Let’s begin with some facts: health starts on a cellular level. Our bodies are comprised of over 90 trillion cells and when our cells are healthy, so are our bodies. We all have bad cells and it is just a matter of how strong the healthy cells are in protecting themselves from the “invaders”. This is where antioxidants come into play.
What exactly are antioxidants? They are molecules that slow down the oxidation of other molecules. In simpler words, they protect our body from rusting on the inside, so they are pretty important to our health and well being. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough. The main source of antioxidants is the food that we eat. Antioxidants are largely found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Some of the great antioxidant rich foods are blueberries, broccoli, kale, kidney beans, pecans, almonds, quinoa and buckwheat, just to name a few. When you consume these antioxidant-rich foods you get all the benefits.
Unfortunately, the food we eat has gone down greatly in nutritional content. The soil is depleted and a lot of our food comes from far away so it’s not picked at the prime time but rather before it’s fully ripe. When that happens, the fruits and vegetables aren’t able to build up the necessary amounts of antioxidants, so when we eat them we don’t absorb them AND even then we usually don’t get enough. That is providing that we eat at least 3.5–5 servings of fruits and 3.5-5 servings of vegetables daily, as per the Canada Health Food Guide.
These days more than ever our bodies are bombarded with toxins. Not only are we faced with what is in the environment, but there are other toxins that we are willingly choosing to use; such as chemical housecleaning products and personal care products, most of which are laden with toxic chemical preservatives. To sum it up: we have to fight off more toxins, and the food that we eat doesn’t provide us with enough antioxidants to support that fight. Now we need antioxidants more than ever.
This is why it is so important to choose organic as much as possible and to eat as clean and healthy as possible to give your body the best chance at fighting off degenerative diseases. However, considering that our foods are depleted of nutrients, supplementation becomes quite important to fill in the gaps in your nutrition. However, a supplement should never replace good eating habits. Proper nutrition always comes first. Keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal, so make sure you do your homework before deciding which supplement to take and make sure that it is pharmaceutical grade quality. One of my favourite third party books to check the supplement ratings is “Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplments” by Lyle MacWilliam.
Eat well, sleep well, practice self care and be The New Healthier You.
Author bio: Maria Losseva-Malho is a certified Nutrition and Wellness Specialist and a founder of The New Healthier You.ca She is an avid entrepreneur and loves educating people about the importance of healthy, nutritious eating as means of prevention of potential health ailments, both for adults and kids. She can be reached via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email ([email protected]).