So we all know that antioxidants are a good thing, but most of us don't know more than that! I personally knew the science already, but that's only because I used to be a teacher!! 😉 But I didn't know the answers to more in-depth questions, like, "How many antioxidants do blueberries have?"
First of all, I'm going to go ahead and explain the science behind how antioxidants work:
Basically, no matter how healthy you are, you're going to end up with a bunch of oxidants, also called free radicals, inside your body.
What are free radicals? They're oxygen atoms in your body that naturally attached to an electron.
You wouldn't think that oxygen attached to an electron would be dangerous in your body…but the problem is that electrons don't like being by themselves and are always searching for another electron to form a pair. (They're kind of like humans in that way. 😉)
So that means the unpaired electron is rushing all around in your body to try and find another electron, dragging the oxygen atom along behind it. All this crazy action does damage to your DNA as the electron is bumping around everywhere! The damaged DNA is actually what causes diseases and cancer.
So that's where antioxidants come in.
And, antioxidants don't kill oxidants or anything like that. Actually, what they do is just gift the oxidant with an electron like it wants, and the oxidant / free radical is neutralized.
Everybody lives happily ever after!
But that's only if you are consuming a steady supply of healthy, cancer-fighting antioxidants!
So that means, unless you totally hate them, blueberries should be a big part of your diet. They contain more antioxidants than any other common fruit or vegetable! But it's not so much a question of "How many antioxidants do blueberries have?"
The reason that blueberries are so effective is the type of antioxidant, called anthocyanin.
The reason this is the best type of antioxidant is that it not only fights cancer, but also has antidiabetic and weight loss benefits.
In fact, one study done on rats that were fed pure anthocyanins showed that they reduced cholesterol and fatty acid, and so they're really good for the heart!
And, did you know, blueberries aren't the only source of this heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, rejuvenating antioxidant?
ANY blue or purple fruit or vegetable that has this pigment works. So also eggplants, blackberries, grapes…And you guessed it, that means red wine, too!
Woohoo!! So I think this teaches a great lesson about researching nutrition and finding out easy ways you can really improve your health and risk factors…But it's also a great lesson that not everything healthy has to be boring and not fun!
Instead of Googling, "How many antioxidants do blueberries have?" you can just as easily type in, "yummiest foods you wouldn't expect to be healthy," or something like that.
I have a few more of those, so if you want to hear about them in a future blog, just let me know in the comments!!