Antioxidant Dietary Supplements
Why take antioxidant dietary supplements?
Supplements are not meant to replace a healthy diet. You are cheating yourself by making poor food choices and then taking supplements in the hopes of making up for lost nutrients.
The goal is not to replace. Rather, supplements do just that - they supplement certain nutrients that even a pure whole foods diet may be missing. By taking supplements along with your regular healthy diet, you are filling in the gaps. You are bringing your body closer to an ideal balance, a condition of superior health so it can fight off any disease and reverse the aging process.
Many crops ar grown in depleted soil, affecting the entire food system.
The produce we get at the grocery store may look fresh, but it was picked days or weeks ago, often in an unripe state. Enter processed foods, considering even whole, cooked, bottled, pasteurized, frozen and dried food - all these processes deplete the nutritional value of the original foods.
The result is chronic nutritional deficiency. Our modern diet begs for antioxidant dietary supplements.
According to The China Study , North America is afflicted with "Diseases of Affluence". Cancer (lung, colon, breast, leukemia, childhood brain, stomach, liver), diabetes and coronary heart disease are considered diseases of affluence (Nutritional Extravagance - a diet of excessive protein, animal based foods, and not enough fiber). But not only are we suffering from excess, ironically, we are also suffering from deficiency.
This wasn't the way humans were meant to eat - our bodies are still adapted to the pure diet of our ancestors. All the food was fresh, literally just picked, dug, caught or cut. This fresh food has certain qualities that only know are beginning to be assessed and appreciated by science. A food is not just it's weight in protein, fats, carbohydrates and sugars. Real fresh food has a life force, the closest explanation we can give it is enzymes.
Acclaimed nutrition expert David Wolfe has wonderful Kirlian images of cooked, raw, organic and non-organic food - in which you can literally see the comaprison of "auras" of different vegetables, fruits, seeds, etc and how they are all aglow with a different intensity.
"Kirlian photographs capture the electromagnetic radiaton patterns emitted by objects across a wide spectrum od electromagnetic energy. These light patterns are beyond what is visible to the naked eye." (Eating for Beauty, David Wolfe)
So, considering we do not eat many of our foods in an ideal state - or we do not prefer to eat them in this state, we are greatly benefited by taking antioxidant dietary supplements.
Wouldn't you rather take supplements that are alive with this same life force? Not only do they have superior levels of the necessary nutrients, but they also have enzymes for flawless digestion and boundless energy.
Friends for your Digestion: Enzymes and Probiotics
Virtually everyone could benefit from gut friendly bacteria, aka probiotics. The foundation of your health is ahealthy digestive system. Digestive issues are the number one problem in North America, and they can be fixed with a few simple changes in the diet.
1. Learn the Rules of Food Combining - these rules aren't an invention of the human mind, they are the rules of your body and how it works. When you combine starches, dairy and protein on your plate, you're going to end up with indigestion. If the food you eat isn't eliminated within 18 hours, it poisons you. Eat starches separate from dairy - as in no bread and cheese together. Eat protein separately from dairy, as in no cream sauce on chicken Alfredo. Vegetables go well with everything, and fruit should always be eaten separately (30 min before a meal or 1 hour after). Learn more.
2. Eat More Food With Enzymes, and eat it separately. Only raw foods contain enzymes: raw vegetbales, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and seaweed. Avocado is one magical food for the digestion. For best results, eat a raw meal (such as a smoothie or large salad), separately from cooked food (or 30 min before). You can also take enzymes in supplement form if you feel you aren't getting enough.
3. Consume Probiotics. Foods rich in probiotics include saeurkraut, cultured vegetables, kombucha, raw vinegar, miso, tempeh and natto. Some dairy products such as yogurt and kefir also have probiotics, but can present another digestive issue for the many who are lactose intolerant. If you don't like the thought of eating fermented food, there are powdered probiotics available at health food stores, to shake into smoothies, drinks or other foods - these are virtually tasteless. Probiotics are vitally important in the diet. You will feel so relieved once your digestive fire is going again!
A better alternative to fish oil, spirulina and chlorella both offer similar benefits, and are a more direct and pure form of omega fatty acids. Typically 60-90% protein, these antioxiant dietary supplements are perfect for vegetarians or vegans, as well as athletes.
Spirulina offers easily absorbed trace elements and essential minerals: potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron and phosphorous. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, vitamin E, folic acid and niacin. Also rich in chlorophyll and given a distinct blue shade from a compound called phycocyanin. Chlorella has a very close nutritional profile, with a higher amount of chlorophyll, making it an amazing cleansing and blood purifying agent.
Respected natural health practitioner
Dr Gabriel Cousens
recommends taking 1-3 tbsps of either spirulina or chlorella daily. Take the tablets if you don't like the taste at first, or mix the powder in a juice or smoothie. You can even mix these into your meals (make sure whatever you are eating is cool) if you don't mind the taste.
