A plateful of fresh and colorful foods protects the body from damage from free radicals. Let’s understand how! Free radicals are unstable elements that are manufactured by our body to shield itself against microbes and pollutants; and as a result cause scores of metabolic disorders. Unhealthy food habits, relentless stress, excessive sun exposure, pollution, radiation, smoking, drugs and alcohol – all produce perilous amounts of free radicals that impair the DNA, expedite ageing and set off a host of deadly diseases.
3 Best foods to eat to battle the cruel effects of pollution
The effects of air pollution on health can be really awful. Oxidative stress from the free radicals accelerates ageing and sets off serious disorders. Antioxidants are free-radical fighting compounds that can decelerate the signs of ageing and boost your wellness quotient significantly. They shield the cells from damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidants scavenge, react and wipe out the free radicals, and consequently, the free radicals cannot react with the cells in our body.
Let’s explore the commanding role of antioxidants and understand how you can fight the harsh effects of pollution by integrating the right foods in your diet!
- Strawberries: Loved for their juiciness and sweetness, strawberries are a mega superfood! They are packed with vitamin C which is a very powerful antioxidant that plays a pivotal role in scavenging and annihilating free radicals, thereby help stave off chronic diseases. Vitamin C can also boost your immunity. It has a major part to play in warding off ageing too – it supports skin health, reduces wrinkles and enhances skin elasticity. Vitamin C in the berries also helps bring down cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and managing its levels appropriately ensures that you are dealing with your stress well. During strawberry season, jump-start your day with a glass of this pink goodness!
- Tomatoes: The tomatoes are chockfull of lycopene. This potent antioxidant can prevents free radical damage, keeps the heart healthy, and wards off skin damage. Make sure you add plenty of tomatoes to your curries, gravies, salads, stir-fries and soups!
- Turmeric: Curcumin in turmeric is an out-and-out winner! It is a disease-fighting, immune-boosting, fat-burning robust antioxidant. The herb’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it such a respected healer. Inflammation and oxidative stress are the cause for all chronic disorders, and curcumin helps banish them. Turmeric is fantastic to manage arthritic pain, prevent diabetes mellitus and keep the heart happy. Integrating turmeric in to your everyday diet is the best approach to help prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s because the herb obliterates chronic inflammatory processes. Research shows that curcumin protects the brain from toxins – more so, the heavy metal aluminum which is known to afflict memory. Make sure that you add turmeric to most of your dishes and begin or end your day with a glass of haldi ka doodh! Each packet of Tata Sampann turmeric powder provides minimum 3% curcumin. It also contains natural oils which are responsible for the health benefits, color and aroma of the spice.
- Ginger: Ginger is a pungent root that we use in many of our marinades, gravies, curries, stir-fries and in our hot cup of chai! It offers incredible health benefits and you should include the root in to your daily diet. Gingerols in ginger are robust anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents which battle free radicals and prevent chronic inflammatory diseases. A warming spice, it boosts the pumping of your blood and improves the working of the cardiac system.
Antioxidants proffer a whole host of wonderful health benefits. Designing your diet so that you eat antioxidant-rich foods promises to keep the ravages of ageing at bay as well as fend off a multitude of illnesses caused by outside stressors such as pollution.
Reference: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Dr. Pizzorno and Dr. Michael Murray.
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