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Posted on November 14th, 2016 by Teri Dreher, under Nutrition, Tips & Resources

As you age, keeping healthy and fighting disease is what your body’s immune system is all about. Do you know what your body uses as weapons to stave off the toxins you are exposed to every day? It is antioxidants. Did you ever hear of them?

Today, Western medicine is acknowledging the importance of getting sufficient antioxidants from your diet … or by other means.

How do antioxidants work?

Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, trending them harmless, without becoming free radicals themselves. They are there to defend your cells from damage and resist the effects of exposure to pollutants and other toxins.
In addition, they have other benefits. They can assist in cell repair. They can even increasing your body’s natural defense capabilities by shielding your DNA from free radical attacks.

Where do I find antioxidants?

If you eat healthy, you can find antioxidants in food. Foods that are high in antioxidants include:

Most of the vegetables you eat-especially green leafy ones – are loaded with plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Some of these are kale, mustard greens and spinach. These are a good source of vitamin E and other antioxidants. These and other green vegetables need to be raw, unprocessed and fresh.

Fruit –
Fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries and cranberries are good antioxidant sources. Besides containing lots of vitamin C, they have iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Nuts –
Raw pecans, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts have antioxidants that can boost your heart and overall health. Nutrition experts believe that some grocery store nuts are irradiated to prevent germination and should be avoided. Did you notice that peanuts aren’t on this list because they are not really a nut! They are legumes, which are related more to beans and peas.

Green tea –
Green tea has compounds that lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes. Read about green tea to see its other benefits.
Herbs and spices –

If you have room in your home, consider putting together a small herb garden. Otherwise next year, make room in your yard to add one. Herbs and spices are an abundant source of antioxidants. Some options are ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric. Be sure to look for fresh products, as they have higher antioxidant levels than processed and powdered versions. For example, fresh garlic is stronger than dry garlic powder.

Tell us your experience –

Are you eating more foods with higher levels of antioxidants now? If so, have you noticed an improvement in your health?

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

For a no-cost 30 minute initial consultation, please call 847-612-6684 or click here to fill out our online callback request form.