Part 2: Foods Rich In Antioxidants

Hi friends, Happy Friday! Happy Guru Parab and Kartik Purnima too!

I am so happy to be back after a gap of two weeks. Was taking a pause with family and the added classes/studies for Certified Personal Trainer from American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) did not make it any easier. It is a lot crazy right now and I really want to insert a crying emoji for better effects but I don’t think I can do that on my laptop.

Anyways, how have you been? Hope life is going crazily good for you 😊

Today’s post, the part deux of Antioxidants, has been long due. Do read the part 1 of the Antioxidants Series here if you missed it or need to recall something. In it, we already understood what are free radicals, what is oxidation as well as oxidative stress and, what exactly are antioxidants.

There are several factors that can shake the balance of free radicals/antioxidants and cause the oxidative stress. These factors could be:

  • Pollution
  • Smoking, drugs and alcohol
  • Radiations
  • Poor diet choices
  • Stress
  • High blood pressure
  • Infections such as bacterial, fungal or viral
  • Excessive intake of minerals like copper, zinc, iron, magnesium as well as of Vitamins C and E
  • Exercising too much

Antioxidants are essential for our survival and we need to support our body in keeping this balancing act, strong. Without antioxidants, major damage would happen to our body and it won’t survive for long!

How?

Do not worry much. It is not possible to completely avoid the damage done by oxidative stress. However, there are things we could do to minimize their effects on our body and ensure a disease free, long, healthy life.

One way is through our diet. Antioxidants are found abundantly in various foods, apart from being produced in our body on its own. Make sure to have a healthy, well-balance diet and include the foods below in it:

  • Rajma (kidney beans)
  • Dark leafy greens – spinach, methi, kale, broccoli, tomato, bok choy, lemon grass
  • Beans – broad beans (sem fali)
  • Beetroot, carrot, olives, onions, garlic
  • Amla (Indian gooseberry), lemon and other citrus fruits
  • Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, goji berries
  • Cherries, prunes, stone apple (bael fruit), avocadoes, bananas, pomegranate, apricots, grapes
  • Nuts
  • Cocoa or dark chocolate (80% and above cocao content)
  • Artichokes – steaming them ensures the best antioxidant content
  • Red or purple cabbage – 4 times the regular cooked cabbage due to the red pigment anthocyanin
  • Microgreens
  • Barley flour (bajra)
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin E, C and melatonin

Antioxidants are easy to add to the diet. There are so many options to suit all budgets and tastes. You don’t even have to calculate much, there are two simple rules:

  1. Add a variety to your diet
  2. Add colours (preferably in veggies)

Other than diet, there are a few other ways to decrease the oxidative stress in our body. These are:

  • Care for the environment and the Earth. Doing our own small bits towards reducing pollution and wastage of resources go a long way. Being mindful of our actions and their consequences to the planet/animals/humanity in general, keeps us happy and safe too
  • A regular exercise routine at moderate intensity works wonders
  • Quitting smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, both
  • Quit or reduce alcohol consumption
  • Do not overeat and keep a routine for meals/snacks
  • Reducing our exposure to chemicals, pesticides, cleaning agents etc helps
  • Sunscreens help and I, personally struggle with this one…I always forget to put it on and these days, I have been trying to be mindful for it 😊
  • Adequate sleep – differs from person to person but 6 hours of good sleep is adequate for most of us
  • Stress management

In the end, the important thing is to take care of yourself, your loved ones and Mother Earth. We will automatically be taken care of!

It is also time we start paying Mother Earth back for all that she gives us so patiently…to help us live and thrive even if we choose to do nothing in return. Not fair to give her nothing in return, wouldn’t you say?

Hope you found the series on antioxidants useful and it gave you food for thought…and some actual food ideas! Do join me on Instagram for regular updates on Health, Nutrition, Fitness and Motivation, here:

https://www.instagram.com/healthcoach_smita/

Till next Friday,

Love, Health & Peace