Researchers believe that depending on the lifestyle choices, every cell in the human body is attacked by somewhere between 10,000 to 100,000 free radicals a day. A number of lifestyle choices like bad eating habits, poor method of food preparation (eg. fried foods are filled with carcinogens and free radicals), lack of relaxation, high stress level and lack of physical activity could significantly increase the effect of free radicals on the human body.
One of the best ways to fight free radicals, toxins and inflammation is paying attention to the foods you eat. Inflammation is the root of many chronic diseases including indigestion, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The good news is that your immune system is your biggest defense against accumulation of free radicals and toxins. You can start today by turning your fridge into a medicine cabinet and boosting your immune system.
1. Dark green leafy vegetables:
Green leafy vegetables such as collard, spinach, broccoli, celery, chard, and kale are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. The micronutrients and vitamins in these vegetables can protect the cells and brain against oxidative stress and damage of free radicals.
2. Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids like Fish (in particular wild sockeye salmon), olive oil and avocado:
The balances between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids happen to be an important factor in health and longevity. High intake of omega 6 and low intake of omega 3 can result in inflammation and increase in many chronic diseases such as cardio disease, cancer and diabetes. Researchers believe the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 should be more like 3 to 1, however, in Western diet that ratio is more like 1 to 15 or 1 to 25. Foods high in omega3 fatty acids such as wild sockeye salmon (lowest mercury fish=0.09), olive oil and avocado are great anti-inflammatory foods.
3. Nuts and seeds:
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and cashews have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can fight toxins and accumulation of free radicals. The omega 3 fatty acids in nuts can fight inflammation and diseases such as type II diabetes and cardio disease.
Chia seeds and flaxseed offer a balance of omega 3 to omega 6. The fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants in both chia and flaxseed can enhance the growth of probiotics in the gut and lower the risk of inflammation and chronic diseases.
4. Herbs and Spices:
Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, garlic, turmeric and cayenne pepper have anti-inflammatory properties and can fight obesity, allergies and type II diabetes. Herbs such as basil, oregano, marjoram and sage are also high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
Seaweeds such as Kelp or Kombu are low in calorie and high in nutrients and offer many health benefits. Seaweed is high in fiber, vitamin K and antioxidant and can fight inflammation and accumulation of toxins and free radicals.
6. Raw cacao beans:
7. Green tea:
The antioxidants and flavonoids in green tea can significantly lower inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases such as cardio disease or diabetes.
8. Fruits such as Berries (in particular blueberries). pineapple, peach, mango and papaya:
Berries such as blackberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries and in particular blueberries are great source of phytonutrients and antioxidants and can fight oxidative stress and aging. The anti-inflammatory agent in berries, in particular blueberries can fight against dementia and cancer.
Anti-inflammatory fruits such as pineapple, peach, mango and papaya have proteolytic enzymes that could heal swelling, indigestion and risk of diseases such as arthritis and cancer.
Mushrooms in particular Shiitake mushroom have anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties that can protect the body against free radicals and diseases such as cancer.
10. Sweet potato:
Researchers suggest that sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties and can fight obesity and protect the brain against oxidative stress. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, beta-carotene, manganese, and vitamin B6 and C and can significantly boost the immune system and reduce the risk of diseases. Keep in mind that French fries and potato chips are not the same as sweet potatoes and are filed with free radicals and carcinogens.
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