If you follow me on any social media platform, you know that I am always talking about having insurance for your health. I ask others if they have insurance on their phone, car or house, and the answer is always yes. I also ask them if they are currently investing in their retirement. Again, the answer is always yes. When I ask them if they are investing in their health, I often get that they do not have time to get to the gym or they don’t like vegetables so they don’t eat them. The answer to my question about their health is no.
However, I challenge you to think about this. Say you get to your retirement and have all this money that you planned on traveling the world with, but you are unable to fly or travel because your health does not allow you. We have to take the initiative now to increase the insurance we have on our health.
So what do you need to know?
Antioxidants is a word that I want you to remember. Antioxidants are molecules that help protect our cells from free radicals. These free radicals are a negative components from natural metabolic processes or from external sources that create oxidative stress within our bodies. When these free radicals are not terminated, they are able to create damage within the cells at the molecular level. This oxidative damage are associate with many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ocular disease, motor neuron disease and many more (1).
Where are antioxidants found?
Antioxidants are found in foods such as fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants are stable enough to give some of their properties to a free radical to neutralize it before it creates damage within our body. There is a strong inverse relationship between dietary intake of antioxidant-rich food and incidence of human disease (2). Meaning the more high antioxidant foods you eat, the less likely you are to have a diagnosed disease. Not only are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables, but they can be found in other foods such as the following (3).
Pecans have high levels of healthy fats that are used in the body for heart protection. Increasing pecans in the diet has been show to significantly increase antioxidant levels in the blood.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has more cocoa than regular chocolate which gives the high antioxidants and minerals that are beneficial to the body. Dark chocolate can be a great benefit to protect from inflammation and provide reduced risk for heart disease.
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are on this list for their high levels of antioxidants. Research has found that the antioxidants in blueberries may delay the decline in brain function that happens with aging. The anthocyanins in berries, which are a type of antioxidant, have been shown to reduce risk factors for heart disease by lowering unhealthy cholesterol and blood pressure.
Kale is rich in vitamin A, K, C and many antioxidants. It is also a great plant-based source of calcium which is important in bone health and cellular function. When looking at kale, try to find a batch that has strands of red varieties. There will be a higher content of antioxidants in this batch.
Beets are rich in color which is from the high levels o