive rate we have a problem.  For a bit more clarity let me talk about free radicals, they are cells that are damaged that could possible become hazardous if they start injuring your cells and mutating your DNA. That changing of your DNA is the part that gets us sick.

Your immune system is your NUMBER ONE!-Your first line of defense against any foreign agent that enters your body and could possibly do you harm. With a weak immune system you are very susceptible to illnesses and diseases.  (oh yea folks, lack of sleep also weakens your immune system.)

Sources that produce free radicals: bad air quality and cigarette smoke. Guys, a puff of smoke produces millions of free radicals.

Sources of antioxidants: fruits and veggies! Of couuuuuuuuuurse!!! Okay I’ll be more specific.

  • Berries/ apples
  • Walnuts/Pecans
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Sweet potatoes/ broccoli / artichokes
  • Red beans

This is a glimpse into why we need antioxidants! We gotta keep our body clear of those radicals!  Share your info. Eat your fruits and veggies daily and please ma’am and please sir stay away from smoking!!

Get There.
✗♥O

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