Losing weight begins with making the right food choices. By choosing foods that are richer in antioxidants and phytonutrients you make the right food choices. Why Antioxidants matter is because they protect your body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals. By protecting the cells you protect the DNA inside the nucleus of every cell. This all leads to better functioning cells, which leads to better and more efficient energy production within each cell. Which is increasing the quality of the metabolism, the body’s ability to convert fats and sugars into energy.
Making the wrong food choices can slow down antioxidant production in your body, which can lead to more free radicals damaging cells. Which will not only slow down the energy production each cell offers but eventually leads to more fats being stored. When this happens in large quantities of cells it leads to inflammation, a lack of energy overall, and weight gain.
Free radicals aren’t bad, they are good for your body and your body actually produces them. They’re just reactive elements that steal electrons from what they come in contact with. It’s just when they come in contact with your cells they’re bad. Free radicals serve a purpose to take down viruses and bad bacterias that enter into the body. Antioxidants protect the cells from free radicals so the free radical can take out negative elements in the body.
This is why it’s vital that we eat foods and drink liquids that we know our filling our bodies with nutrients that consist of antioxidants. Our body is truly defined by our cells, since our body is the combination of trillions of cells and if we don’t take protect them we’re not taking care of ourselves. As we take good care of ourselves, we’re taking care of them and this helps our metabolism – which is a successful key to healthy weight loss.
Energy is Our Metabolism
All of our living cells create energy off of the food we eat. They receive their fuel for energy from carbohydrates. Our body is constantly using and burning energy. This is apart of the metabolic process that’s going on in the body. Our food is broken down into incredible small molecules so that our cells can feed off of the glucose and fat they offer. Our cells then convert the food into energy, so we can function and operate in our everyday lives.
How Your Body Gets Antioxidants
Our body naturally produces antioxidants enzymes, the production this is controlled by our genetic make up. Our bodies ability to internally produce antioxidants but our body relies heavily on external forces to give it more antioxidants. Those influences are the food we eat, the rest we receive, and the environment we live around. Living in high polluted areas will not give us more antioxidants. Over a lifetime of being exposed to negative external influences our cells begin to slow down and eventually die. Eating plant based foods that are high in phytonutrients will not only will naturally add more antioxidants to the body but it will help in the production of antioxidants, this is the ideal state.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants and Other Benefits
There are several benefits to focusing on antioxidant-rich foods as opposed to just losing weight. First, foods high in antioxidants are typically lower in calories anyways. It’s unlikely that you’ll go over your daily limit unless you’re really eating a massive quantity. Secondly, antioxidant-rich foods are generally very high in nutrients. You will get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from incorporating a nice selection of antioxidant-rich foods into your diet. By getting a sufficient amount of nutrition, you will lower your risk for disease. You could achieve the same weight loss by counting your calories and eating foods that are less nutrient-dense, but you’ll surely miss out on the health benefits. Next, research has indicated that antioxidants may be responsible for lowering blood triglycerides. Phenolic acids and flavonoids, in particular, inhibit an enzyme required to produce triglycerides. Finally, antioxidant-rich foods are typically high in fiber as well. Foods high in fiber tend to make you feel fuller, and that means you likely won’t be eating as much. In the end, antioxidants don’t literally melt the fat away, but they do just about everything else to make excess weight come off.
Calorie Counting vs. Focus on Antioxidants
Calorie counting for weight loss can be dangerous because low calorie diets may not provide the rich nutrients that offer high amounts of antioxidants. Focusing on eating foods that are very high in antioxidants can speed up the metabolism.
Foods High in Antioxidants
Plant-based foods normally contain the most significant levels of antioxidants. Antioxidant levels can be measured using a scale known as the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale, or ORAC scale. There are now scanners that can show you the antioxidant level count in your blood before and after – when you eat these foods. This will help you measure your antioxidant success. Pharmanex and Monavie are the only two competing companies that offer the technology. More technology should be coming along soon by other companies.
Weight loss expert Keri Glassman, recently wrote a book called the O2 Diet. In it she strongly pushes that every day we should have over 30,000 ORAC points in our diet.
Some common foods that score big numbers on the ORAC scale include:
Goji Berries – 13,600 points/serving
Artichokes – 7,900 points/serving
Lemon Water – 3,200 points/serving
Red Grapefruit – 1,900 points/serving
Figs – 2,900 points/serving
Beans (most) – 7,900 points/serving
Cherries – 3,500 points/serving
Dark Chocolate – 5,900 points/serving
Blueberries – 9,700 points/serving
Cinnamon – 7,000 points/serving
Plums – 4,100 points/serving
Metabolic Syndrome and Antioxidants
Diets very low in antioxidants can lead to metabolic syndrome. The combination of risk factors that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other disorders are referred to as metabolic syndrome. The metabolic risk factors include a large waistline, high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension, and high fasting blood sugar. People who exhibit any three or more of these factors are said to have metabolic syndrome. A diet high in antioxidants can prevent or cure metabolic syndrome by helping people lose weight, minimizing triglyceride levels and more. Combined with regular exercise, the diseases above don’t stand much of a chance.