antioxidants
can help lower cholesterol 
by removing free radicals from your body

fresh fish for antioxidants

antioxidants help lower cholesterol

As I have been researching all things cholesterol, one word keeps popping up - antioxidants. I looked at dictionary. com for the definition. There are various definitions there. My favorite:

"Biochemistry - an enzyme or other organic substance, as vitamin E or beta carotene, that is capable of counteracting the damaging effects of oxidation in animal tissues."

The British definition says "any substance that retards deterioration by oxidation, esp of fats, oils, foods, petroleum products, or rubber"

So, antioxidants are definitely something we need. Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables and in vitamins such as C, E. Beta Carotene is an antioxidant that we often hear  about.

Cartenoid and selenium are important antioxidants.

The better food channel says that antioxidants "are compounds in foods that neutralize chemicals called free radicals (unstable molecules), produced by oxidation in the human body.  These chemicals have been linked to diseases such as heart and liver disease and cancer. Plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains are rich sources of antioxidants." (from better health.vic.gov-link at bottom of page)

Beta carotene is a rich source of antioxidants
foods that are rich sources beta carotene:

  • apricots                                                Cabbage
  • asparagus                                            kale
  • beet greens and collard greens           pumpkins
  • broccoli                                                romaine lettuce
  • butternut squash                                  spinach
  • cantalope                                             sweet potatoes
  • carrots

There are more foods containing beta carotene.  These are some of the best.  This list is not in the order of most beta carotene. Sweet potatoes which are at the bottom of the list, may have the most beta carotene.

There are supplements supplying antioxidants that can reduce free radicals, but it has been shown through studies that eating foods rich in antioxidants is more efficient than the supplements.

It is thought that beta carotene slows down cognitive aging and lung power decline caused by aging.

The only negative to beta carotene is that if it is used by smokers or those who inhale a lot of second hand smoke or are exposed to asbestos, the beta carotene could become pro-oxidant instead of anti-oxidant. 

foods rich in antioxidants:

  1. wild blueberries                          11. lentils
  2. oranges                                      12. onions
  3. grapes                                        13. tomatoes
  4. cherries                                      14. spinach
  5. plums                                         15. nuts
  6. mangoes                                    16. sweet potatoes
  7. Alfalfa sprouts                            17. beams
  8. strawberries                               18. fish  
  9. raspberries                                 19. eggs 
  10. chickpeas

 With plenty of antioxidants in your diet, you can reduce or eliminate free radicals.  If you are eating plenty of fruits, fresh vegetables and fish, you will be supplying your body with the antioxidants you need for a strong healthy body at any stage of life.

Free radicals

What are free radicals? Why do we need to remove them from our bodies?  I went to dictionary.com for the answer.

free radical:    "An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases."

The bottom line is that free radicals harm our body, but we are not powerless to stop them.  The best way to heal our bodies from free radical damage is to eat a healthy diet with ample healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish.  My cholesterol free diet can help to eliminate free radicals as it lowers cholesterol and gives energy to meet life's challenges.

Fishing supplies food, antioxidant fishing and can be a very relaxing pastime.

antioxidant research

If you knew me, you would know that I am a bookaholic.  I have so many books. I get them at the Goodwill store, at garage sales, and bookstores.  During my move I found a book called, Keeping Young & Living Longer by Josef P. Hrachovec, M.D., D. Sc. with a 1972 copyright.

It was a very interesting book.The author stated that Dr. Denham Harman from the University of Nebraska School of Medicine "advanced the idea that deterioration through excessive oxidation of polyunsaturated fats might be among  the contributing factors or causes of aging in living organism.  Experiments have been done in which various antioxidants were fed to laboratory animals, resulting in their living 40 to 50% longer than their normal life span." That was lab animals, not people and I don't know what kind of animals. The author stated that it would take massive funds to research all areas of extending aging with anti-oxidants.  Well, that was 1972, but it does show us that even that long ago, antioxidants were thought to be one of the keys to living a longer healthier life.

References

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

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