Have you ever put lemon juice on an apple to keep it from turning brown? That is how antioxidants like vitamin C protect from Oxidation. Oxidation is a naturally occurring process that takes place in molecules which creates free radicals and leads to the damage and death of cells.
If you’d like to do a fun experiment with your kids, cut up two slices of apple and squeeze lemon juice on just one of them. You can literally sit and watch oxidation occur on the unprotected apple as it browns. Eventually the other will brown too but I don’t know any kids that will sit and wait that long (could be worth a shot for the parents out there looking to keep a child occupied for a while!)
This same protection occurring with the apple is what keeps the cells in our bodies healthy. We are made up entirely of cells and every single one needs to be protected. Most of the common diseases we know of today are associated with damaged and under-protected cells. Whether it is sunlight on our eyes and skin, the inhalation of smoke and other toxins, ingestion of free radicals from fried and BBQ foods or just the simple, everyday occurrence of breathing we are constantly under attack from oxidation. Yep, even breathing. The act of respiration causes oxidation as energy is produced in our cells when we breath.
How can we give ourselves and our little cellular amigo’s constant protection? Nature did a wonderful job at making protective measures abundantly available to us. While the list is far too long for this article, here’s the broadened picture:
- Fresh Fruits
- Fresh Vegetables
- Herbs and Spices
- Nuts and Seeds
- White, Green, Black and herbal Tea’s
- High Quality Coffee
- High Quality Dark Chocolate (see previous article on “Cacao”)
All of the foods above contain different antioxidants; some are better suited for different purposes so to make it simple, eat a large variety of colorful plant based foods. Now go fill up a bowl of blueberries and strawberries and sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on it and enjoy the delicious taste of preventative maintenance.
Antioxidant Rich Smoothie Recipe – Blend 1 cup of cooled, brewed Rooibos Tea, ½ cup ice, 1 cup mixed berries, 1 orange, 1 carrot, 1 cup raw spinach, ½ tsp vanilla extract