Antioxidants is a word we hear brandished around frequently, but do you really know why they are good for you, and which are the best antioxidants and why?
Put simply, antioxidants are passive sponges to mop up free radical damage, reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. These are the culprits behind nasties such as wrinkles, aging, LDL oxidation …which leads to heart disease.
Free radicals (these produce ROS and OS) are found in trans fatty acids, fried foods, highly processed foods, pesticides, smoking, pollution and even good (and important) things such as breathing and exercise produce free radicals. So ensuring you have a defence force of ANTIOXIDANTS is essential. The best antioxidant is a small protein molecule called GLUTATHIONE. You should consider it to be as important as air and water in part of your antiaging strategy.
Glutathione is found in protein foods, and is abundant in eggs. It is also found in sulphur containing foods such as onions and garlic, cruciferous vegies and brazil nuts. The herb St Mary’s Thistle or a straight glutathione supplement are also sources for those that like to supplement . The enemies of glutathione are alcohol, refined sugar, caffeine, toxins, processed food, trans fats, fried foods, cigarettes…they deplete your glutathione levels. (They also deplete other good guys such as magnesium, zinc and B vitamins). Glutathione has been clinically researched and proven to optimize your immune system, maximize the function of antioxidants, support your detoxification process at the cellular level, increase your energy levels and increase your strength and endurance.
Jean Carper in her book “Stop Aging Now!” claims: “You must get your levels of Glutathione up if you want to keep your youth and live longer. High levels of GSH predict good health and long life. Low levels predict early disease and death.” If that doesn’t make you want eggs for breakfast what will?
To be fair to the other antioxidants I have listed them and tabled food sources below.
ANTIOXIDANT BLISS BALLS
Bliss Balls with Nuts & Cacao
10 -12 pitted medjool dates
1 cup of nuts of your choice (almonds, BRAZIL, cashews or any combination you have on hand)
2 tbs cacao
2 heaped tbs coconut oil or tahini
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs sunflower seeds or pepitas
additional shredded coconut to roll balls in (optional)
Blend all ingredients until well combined. I used my Thermomix and blended for 15 seconds, speed 7. Scrape the sides of bowl and blend again for a further 15 seconds on speed 7.
Roll into balls and coat in shredded coconut (coconut is optional). Refrigerate for around 1 hour until set then enjoy! Best kept in the fridge as they will “melt” once they get too warm. Bliss Balls can also be stored in the freezer and brought to room temperature to eat!
Michelle Smallman is a qualified Naturopath with a passion for Health and Wellness and is the brains behind Inner Luxe multivitamin supplements designed especially for women.