Phew! Now that we’re over the biology lesson we can look at what we can do to maximise our performance. The interesting stuff! Let’s start with Antioxidants.
Antioxidants – Are They The Solution?
So you’re probably thinking, what about antioxidants and which ones should I be eating? Absolutely, antioxidants are good for you! Not only do antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals to stabilise them, but they are also involved in repairing DNA and maintaining the health of cells.
So which foods should you be eating? Foods that are high in vitamins C, E and beta-carotene as well glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols, phytoestrogens phytochemicals and many more! These foods are good for you. However, each antioxidant has its own chemical behaviours and properties, as does each free radical, as does each oxidation process. The matching of antioxidants to free radicals to specific processes is too vast to know which antioxidant to eat for the benefit you need.
There has been a lot of “hype” about antioxidant supplements and there is an enormous antioxidant supplement industry. However, there is not a lot of empirical evidence to suggest that antioxidant supplements can alter the many chronic diseases that oxidative stress causes. I believe this is due to two main factors; one, as I mentioned above, matching the antioxidant to the many different free radicals and many different oxidation processes is very complicated and two, a processed supplement is different to a naturally occurring food. We can’t expect to get the same result from a manufactured supplement as we could from naturally occurring foods. The body will react to it differently.
The bottom line? Eat a rainbow. I hear you say “huh?” I mean, eat fruits and vegetables in varied colours. Some from each colour of the rainbow. You will notice a focus on rainbow bowls in my recipes. Try if possible, to fill your plate with fruits and vegetables of all colours. That’s the best way to get antioxidants. Regularly eating varied and rainbow-coloured fruits and vegetables will result in a far better chance of getting the vast number of antioxidants you need. Ideally, choose organic produce to make sure you are getting maximum nutrients without any harmful chemicals. If you’re on a budget and want to know the fruits and vegetables that are high in pesticides (the ones you absolutely should buy organic) check out my list here