Antioxidant facts and health tips on tomatoes and beets

Antioxidants and brightly coloured fruits

  1. Fruits such as olives are very rich in Antioxidants and they produce the most, when cold pressed to produce Virgin Olive oil. Olive oil is light sensitive and should be stored in an opaque container away from heat and light sources to maintain its full antioxidant qualities. Olive oil is high in kilojoules, but consume daily for good heart health. Just use in moderation!! Replace margarines and other trans fats in your diet with Extra Virgin Olive oil and the natural omega 3s of yummy healthy butter. Your kilojoule consumption can remain the same and your body will benefit from this “Healthier Tip.”
  2. Onions have phenolics and flavonoids which are excellent antioxidants that have anti inflammatory, anti cholesterol and antioxidant properties. They include the powerful antioxidant quercetin and its glycosides, making them a powerful superfood.
  3. Potatoes possess very high levels of the the blood pressure lowering compounds Quercetin and Kukokamines. Higher levels are only found in one other plant, the Wolfberry or Goji berry, itself a potent Superfood. Healthy Hint!! Mostly all of these goodies, are in a steamed or dry baked jacket potato. So wash and leave skins on. Go lightly on the sour cream or butter, as that is where the kilos lay.
  4. Lentils provide very good levels of seven important minerals, B vitamins and proteins and have no fat and only 250 calories in each one cup serving.
  5. One medium bowl of steamed Broccoli has 25 gr of protein and only 250 calories.
  6. Fresh Parsley is a brightly coloured herb which has been eaten for centuries for its exceptional Iron levels, which helps red blood cell formation, thus creating a healthy Oxygen rich circulatory system. Parsley has been used and consumed extensively since the days of ancient Greece, for its many health benefits and properties including the ability to counter “garlic” breath.
  7. Tomatoes are exceptionally good brightly coloured fruits and their juices and purees and the humble tomato sauce have the highest concentration of the powerful antioxidant Lycopene, of any other juice, food source, fruit or vegetable except for Gac, (Vietnamese baby jackfruit). Like potatoes, the goodies are in the skins; so wash but dont peel them. Both of these superfoods are the only proven food source that is known to lower the risk of prostate and bowel cancers and the Lycopene helps to lower blood pressure, thus reducing the risks of heart problems whilst aging.

Phytonutrient and Antioxidant facts

  • Water. About 80% of our daily water requirement comes from the beverages we drink, with the remaining 20% coming from food.
  • Too much Water may lead to overhydration, which can result in water intoxication; a serious and potentially fatal condition.
  • Amorphous Silica is the emerging new Superfood in Food Science. Silica is essential for a healthy life and we humans contain some 7 grams which assists almost every function in the body from heart health, neuro functions, cell formation and bone, nail, hair and teeth enamel growth.
  • Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and can act as antioxidants in many instances. Not all phytochemicals are antioxidants.
  • Magnesium is found in our bones and muscles and supports the formation of proteins and fatty acids and is assisted by vitamin D3 which serves as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes.
  • Copper is required in small quantities to facilitate the oxidation of iron, which then supports the transportation of oxygen in our bloodstream.
  • Potassium helps maintain fluid balance in our bodies and is essential for muscle growth and neuro-muscular activity.
  • Sulphur is found in every protein in our body and is concentrated in the keratin of our skin, hair and nails.
  • Iodine is essential for hormone production in the Thyroid gland.
  • Cobalt is a trace mineral forming part of vitamin B-12 and together each help to form red blood cells. Cobalt is only found in animal foods, so you can go a big juicy steak, chicken fillet or grilled fish regularly.
  • Brazil nuts have five times the amount of Selenium than salmon, herrings and oily fish. Selenium is essential for life and is necessary for reproduction and the synthesis of DNA.
  • Black pepper, green pepper and white peppercorns are actually the one and same fruit (Piper Nigrum). The difference in their colour is a reflection of the varying age and the processing methods used.
  • Whole grains, beans and tea are high in manganese which assists enzyme reactions, tissue formation and growth, reproduction and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
  • Oysters are by far the best source of zinc, which helps the body fight infection and supports the immune system in the healing of wounds and repair after surgery.
  • Folate which is not to be confused with folic acid, is one of 8 essential B vitamins and is gained from a healthy diet of dark greens, lean meats, dairy, whole grains, brown rice, lentils and chickpeas. Folic acid when taken as a mass produced synthetic vitamin, has negligible values compared to the benefits of consuming natural Folate from healthy food. An exception might be for pregnant or lactating mothers whose Vitamin B9 needs are very high and thus they may need supplementation.

Beetroot, Blood pressure, and Antioxidant knowledge

  1. Beets are brightly coloured fruits / vegetables we know as Beetroot it in the Southern Hemisphere and are rarely thought about as a Superfood but indeed they are !! If you are into health and your physical well being these are such a wonderful source of iron and perhaps why they help with blood pressure. Beets help boost your immunity, especially by drinking the rich red potion that is the juice. Buying sliced beets in a can, saves on cooking and when chilled are a sweet; filling and tasty snack food. Below are some great reasons to eat this superfood !! A works burger just isn’t a works burger without beetroot.
  2. Beets have no trans or saturated fats and are low in calories.
  3. Canned beets are very inexpensive and are available all year round.
  4. Beets are high in carbohydrates and can be regarded as body fuel.
  5. Beets contain vitamins A, C, niacin, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorous and are also a great tasty fiber food.
  6. Beets contain folate, necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. Chemically processed folic acid supplements can never be a match for vitamins obtained by eating healthy foods like beets.
  7. Beets provide protection against heart disease and blood pressure problems and they can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, roasted, sautéed or can be juiced. Beet juice can be blended with carrot, celery or apple juice for a milder but still very beneficial juice. With canned beets, don’t throw away the milder dark red juice; drink it for a healthy burst.
  8. Borscht is a very popular rich vegetable soup, (eaten hot or cold) which is made primarily using beets and is a traditional and a much loved dish in Poland, Germany, Russia and other Eastern European countries.
  9. Beet greens have been eaten for centuries and are known for their health properties and ability to counter “garlic” breath. Legend has it that Hippocrates advocated the use of beet leaves, as a binding for healing wounds and sores.
  10. The dark red beets make an excellent garnish and can be made into a number of healthy cold salads.
  11. Betacyanin is the antioxidant and pigment that gives beets their red colour and can help cleanse the blood, colon, liver and gall bladder.