Like most people, I know that eating antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries is good for me, but I wasn’t exactly sure why. Lately I have been eating products containing Goji berries (aka Wolfberries) and Acai (know for being antioxidant rich and rumored to have “healing powers”), and my curiosity for the “antioxidant boost” propelled me into an investigation.
According to the National Institute of Health, antioxidants are substances that help protect cells from the free radicals that are released when your body breaks down food. Free radicals can cause cell damage, and may play a role in many forms of disease including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidant rich foods contain: beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E; which can be found in many different types of foods. Beans such as red, black, pinto and lentils provide powerful antioxidants that can help decrease the risk for heart disease and cancer. Fruits and Vegetables such as blueberries, cherries, red peppers, artichokes, and white potatoes are also good sources of antioxidants.
Facts about the Goji and Acai Phenomenon:
–Acai: The Acai berry is harvested in South America, and is know for being rich in antioxidants, fiber and heart healthy fats. Many sources claim that the berry has properties that aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol and provide an energy boost. There has not been enough research to verify these claims.
–Goji Berries: Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in the subtropics of China, Mongolia and the Himalaias. Traditionally, they have been used in these cultures as a means to improve eye site, sexual function and fertility, circulation, immune function and to promote longevity. They are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and zeaxanthin ( known for helping with eye site). Like Acai, there is not enough evidence to verify the powers of the goji berry, however; eating fruits and vegetables is essential to having a balanced diet!
Would you like to see more research in my blog?