Contributed by Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH, adapted from The Anti-Breast Cancer Cookbook.* Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from damage caused by the unstable molecules known as free radicals. Damaging free radicals can come from many sources: sunlight, carcinogens in cigarette smoke and charred meat, chemicals such as benzene, and the heme iron found in red meat. Free radical damage to cells may lead to DNA damage, which can contribute to cancer risk. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals, thereby preventing some of the damage free radicals might cause. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, resveratrol, quercetin, anthocyanidin, vitamins C and E, and many other substances.
Nut butters are more than just delicious. Studies show that consuming nuts regularly may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and protect against certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Despite the fact that nuts and seeds contain a higher fat and calorie content, research indicates that consuming nuts does not lead to weight gain. Including about an ounce of nuts and seeds in your diet per day can have significant health benefits, especially when the serving of nuts replaces the calories from elsewhere in the meal, such as a piece of bread. Because of their rich flavors, only a small amount of nut butter is needed to add “wow” to wide range of recipes. more→
Grown and used for thousands of years, garlic is in the allium family, along with onions, chives and leeks. Known as the ‘stinking rose,’ garlic gets its aroma from its sulfur-containing compounds. These are also in part why garlic so good for you. more→
Real, dark chocolate and cacao contain numerous natural compounds offering a myriad of health benefits. No wonder that chocolate has long been known as “Food of the Gods” due to its many health-enhancing qualities. What’s the difference between cocoa and cacao? Cacao is the bean from the plant in its raw, unprocessed state. It becomes cocoa once roasted and processed. While dark chocolate still retains a lot of nutritional benefits, only cacao nibs can rightly claim superfood status. Here are the top reasons to enjoy this well-loved food. more→
Maca, a root that belongs to the radish family, is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.” Maca’s benefits have been long valued, and has recently been popularized as a supplement and food ingredient. more→
If your diet is generally full of lots of servings of fruits, veggies, and grains on a daily basis, maybe you only need a multivitamin with the basics—vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and so on—with levels that are below or bring you up to 100 percent of your RDAs. With an adequate diet, you also receive many nutrients, and you don’t want to put your levels over the top or at a point where they actually start doing you harm instead of good. more→
I cannot stop eating kale lately. I can’t help myself. I’ve been using this hearty, healthy green in almost every meal! But that’s not a bad thing at all. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and is beneficial to your health in many ways. One cup of kale has zero fat and only 36 calories and is high in vitamins and antioxidants. You can eat this green raw or cooked. Enjoy in salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, and smoothies. more→
Blueberries taste great just eaten out of hand, or added to cereal, baked and frozen desserts, fruit salads, and more. The antioxidants and vitamins contained in these little berries can help you live longer and look better. Packed with nutrients, blueberries contain: potassium, zinc, copper, vitamins A, B complex, C, and E, manganese, iron. Anthocyanin, which gives these berries their blue hue, is a powerful antioxidant. more→