Antioxidants – Nature’s healers
TOP FOODS WITH THE MOST ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants can be found in all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those with the colorful skins: purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow.
Here are other fabulous sources of antioxidants:
- Spices like oregano, marjoram, cloves and allspice are super high in antioxidants. Just to give you an idea, a baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon and cloves has more antioxidants than a week’s worth of fast food meals and steak.
- Beans—small red beans ranks No. 1 in the USDA’s top 20 common foods with the most antioxidants.
- Second to small red beans: wild blueberries. You can buy these frozen at the grocery store; whip them up in a smoothie or throw them into whole wheat pancakes.
- Pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts are the top three in the nut category
- Prunes, apples and black plums are high in antioxidants, and much cheaper than the antioxidant-rich blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and sweet cherries.
- Add a beverage of tea, coffee, and red wine for even more benefit.
A High-Antioxidant, Low-fat Program Proves the Best for Weight Loss
If it’s time for you to lose weight, you need to think about what you might need to restrict from your diet.
In essence, every diet is a restricted eating pattern. If you focus on calories, you are reducing the number of bites of the foods you are already eating. If you focus on protein, it means you eat fewer lower protein foods like grains, many vegetables, and fruits, in favor of larger portions of meat.
I’ve even seen diets that focus on eating lots of fat, arguing that fat prevents hunger—and there’s some truth to that!
Then there’s the infamous “cookie diet”, where the dieter can eat cookies as a meal replacement. Certainly, weight loss will occur if a person is just eating 800 calories of cookies a day, so the cookie diet can claim to be effective to help you lose weight. But, of course, even though you can lose weight eating nothing but cookies or candy, that’s obviously not the best choice for your health, in the short or long term.
The real question is, what foods should be restricted so you can achieve both weight loss and great health?
Plant-based diets like Dr. Mary’s Reset Revoluation, are tied to reductions in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol. They also appear to be among the most effective ways to lose weight.
Researchers followed 63 overweight adults for 8 weeks, using low-fat, high-glycemic foods with the advice to eat without calorie restriction. Different research participants followed different diets, including vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, and omnivorous. Of the five groups, the dieters with the most plant-based foods in their diet lost the most weight.
Researchers felt that the absence of measuring made the diet more acceptable to the dieters and easier for weight loss, because the focus was not on portioning food. Previous studies have suggested that simply decreasing portions of unhealthy food is often unsuccessful. For weight loss to be maintained over long periods of time, you need to change the choices you make.
When you eliminate certain less healthy foods from your diet not only will you get healthier, but you will also lose weight and keep the weight off for your whole glorious life!
- Have you ever gone on a “crazy” diet such as an all-cookie diet? What’s the most extreme diet you’ve ever subjected yourself to?
- What did you learn from that experience?
- What foods do you want to start eating less of? What foods do you want to start eating more of?
“How plant-based do we need to be to achieve weight loss? Results of the new dietary interventions to enhance the treatment of weight loss study” Obesity Week, Nov 15, 2013, Abstract T-53.
Nutmeg and the Happiest Time of Year
For many of us holiday spices are just that: spices used only during the holidays. At this time of year many people can be found digging through their cupboards (flashlight in hand) on the hunt for spices such as cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Of the three, nutmeg seems to be the most misunderstood. Cloves get a lot of press for being the top spice (as far as antioxidants go) and ginger seems to have more conventional uses. So what’s up with nutmeg?
It turns out that nutmeg is an antioxidant powerhouse. While it’s not in the same league as cloves, nutmeg has triple the antioxidants of dried ginger. However, as is the case with all spices, it depends on where it comes from.
One study found that antioxidant content levels vary. For example, whole nutmeg from England has about 16 antioxidants mmol/100 grams. This can be compared to nutmeg (Jalwatri) from New Delhi at 19, Black Boy, Rieber at 20 from Norway and regular Indian nutmeg at 19. But the highest antioxidant content was 44, found in nutmeg from Mexico.
Spices are not just about antioxidant content. In fact, Columbus wasn’t even aware of the term as he was loading his ships to go hunt for spices. But one of them he had on his mind was nutmeg. Europeans were introduced to the musky tasting spice somewhere around the 15th century. Shortly after, demand skyrocketed. Nutmeg became a symbol of wealth. And grated nutmeg could be obtained only at the finest restaurants.
Over the years nutmeg has been used as medicine (everything from stomach aches to pain), an aphrodisiac, a dream enhancer and inebriant. In 1963, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found nutmeg to be a powerful amphetamine, “sufficient to elevate mood and help provide added Christmas cheer”. In the end, it may be that nutmeg is a big reason for Christmas being the happiest time of the year.
- R. Idle. Christmas gingerbread (Lebkuchen) and Christmas cheer–review of the potential role of mood elevating amphetamine-like compounds formed in vivo and in furno. Prague Med Rep 2005 106(1):27 – 38
- C. Sangalli, W. Chiang. Toxicology of nutmeg abuse. J. Toxicol., Clin. Toxicol. 2000 38(6):671 – 678
- Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Bøhn SK, Dragland S, Sampson L, Willey C, Senoo H, Umezono Y, Sanada C, Barikmo I, Berhe N, Willett WC, Phillips KM, Jacobs DR Jr, Blomhoff R. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutr J. 2010 Jan 22;9:3.
Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD