What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that protect and repair our body’s cells. Free radicals from environmental toxins and our body’s breakdown of processed foods can cause damage to our arteries, immune system and overall health, leading to chronic diseases that many Americans suffer from today. Antioxidants help eliminate these free radicals, boost immunity, and prevent any damage done to our body’s tissues.
Where do they come from?
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to incorporate antioxidants into a healthy lifestyle! The three main vitamin antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E found in deeply colored fruits and vegetables. It is best to eat most fruits and vegetables raw or lightly steamed to avoid the loss of these beneficial nutrients from heat during cooking. Continue reading “Antioxidants: Why You Need Them and How to Get Them”
Yesterday I celebrated Thanksgiving with family in Canada! The weather was warm, the leaves were beautiful and the food was fantastic. Similar to Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States, the table was covered in dishes filled with potatoes, salads, turkey, stuffing, gravy and my favourite, cranberries! I feel that one cannot really enjoy turkey without a side of that tangy fruit.
Packed with antioxidants and nutrients, the cranberry really is a super food. Cranberries contain phenolic antioxidants that keep bacteria from sticking to cells in the urinary tract, helping prevent infections. One study also has shown that these benefits may extend to men’s prostates, as well. They are also rich in fiber and vitamin C.
Instead of the regular run-of-the-mill canned cranberry sauce, I tried a chunkier cranberry chutney and it was deelish! Since Thanksgiving in the U.S. is still ahead, here is the recipe for Cranberry Chutney, thanks to ALIVE magazine! Continue reading “Cranberry: My Thanksgiving Favorite!”
Spring is around the corner, and with the warmer weather come runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing for many seasonal allergy sufferers.
Allergens can be any substance, but the most common ones are dust, pollen, animal hair, animal dander, insect bites, grasses, molds and fungus, and even household cleaning products. The immune system views allergens as a threat to the body. When an allergen contacts a mucous membrane, inflammation occurs, due to the release of chemicals such as histamine. Symptoms include redness, itching, swelling and the increased secretion of thin, clear mucous.
Here are some tips to decrease allergic reactions.
1. Keep rooms free of dust and use an air purification system.
2. Avoid feather and down bedding.
3. Keep windows closed during times when the allergen is present in the air. Pollens are at highest concentrations between 5:00 and 10:00 am and lowest after it rains. Continue reading “Get a Head Start on Allergy Season”
Having just gotten over an upper respiratory infection (URI), this interview with Naama Constantini, MD, DFM, FACSM, Dip. Sport Med. (CASM), by Kirk Hamilton came at a great time. Dr. Constantini discusses the role that the antioxidant vitamin C plays in swimmers with URIs.
Kirk Hamilton: Can you please share with us your educational background and current position?
Naama Constantini: I am a physician and a family and sport medicine specialist. I am the director of the “Hadassah Optimal” Sports Medicine Center, Orthopedic Department, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, Israel. I was the chair of the Medical Committee of the Israeli Olympic Committee for
over 10 years and currently the physician of the Israeli Swimming Association. In addition, I am an active Master competitive swimmer, and a former swimming coach.
KH: What got you interested in studying the role of vitamin C in upper respiratory infections (URI) in adolescent swimmers? Continue reading “Upper Respiratory Infections and Vitamin C”
Probably one of the most commonly used supplements, vitamin C speeds tissue growth and repair, supports hormone production, increases immune system functioning, and protects the body from toxins. It also regulates cholesterol, blood pressure and blood clotting. And vitamin C increases iron absorption and is an important part of our bone make-up.
Although vitamin C deficiency is rare nowadays, thanks to readily available citrus fruits, it can still occur. Signs that you may need to up your intake of this vitamin include bleeding gums, eczema, poor wound healing, weakness; increased colds and flus, as well as easy bruising. Also, you may need to supplement if you use oral contraceptives, antidepressants, analgesics, anticoagulants, steroids or alcohol.
Taking 500mg per day may be a good way to provide your body additional immune support during the cold and flu season. For a more therapeutic dosages, consult with a health care practitioner.