Free radicals in our system are dangerous. They battle our DNA and have been linked with cancer, heart disease, and an eye disorder called macular degeneration. Free radicals are molecules that react with our DNA causing mutations to cells and are believed to cause many different forms of cancer. Several symptoms of aging are also connected with these free radicals, as well as the progression of liver damage related to alcohol and emphysema in regards to cigarette smoke. Other diseases thought to be the work of free radicals are Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s.
While we cannot be completely be free from radicals as our bodies need to retain a certain amount, the best thing we can do to protect ourselves form the damaging effects of these molecules is to find ways to counteract the excess of free radicals we do not need.
Antioxidants are the key to unraveling free radicals. An antioxidant works to prevent oxidation of other molecules, such as the free radicals. Antioxidants eat away the free radicals helping to prevent the nasty diseases and disorders they may cause.
The best way to increase the antioxidants in our system is to increase the amount of vitamin- rich foods we eat. Produce is an excellent example, especially fruits and vegetables high in Vitamins C and E.
Nutritionists now know that the darker the color of our fruits and vegetables, the higher the antioxidant content. Blueberries, red grapes, blackcurrants, plums, and eggplants are all rich in antioxidants.
Some vegetables are really the authority of high counts of vitamins, minerals and other body boosting nutrients, and one of these power vegetables is the carrot. Carrots are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C. Vitamin B6, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. While our garden variety orange carrots do contain antioxidants, they cannot keep up with antioxidant levels of purple carrots.
Purple carrots have been around for centuries, way before the invention of the orange carrot. The dark pigment of this vegetable is proof alone of its antioxidant benefits. These dark carrots area also high in Vitamin A which boosts our immune systems and helps prevent blood clotting and heart disease. If those bonuses are not enough, purple carrots are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antimicrobial, thus, making them work to cleanse your system from the inside out.
You get an even bigger punch from carrots after cooking them, unless you are eating them for their Vitamin C content. Cooking carrots will diminish their Vitamin C, but increases their benefits in other areas. Eating one full size raw carrot a day gives you all the Vitamin A that you require daily.
Purple carrots may be a little bit harder to find than their orange cousins, but their antioxidant power is worth shopping around for. Look for rainbow packages of carrots in the produce section of your grocery store. Now that the United States has caught on to how wonderful purple carrots are for them, they may become easier to locate in stores. A glass of purple carrot juice in the morning may be all it takes to keep some fairly deadly conditions away.
The Essential Guide to Buying, Cooking & Preserving Nature’s Best Ingredients.