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Afternoon snack- Antioxidant boost

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I try to eat my berries everyday either in my breakfast or as a healthy afternoon snack. It’s such a delicious way to get an antioxidant boost. On the list of some of the highest antioxidant foods in the world we find the acai berry which is the fruit of the acai palm, cocoa, pecans, goji berries, elderberries, blueberries, cranberries ( all berries are actually an excellent antioxidant source) pistachio nuts and garlic.

So why do we need to eat these antioxidant rich foods?

Because antioxidants protects us from damage from harmful molecules called free radicals that attacks healthy cells. If our cells are weakened they are more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases and many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of cancer, blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis) and other conditions. Unfortunately, we are exposed to free radicals everyday through for example; pollutants especially in big cities or when smoking, when the body has to break down certain medicines, and through normal processes that takes place in our bodies such as the burning of sugars for energy and also the release of digestive enzymes to break down the food we eat.

Can’t the body naturally produce antioxidants?

Yes, these are called endogenous antioxidants. However, the body relies on external sources exogenous antioxidants to obtain the rest of the antioxidants it needs. These are obtained mainly trough the diet and are commonly called dietary antioxidants. Lots of fruits, veggies and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants. Examples of these are beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamins A,C and E.

When oxidative stress weakens the cells it can be one of the reasons to bad skin and skin issues. Imagine an apple that’s getting brown and its skin gets wrinkled or produces brown marks, well that’s kind of the same thing that happens to us whenever our cells aren’t strong and healthy. Our skin gets dry and wrinkled and more sensitive to UVA/UVB. So by eating lots of fruits, veggies and certain grains we can eat towards a healthy glowing skin, fight aging and help the skin to better tolerate the sun.

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