The term superfood is used so frequently it can be hard to keep up! What makes these foods so super is that they contain buckets of antioxidants ­ the secret ingredient for keeping us healthy, banishing wrinkles and as a possible preventative for chronic disease. Eating (or drinking) antioxidant rich foods has the ability to quench free radicals, adding energy and calm to body and mind.

gp-sept-2014-02

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are present in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.

Fruits and veggies that have bright, distinctive colours, such as red tomatoes, purple blueberries, yellow squash and orange carrots are all rich in antioxidants.

How Do They Promote Health?

As we age, the body experiences oxidative stress from free radicals. This process is natural and happens to everyone. Over time, the damage can become irreversible, lead to disease and take its toll on our complexion and energy levels.

A diet rich in antioxidants is necessary to keep the levels of free radicals in the body low to maintain good health. Smoking, drinking and sunbathing can cause increases in free radical production within the body. Other factors that can increase free radical production include air pollution, infection, and exposure to toxic substances. A number of the vitamins, minerals and compounds in foods have antioxidant properties.

Six of the best are:

gp-sept-2014-03

1. Vitamin A: Helps the immune system and the intestinal, respiratory and urinary tracts.

Foods: carrots, sweet potatoes, kale.

gp-sept-2014-04

2. Vitamin C: Helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Improves the absorption of iron from plant based foods and helps the immune system work properly.

Foods: citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis.
3. Vitamin E: Supports the immune system so it can fight infections. Helps blood vessels, prevents blood clots and protects the damage caused by free radicals.

Foods: wholegrains, broccoli, nuts, seeds.

gp-sept-2014-06

4. Selenium: An essential mineral that partners Vitamin E to provide oxidative protection. Helps regulate thyroid function and plays a role in the immune system. May slow the ageing process.

Foods: fish, red meat, brazil nuts.

gp-sept-2014-07

5. Lycopene: Naturally occurring phytonutrient gives fruits & vegetables their red colour. Studies show lycopene foods reduce risk of cancer, cardio vascular disease & macular degeneration.

Foods: tomatoes, papaya, apricots.

gp-sept-2014-08
6. Lutein: A nutrient found in green leafy vegetables, it may reduce risk of chronic eye disease and protects healthy cells. Lowers risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Foods: kiwi, broccoli, kale, spinach.

Antioxidants are a part of optimal health. If you find it a struggle to reach the 5­a day target for fruit and veg, or suspect that you could do with some dietary support, you might want to consider a supplement.

GPnutrition is able to advise and write a realistic, holistic nutritional plan for you. For more information please contact Gabriela.

By Gabriela and team

About The Author

Gabriela Peacock
Family Nutritional Therapist

Gabriela Peacock completed BSc (Hons) in Health Science (Nutritional Therapy) from the University of Westminster and Nutritional Therapy Diploma from The College of Naturopathic Medicine, London. Gabriela is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), adheres to the strict BANT Code of Ethics and Practice. A background in fashion modeling enlightened her to the importance of a nutritious diet and its impact on maintaining a youthful body image. Through the application of Nutritional Science, Gabriela looks to identify biochemical imbalances which may prevent optimal health. Guidance is tailored to complement medical treatment and promote health through the provision of nutrient rich food choices and supplement protocols. Gabriela's approach is patient-centred and evidence-based: she recognizes that each person is an individual, with unique requirements and differing health goals. Patients can expect tailor- made support based on comprehensive health screens, dietary assessment, laboratory testing and ongoing nutritional management. Amongst other diagnostic tools, Gabriela offers wide range of tests to identify systemic imbalances. These tests include: Comprehensive Digestive Health Analysis Food Intolerances and Allergies Cardiovascular Testing Assessment of Hormonal Imbalances Nutritional Health Screening As well as addressing individual diagnosis, Gabriela has developed programme themes on the basis of concerns she has most commonly encountered in her London-based patients, and reflecting her specialist research interests. These include: Weight Management Detoxification & Liver Cleanse Immune Support Healthy Skin & Ageing

Related Posts