Our body is constantly undergoing internal and external assaults from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable particles that spread instability to our cells. Once cells are unstable, the situation must be rectified instantly by neutralization. If not, these damaged cells must be destroyed or the instability spreads like
The Domino Effect.
Over many decades, altered populations of cells will result in cancer, heart disease, brain disease and other serious medical conditions. So prevention works so much better and easier than treatment after the fact. Free radicals are caused by oxygen, foods, smoking, alcohol, environmental pollution, chemotherapy, radiation, medications and pesticides. The list is endless. We are bathed in a sea of free radicals. Constantly on guard, defending against these free radicals, is our protector gauntlet, the antioxidants.
Our bodies have approximately 50 trillion (50,000,000,000,000) cells. These cells must constantly be protected from damage caused by free radical oxidation. Research has shown that the only proven supplement to guard against free radical destruction is food. The “right foods” that contains all different types of protective ingredients (phytochemicals/antioxidants).
Free Radical Loses Damaging Ability Takes On Electron (little circles) Then Having All Paired Electrons
Free radical insult causes oxidation. Antioxidants neutralize the potential damage therefore recreating stability within the cell environment. They do this by donating an electron to the free radical.
Dead Verses Live Fruit
Take an apple, cut it into slices and then let it sit. You will notice the white flesh skin turning brown. This is oxidation, where the exposed air meet the apple flesh and causes the fruit to initiate decay. The browning color illustrates the initiation of cell death. Do the same thing with a second apple. Place it in a bowl and splash the flesh with orange juice. The decay reaction no longer occurs because the vitamin C in the juice neutralizes the free radicals.This prevent the flesh of the apple from dying. You could have done the same with the juice from a lemon, lime, pineapple or any juice containing vitamin C. Recipes for fruit salad often call for splashing with a citrus fruit so it remains fresh.
Different types of antioxidants are grouped in colors with regards to their protective actions within the body. From the very dark colors like purplish black (eggplant, blackberry) to the lightest colors (white corn, banana) give protection to different parts of the body. Produce pigments are the color wheel of health.
Use the expanded chart that follows as your buying guide to getting at least 6 or more serving per day of produce not counting potatoes. Renovating Your Mind’s goal is 10 per day with my daily smoothie having at least 4 different fruits (frozen and fresh). Use what’s in season and always try new produce. If you don’t have any idea how to cook or deal with a unique piece of produce just go online. You could also ask the produce manager.
I save a lot of cash by purchasing frozen fruit and vegetables, especially when off-season. I wait till the end of my shopping trip and then hit the frozen produce section before checking out. Otherwise, mushy time before you arrive home to the freezer.
What An Artist, Rembrandt Of Produce
Rainbow chart below, courtesy of disabledworld.com:
Print This Chart Out And Put It In Your Purse
The are five distinct colors that make up the visual rainbow that meets out eyes when we enter the produce zone. Remember that each different color has different types of protective phytochemicals that go to various places in the body. With produce its very important to get a wide variety of colors but in moderate amounts.
Meet the green boy examples as arugula, avocado, green pepper, limes, peas and zucchini. Next those white girls of cauliflower, garlic, ginger, potatoes, turnips and white peaches. Moving over to the pretty red family of beets, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, radishes, red onions, tomatoes and watermelons. Grown to brighten up the day with the sunny yellow/orange gang of apricots, cantaloupe, lemons, mango, pineapple, pumpkin, yellow potatoes and yellow winter squash. The best for last with my favorite colors of blue/purple starring blackberries, dried plums, grapes, prunes, purple figs, purple peppers and raisins.
Most vitamins don’t function as antioxidants. The exceptions are vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
There are three reasons for us to get our antioxidants primarily from food.
- The first is that research shows benefits only from foods and not from supplements.
- The second is there are thousands of antioxidants and chances are many have not been discovered yet in our foods.
- Third is that nutrients work best in synergy with each other. Mother Nature has set certain ratios in foods of different nutrients so they are best when taken together within a whole food.