One of the best antioxidant dietary supplements available on the market is marine phytoplankton. Leading nutrition experts advise us to eat lower on the food chain, because environmental toxicity is less concentrated.
Well, it doesn't get any lower than marine phytoplankton - being the smallest organism or plant that the first living creatures on earth fed upon (including krill). Krill oil is all the rage, but why take krill oil when you can go straight to the source of it's nutrition and still keep it vegan?
Because the marine phytoplankton is so microscopically small, it bypasses the digestive system and goes directly to the cells to provide instant benefits. It doesn't taste amazing, but mix it with some juice or a smoothie, or take it in capsule form and your body will feel the difference.
"Marine Phytoplankton is one of the most powerful foods on Earth, loaded with super antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and protein in microscopic form. It is a tiny plant (about the size of a red blood cell) that grows in the ocean, whereas all other living creatures in the ocean feed on this tiny little plant. Essentially, it is a comprehensive whole food source that can nutritionally sustain all living creatures on Earth with phenomenal nutrition benefits potentially exceeding all other foods."
- CoQ9 Marine Phytoplankton 5000
THe camu camu fruit from South America is the highest known source of vitamin C. Whereas a lemon contains 0.5 % vitamin C, this antioxidant dietary supplement contains about 4% vitamin C when fresh. Camu camu has been used to support the immune system, the functions of the brain, eyes, heart, liver and skin.
Vitamin C is the "hub" of the antioxidant network, linking the other antioxidants together. Taking vitamin C daily reduces your risk of cancer and heart disease, and significantly improves your immune function. Taken in it's natural state from a whole food will increase the bioavailability of antioxidant dietary supplement vitamin C. Vitamin C is commonly used to ward off the common cold, but it is vital to take every day.
Some other very rich natural sources of vitamin C in the world include acerola cherries, rosehips and amla berries.
Food of the Gods: Cacao
There is a lot to be said about the cacao bean (from which processed chocolate is made) - one of the world's most amazing super foods. Used for medicinal purposes by Meso American civilizations since ancient times, it was a revered as a sacred food, and you can read about why in David Wolfe's book Naked Chocolate .
Cacao has over 300 chemically identifiable compounds, making it one of the most complex foods on earth, and science is discovering more of its benefits every day. This antioxidant dietary supplement is high in a range of antioxidants called polyphenols, a most essential mineral magnesium, and even protein.
DIABETES - Oxidative stress is the underlying cause of insulin resistance, and consuming high antioxidant cacao has helped reverse and treat diabetes. Its flavanols protect the cardiovascular system and help utilize insulin.
INFLAMMATION - Cacao is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant dietary supplements. Numerous scientific studies show that it reduces inflammation in various ways, with flavanoids and other chemicals playing a role.
CANCER - Scientific research has uncovered cacao's potential to fight certain cancers, particularly breast, prostate and gastrointestinal. The flavanols in cacao inhibit reactive nitrogen species and form nitrous derivatives, which inhibit cancer cell growth. The procyanidins inhibit a certain molecule that increases blood vessels in a tumor, making the cancer grow. Please consult The Healthy Chocolate Desk Reference for further research.
WEIGHT CONTROL - Regular consumption of cacao may help prevent weight gain and obesity. For many people, cacao acts as a natural appetite suppressant, because it provides the right amount of vitamins and minerals, stabilizes blood sugar, blocks the appetite center through anandamide, and increases your exercise capabilities.
HEART - The heart protective benefits of cacao are the most well documented in scientific publications. Taking cacao has the ability to lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation in blood vessels, decrease blood clotting, increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, all so that our heart can receive proper nutrients from the blood and avoid cardiovascular disease. Put simply this antioxidant dietary supplement has the effect of purifying and thinning the blood, therefore caution to those on blood thinning medication.
BRAIN/EMOTIONAL HEALTH - Cacao increases blood flow to the brain, improving concentration, alertness and enhancing brain activity. It has also been known to treat depression, containing PEA which increases our sense of well-being and contentment. This antioxidant dietary supplement contains anadamide, the "bliss" chemical which promotes the feeling of well-being, and tryptophan, which increases levels of dopamine and serotonin (a natural anti-depressant). Smile!
The benefits and potential medicinal use of cacao are further detailed in David Wolfe's Naked Chocolate (along with alchemy and recipes), which I consider a must read. What a life changing revelation it is when you discover a food so pleasing can be first on your list of antioxidant dietary supplements.
"The cocoa bean is a phenomenon, for nowhere else has nature concentrated such a wealth of valuable nourishment in so small a space."
What happens when you eat superfoods daily? You become super-human!
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