Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

This week I wrote that almonds are an important source of vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant.  We’ve all seen the words ‘antioxidant’ and ‘free radicals’ but what do they mean?  Why are these words important to us and why should we care?  Learning about antioxidants and free radicals makes a good case for eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants are substances that counteract the damaging but normal effects of oxidation in our body.  Oxidation is the process that causes iron to rust and peeled apples to turn brown.  Oxidation occurs when the production of harmful molecules called free radicals is beyond the defenses of available antioxidants.  Free radicals form inside our body but are also caused by outside influences such as pollution, sunlight, alcohol, smoking and x-rays.  The normal process of aging causes damage to cells over time.  Too much damage by free radicals is thought to play a major role in heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers and other diseases.  Antioxidants block free radicals.

So we could just take supplements, right?  Sorry but studies have not yet shown that taking supplements with extra antioxidants is helpful.  Indeed, high doses can cause toxicity.  Nothing is easily fixed by taking a pill.  Moma was so right when she told you to eat your vegetables.  Following is a list of some more common antioxidants and their sources.

Vitamin E – vegetable oil, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, avocado, wheat germ and leafy green vegetables

Vitamin C – citrus fruits, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, strawberries

Beta carotene – cantaloupe, pumpkin, peppers, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes

Selenium – seafood, beef, pork, chicken, brown rice, whole wheat bread

You can see that some foods contain several antioxidants, besides fiber and other minerals we need to be healthy.  I’m hoping today’s post will inspire you to add more fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet everyday.  Have a good weekend and Happy Eating!

Upadated on March 11, 2010

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