HOW A DIET RICH IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLES CAN PREVENT HEART
Very simply - their anti-oxidant content.
The common denominator in the process of ageing and its
associated disease is called oxidative damage. This has
put the spotlight on the use of anti-oxidants - nutrients
that help protect the body from this damage by preventing
and treating disease - including heart disease. So far,
over a hundred anti-oxidant nutrients have been discovered
and hundreds, if not thousands of research papers have extolled
their benefits. The main players are vitamins A, C, E, plus
beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. Where are these
to be found? - in fruit and vegetables. Their presence in
your diet and levels in your blood may prove to be the best
marker yet of your power to delay death and prevent heart
and other chronic disease.
Oxygen, although our most important nutrient is also chemically
reactive and can become unstable and capable of 'oxidising'
neighbouring molecules. This can lead to cellular damage
which, in turn, triggers arterial disease, cancer, inflammation
and ageing. Known as free oxidising radicals, this body
equivalent of nuclear waste must be disarmed to remove the
danger. Free radicals are made in all combustion processes
including smoking, the burning of petrol to create exhaust
fumes, radiation, frying or barbecuing food, and in normal
body processes. Chemicals capable of disarming free radicals
are called anti-oxidants - and we need lots. Nutrients such
as vitamins A,C,E, the minerals zinc and selenium plus bioflavonoids,
anthrocyadins and pycnogenol are just a few of the many
recently identified protectors, found in common foods. The
balance between your intake of anti-oxidants and exposure
to free radicals may literally be the balance between life
and death. You can tip the scales in your favour by simple
changes to ensure your diet is high in these protective
anti-oxidants, and by supplements where necessary. The simple
way of effecting this is to use organic fruit and vegetables
- with emphasis on the highly coloured ones - at a ratio
of eight serves a day of vegetables and two or three of
fruit, and the use of sprouted seeds, beans and grains.
whether you are taking the correct supplements?
you were less stressed?
with motivation to keep with your diet?