Antioxidants and Inflammation: One for the weekend

Antioxidants and Inflammation
  • Antioxidants can neutralise "free radicals" — reactive oxygen molecules that play a role in the onset of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Age-related changes may be modulated by consuming foods and beverages that are rich in a variety of compounds, including antioxidants, and are anti-inflammatory, such as cold-water fish, fruits, vegetables and Herbs & Spices.
  • Eating large amounts of saturated or trans fatty acids, sugars, and starches, make insulin levels surge and trigger an anti-inflammatory response and accelerate the aging process.
Some simple dietary changes to aim for:
  • Fish. Follow the guidelines of the American Heart Association and eat twice weekly, especially the "oily" kind that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory food that offers a multitude of health benefits.
  • Fruits, vegetables and Herbs & Spices: are powerhouses of antioxidants. Try to eat at least 5 servings per day for the maximum benefits. Use herbs & spices when your are cooking and/or drink a herbal infusion.
  • Whole grains: provide soluble fibre to help lower blood cholesterol levels, and also have phytonutrient content. At least 3 daily servings should do the job.
  • Legumes: are unsung heroes, packed with nutrients similar to fruits and vegetables and with very few calories. Add them to your diet 3 to 4 times a week.
  • Yogurt: has all the benefits of dairy foods, plus probiotics that help add healthy bacteria to the intestines. Nutritionists recommends eating a yogurt with active cultures as one of your 3 dairy servings each day.
  • Nuts: are a great source of B vitamins and contain healthy oils that are good for your heart and your brain. The healthy fats in nuts benefit the elastin and collagen in skin, helping to maintaining skin's structure and keep it resilient. Small portions are advised, as nuts are high in calories.
  • Water: is essential for hydration of the skin, muscles, circulation, and all organs in the body. Enjoy 3-4 glasses of water in addition to other liquids and, of course, you will be helping hydration & detoxification with a herbal infusion (3 - 4 cups / day).