How you can increase antioxidants in your diet

We are exposed to ‘toxins’ in our environment every day. Actually, anything can be a

toxin if it becomes detrimental to the normal body function, even things that we

produce such as hormones can become toxic when we can’t process them properly.

The reason they are considered toxins is because of their unstable nature and the

effect that this has on us such as causing inflammation and disruption to normal

body functions.


So, what makes something a toxin?


You might have heard the term ‘oxidative stress’ when people talk about this. Exposure to air pollution, poor quality food and radiation from electrical devices are some of the things from the external environment that can result in increased oxidative stress, and the bi-products from normal body functioning results in internal production of oxidative stress. They are unstable molecules and if they aren’t dealt with by our body they cause inflammation and disruption to normal body functions. So whether they result from internal production or external exposure, they need to be de-toxified, and without going into a lot of chemistry, this happens by stabilising the molecules by balancing their chemical structure. It is now widely recognised across all medical fields that oxidative stress plays a major role in the development of degenerative conditions such as cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease as well as depression. In fact, a quick search of any chronic condition and ‘oxidative stress’ will likely yield some connection.


Ok, so what are antioxidants?


They are molecules which come along and balance the chemical structure of the toxins and essentially disarm them. Our bodies are equipped with these and as long as the ratio of oxidative stress produced is not greater than our ability to produce antioxidants everything goes pretty smoothly. HOWEVER, if the load becomes too big, such as when we have an infection or have increased exposure to environmental toxins, as most of us do today, we need to make sure we are getting all the help we can get from our diet by increasing our intake of the foods containing ANTIOXIDANTS. Following a whole food diet is a really easy way to increase your intake because fresh fruit and veg are loaded with antioxidants. If you think brightly coloured fruits and vegetables you will be definitely including lots of antioxidants in your diet.


Here's a list of antioxidant containing vegetables:

Sweet potato

Pumpkin

Carrots

Spinach

Parsley

Broccoli

Capsicum

Eggplant

Antioxidant containing fruits:

Grapes

Berries

Strawberries

Mangoes

Apricots

Kiwifruit


You can also enjoy a cup of green tea!


If you’d like more information about how to improve your nutrition and its role in yourhealth and wellbeing contact me for a personalised Naturopathic consultation.Larissa Jane Naturopathy - 0407 489 363


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