I recommend also watching the short video above to better understand the concepts I will explain in this article, especially if you are a visual learner. Having high amounts of antioxidants and low amounts of oxidants is a significant way to lower cell damage in your body. Reducing cell damage in your body is an important way to help prevent you from having a heart attack. To learn more about what antioxidants and oxidants are, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4vU6xkBRWk&t=1s
What is beautiful is that plants also have antioxidant mechanisms to reduce their own cell damage. They need protection from UV light, and infections such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and parasites.
What are the sources of antioxidants in your diet?
The plants that have the most antioxidants in your diet are from vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. You want to eat fruits that are low glycemic: those that have a lower chance of spiking your blood sugar. The antioxidants in plants are in the forms of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are the pigments, or the color of the plants. Examples of phytonutrients are:
- Curcumin: in turmeric
- Flavonoids: in onions, kale, and many other foods
- Carotenoids: in carrots and sweet potatoes for example
- Glucosinolates: in broccoli, brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables
There are many other phytonutrients that are not listed above. Why is all this important? Because when you eat a variety of color, you eat a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Thus, you are increasing antioxidants in your body, and also making your own antioxidant systems more effective. This helps reduce cell damage.
Why is it important for you to eat a variety of plants in your diet?
Because it is associated with:
- Improved heart and vessel health, brain function, and eye health
- Can help increase the diversity of your microbiome
- Can improve your immune function
- Has anti-cancerous properties
- Can increase your metabolism
- And many more health properties
You probably have heard the sayings “eat the rainbow” and “eat a plant rich diet.” Now you know why from this article. The take home point is to eat a variety of colorful vegetables, fruits (low glycemic/low sugar), herbs, and spices.
Make your plate beautiful and colorful.