This is a guest post by Anu Fergoda
Over the last decade there's been a lot of talk about antioxidants. Goji berries, acai berries, and other berries have been making headlines as powerful healing fruits high in antioxidants. They are known to contribute to healthy cholesterol levels, enhanced immune function, and improved cardiovascular health. Antioxidants fight free radical damage, which has been linked to about 80 different diseases, according to a study done at the University of California, Berkeley.
Free radicals are unstable molecules in our body that are missing an electron. They attack and damage neighboring molecules in an effort to "steal" an electron to make themselves whole. Once they becomes whole, they stabilize, and the cells they "stole" from become free radicals, creating a chain reaction. This activity damages our cells, like a bowling ball being tossed around in a glass shop. Each damaged cell can longer take in nutrients or expel waste efficiently, and prematurely die. While free radicals are always present in our bodies, physical, environmental and emotional stress cause an over production in our body or an imbalance. Eating fruits high in antioxidants helps combat the premature aging of our cells.
Antioxidants are compounds that help protect our cells from free radical damage and other sources of inflammation. Antioxidants have the power to capture and destroy free radicals, help our cells to function optimally, and protect them from oxidative stress. Since, there are many different kinds of free radicals in our body, we need different kinds of food sources like vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants, to combat free radical damage. The micronutrients found in these food sources are very powerful antioxidants. Micronutrients promote many cell protecting compounds. Many of these compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phytoestrogens have significant health benefits and are an essential component to optimal health. Food sources for micronutrients high in carotenoids are found in carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, broccoli and spinach. Vegetables that are deep red, purple or black provide rich sources of polyphenols. Flavanoids are found in nuts, seeds, grains, green tea, red wine, kale, and lemons. Phytoestrogens are found in soybeans and flaxseeds.
Goji berries are known for their ability to increase stamina, strength, longevity, and vitality, protect the liver, support eye health and many other positive qualities. Acai berries are known to enhance nerve and brain function, boost energy, promote a healthy cardiovascular system and immune system, improve skin conditions, and support digestive health. Blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries contain high levels of disease fighting phytochemicals that can help the body combat cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol.
Goji berries are the most nutritionally rich fruit on the planet and fall into a special class known as an adaptogen. They are a complete protein source and contain 19 different amino acids and 20 plus trace minerals - all important components for cellular health. Goji berry tea has been used in Asia for the treatment of diabetes and to help regulate blood sugar and improve eyesight. You can buy goji berries at most health food stores as a dried fruit. It is recommended that you eat a handful of goji berries as a snack each day.
The acai berry is a potent "superfood". As compared with other fruits high in antioxidants, the acai berry has one of the highest levels of antioxidant values on the planet. With over 18 times the antioxidant properties of red grapes, acai berries play a critical role in neutralizing free radicals. You can buy acai berry supplements in juice form, freeze dried, or cold pressed, as it is difficult to find fresh. Be aware that almost all juices are pasteurized. A whole food concentrate maintains the nutritional integrity of the plant. However, even this can reduce the antioxidant levels by up to 50%. Other fruits high in antioxidants include mangos, plums, apples and cherries.
Hi, I'm Anu Fergoda and helping people feel better is my passion. Although I am not an expert in nutrition, diet or exercise, after gaining 26 pounds in one year, being chronically fatigued, and prematurely aging, I decided to take my health and well being into my own hands. After 8 years of wading through mountains of expert articles and opinions, and trial and error, I discovered simple and convenient solutions that worked for me, my family and our busy life. Click here to get your free report on Reviving Your Health Naturally