In our daily lives, just by doing things like breathing and being exposed to things like smoke or pollution produces oxidative stress in our bodies. These reactive oxygen species can be neutralized by antioxidants consumed in our diet, primarily. So where do you get these from? You get these from richly pigmented fruits and vegetables – things like red peppers, oranges, yellow squash, green kale, blueberries, dark chocolate, and wine.
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants but unfortunately most of the chocolate sold in stores is loaded with things like milk and sugar, which pretty much negates the benefits that you get from it. So you can consume high cacao content chocolate (something like 85% or above) but if that’s too bitter for your taste, you can also supplement with a product called CocoaVia, which is a very potent source of coco flavanols and it has proven scientific evidence to increase blood flow in the body.
Omega-3’s come from things like fatty fish – like salmon, halibut, herring, sardines. But if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you might be finding your Omega-3’s through things like flax seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds. The Omega-3’s found in plant sources are not officially converted in our bodies to the kinds of Omega-3’s that are very beneficial like EPA and DHA. So if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you might want to supplement with algae oil. If you’re a person who doesn’t like to eat fish, you might also consider supplementing with fish oil but it’s very important for you to find the highest quality source you can look for because many of the supplements that have fish oil in them can easily go rancid. So I recommend to my patients to find good brands that are pharmaceutical-grade that have high percentages of EPA and DHA.
Wine and chocolate contain large quantities of anti-oxidants. However, they’re easy to over-indulge in. Dark chocolate is probably the best form you can consume. You really want to avoid the kinds that contain milk and sugar because these are basically negating all of the health benefits. So go for the highest percentage of cacao and the lowest amount of sugar you can find. Now in terms of wine: red wine is often the highest antioxidant form of wine with pinot noir having the highest levels detected. But again: it’s quite important to recognize that moderate drinking in men is two glasses a day and for women, only one. So keep it in moderation and enjoy it sparingly.
Omega-3’s are a type of fatty acid found in our foods. There are three main kinds: EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA and DHA are found in things like fish, whereas ALA is found in things like nuts and seeds. These are very important for our health. Things like brain health, eye health, heart health, memory, and fertility are all impacted by Omega-3’s. But part of the problem with Western diets is that we have too much Omega-6 (which is found in things like processed food and fried foods.) This throws off the balance between Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s and this can lead to a predisposition for disease.
Water is what most of your body consists of but most people aren’t staying adequately hydrated. There are some great strategies that you can employ to get more water into your body and to be your healthiest self. The thing that I like to do is to take lemon slices and lime slices along with different herbs like mint to add to my water so that it tastes great and I enjoy drinking it all day long.
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