Antioxidant- a substance such a vitamin C or E that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant- based foods and help prevent or stop cell damage in the body caused by oxidants. Oxidants are free radicals that you find in the environment, toxins, alcohol and they are also naturally produced in your body to help fend off viruses and even to help the body to detoxify.
The problem is when certain types of oxygen molecule area allowed to travel freely in the body, they cause oxidative damage which is the formation of free radicals. When antioxidant levels in the body are lower than that of free radicals, which can be caused by poor nutrition, toxin exposure, this oxidation creates issues like aging, dementia, and can lead to cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
There are several nutrients in food that contain antioxidants. Vitamin C, E, and beta carotene are among the most commonly studied dietary antioxidants.
Our Western diet and not eating enough healthy fats can impair absorption of vitamins from foods. So in today’s world when we are bombarded by pollution and are eating fast food we need to take care and make sure we are getting the antioxidant rich foods we need to help the body to counteract the damage done by smoking, stress, medications, and less than adequate diet.
Top Health Benefits of Antioxidant Foods
- Slows the effects of aging by reducing free radical damage and oxidative stress
- Protects vision and wards against macular degeneration
- Helps prevent stroke and heart disease
- Decreases the risk of cancer
- Keeps our brain sharp
Antioxidant Rich Foods
- Goji Berries
- Wild blueberries
- Dark Chocolate
- Kidney beans
Top 7 High Antioxidant Supplements
- Glutathione- is found within the cells and helps boost activities of other antioxidants and vitamins.
- Quercetin- is found in berries and leafy greens
- Vitamin C- helps to improve the immune system and protects against colds, flu, cancer and skin problems
- Lutein- has benefits that helps the eyes, skin, heart and immune system
- Reservatrol- naturally found in red grapes, cocoa and dark berries helps the heart and arteries
- Chlorophyll- is a natural detoxifier and helps to protect against cancer and DNA damage from stress
- Selenium- helps to support the adrenal and thyroid glands
Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting a young man who has created a SuperFood that is natural, organic and chock full of antioxidants.
Emmanuel Jal has quite a back story which is truly amazing. He was born in south Sudan during the war. He lost his mum and aunties to the war. He was sent to Ethiopia where he with no choice of his own became a child soldier. Thanks to an English aid worker he was saved and now resides in Toronto, Canada where he is a musician, peace activist and wellness entrepreneur.
While living in Toronto and eating the standard Canadian diet, he started to feel unwell; suffered with high blood sugar and blood pressure. He decided to return to his roots and eat two familiar food sources that he had grown up on; sorghum and moringa. Sorghum is an ancient grain and staple food in Sudan and many other African countries. Moringa trees grow quickly and produce pods and flowers that can be eaten. Moringa nourishes, heals and helpts to detoxify the body and both sorghum and moringa contain high amounts of antioxidants making them an excellent food source for anyone.
Jal decided that he wanted to created an instant super food powder that everyone could enjoy and so Jal Gua Super Antioxidant Powder was born.
He now shares his peace message along with his healing powder wherever his travels take him. Jal Gua powder also impacts feeding and educational programs in East Africa through the Eat and Feed initiative. For every package of Jal Gua sold he donates a percentage of the profits to Gua Africa– a charity founded by Emmanuel Jal.
Jal Gua Energy Balls
- 1 cup pecans
- 6 medjool dates
- 1é2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp Jal Gua instant powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor until mixture comes together
- Form into small ball and store in a sealed container in the fridge
Original Recipe by Shirley Plant