Cells age as we age. This is a fact of life. All living things eventually face cell deterioration, and that includes the cells in your body. It’s the chemical process called oxidation, which occurs when cells interact with oxygen molecules.
When this happens to fruit, it rots and becomes rancid. Cell oxidation is a normal body function, and dead cells are typically replaced by new healthy cells. However, in the human body some of the cells don’t die. Instead, they transform into free radicals.
Free radicals roam the body and injure healthy cells, damaging the DNA. This is how sickness and disease start.
In a healthy body, free radicals are eliminated before they can cause major damage. However, advancing age and exposure to environmental toxins plus unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking and a poor diet can cause the body to lack the energy to destroy free radicals.
Free radicals can be found at the root of all the big, life-robbing diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants work to prevent and reduce the oxidation process as well as help prevent free radical damage.
Resveratrol is perhaps one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet and is found in the skin of red grapes. It has the unique ability to protect the life of your cells by targeting the “survival gene” in each cell.
Without cell death or free radical damage, your cells live longer, therefore helping to extend your life and protect you from illness and disease.
Here is a list of superfoods that provide the best antioxidant and other benefits and should be consumed daily:
- Grapes: Purple, red and blue grapes are the best. They are loaded with phytochemicals and contain vitamin C and selenium. Dark-colored grapes contain more of these elements than green.
- Blueberries: Contain the vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system and provide the phytochemicals that help protect from cancer and heart disease.
- Red berries: Raspberries and strawberries contain ellagic acid, a phytochemical that helps protect against cancer-causing agents in the environment and in the standard American diet.
- Nuts: Walnuts provide high doses of vitamin C. Brazil nuts provide selenium. These and other nuts provide phytochemicals, healthy fats and plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol.
- Dark green vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, kale and collard greens provide vitamins C, E and A; calcium; magnesium; and potassium. They also provide antioxidants. Kale, leeks and lettuce provide the antioxidants lutein and quercetin.
- Sweet potatoes and orange vegetables: Sweet potatoes provide vitamins A, C and B6; calcium; potassium; and fiber. Carrots and other orange vegetables like butternut and acorn squash provide vitamins A and C in addition to phytochemicals.
- Tea: Green tea, especially, contains two potent phytochemicals: anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin. These antioxidants fight inflammation. Other beneficial phytochemicals in green tea include catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EFCG).
- Whole grains: Whole grains provide zinc and selenium, which help to protect against heart disease and cancer.
- Beans: Black beans and kidney beans provide folate. Lentils and black-eyed peas are rich in folate and zinc. Green soybeans provide vitamin C, calcium, zinc and selenium.
- Fish: Sardines, salmon, oysters, mackerel, tuna, rainbow trout, shark and herring provide omega-3s.
- Nature’s red meat: Nature’s red meat is free-range grass-fed beef, high in omega-3 and without cardiovascular risk. The 2-to-1 ratio of omega-3 over omega-6 fatty acid favors reduced inflammation. We are always safe with bison, venison, elk, wild turkey and other wild game.