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Antioxidants can reduce the damage caused by sugar

Sugar and excess carbs can increase cell-damaging oxidation – here is the science

Glucose from carbs and vegetables is transformed to energy in the cell’s mitochondria, which is then used in the brain, muscles and organs to keep us going. However, this process requires oxygen and causes OXIDATION via the release of FREE-RADICALS and REACTIVE OXIGEN SPECIES (ROS).

Therefore the more sugar/refined carbs you eat and the less balanced your meals are, the more oxidation your body will have to deal with!

FREE RADICALS and ROS are unstable molecules missing an electron. They can damage other cells by stealing one of their electrons and start a chain reaction of oxidation.

Excess OXIDATION can result in accelerated ageing as cells are damaged. It can also increase the risk of chronic/degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, dementia and inflammatory conditions such as ENDOMETRIOSIS. They can also result in LOW FERTILITY as eggs and sperm are damaged in the process.

Our bodies are perfectly equipped to deal with REASONABLE levels of oxidation as long as we have the necessary nutrients to support in our everyday diet.

Here is what you can do to increase your body’s anti-oxidant activity

Let’s start with VITAMINS AND MINERALS

🌱Selenium (Brazil Nuts, Salmon) is a component of glutathione peroxidise a powerful antioxidant enzyme that helps reduce levels of damaging free-radicals.

🌱Beta-carotene (orange coloured fruit and veg and dark green leafy veg like watercress) is an antioxidant that the body can convert to vitamin A as needed to support hormonal balance. It’s kinda 2 for the price of one!

Fats

🌱Vitamin E (olive oil, seeds and nuts and avocado) is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent fats from oxidising and maintains healthy cell membranes.

🌱Vitamin C (all fruit and veg especially red peppers, citrus, kiwi, broccoli) is also a powerful antioxidant in itself and helps recycle another antioxidant: vitamin E.

PHYTONUTRIENTS are antioxidants in fruit and veg that help zap those nasty FREE RADICALS.

🌱 They are heat sensitivity so try to eat some RAW fruit and veg everyday

🌱 However the antioxidant content increases in these veg when cooked (lightly!) : carrots, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, red cabbage, green and red peppers, potatoes and tomatoes.

🌱they degrade over time so the fresher the better

🌱 different colour fruit and veg have different phytonutrients, that’s why I recommend eating a rainbow everyday!

🌱the skin of fruit and veg (apples, cucumbers, pears, potatoes) has the largest concentration of antioxidants. So wash well and don’t waste the skin!

🌱Soaking, germinating and fermenting (beans, nuts, seeds, veg) increases the bioavailability of their phytonutrients and makes them easier to digest.

🌱 Beta-carotene in better absorbed when eaten with a little fat – so always add olive oil to your salads!

Any questions? Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you! Just drop us a line on pilar@purplecarrotnutrition.co.uk

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