At the core of functional medicine is prevention. Using food as medicine is the key to giving your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
But, not just any food will do! You want to make sure you eat the very best quality foods you can get your hands on. Thankfully, nature offers the most amazing abundance of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and vibrant.
So, let’s zero in on antioxidants. What are they? What do they do? And, where do you get them?
Antioxidants are plant or phyto-chemicals that protect your cells and tissues from damage caused by electrically charged molecules, a.k.a. free radicals. Cell and DNA damage is at the root of most diseases – including: autoimmune disease, cancer, and chronic inflammation. Antioxidants act like natural sponges, mopping up these free radicals to protect your cells and DNA from damage. This is why it is so vitally important to get as many antioxidants into your body as you can.
Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables as well as herbs. So, be sure to eat your garnish – it doesn’t just make your plate look pretty, it can help keep those free radicals at bay!
Organic vs. Conventional
Also, choosing organic over conventionally-grown will give you the best antioxidant punch for your buck. The reason for this is that when left to their own devices, plants give off their own natural (phyto) chemicals to keep the bugs away, increasing their antioxidant goodness! On the other hand, with conventionally-grown produce, pesticides are used to keep insects from eating away at the plants, so since they don’t need to work as hard to keep the bugs away, their antioxidant power is way less. Also, pesticides in your food come into your body and increase the free radical damage to your cells. This is another reason to go organic when possible.
It can be challenging, -and costly- to eat organic all the time, so to help you make the best choices, the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list includes fruits and veggies with the most pesticide residue, in which case, you should choose organic. EWG also lists the Clean 15 fruits and veggies that don’t necessarily need to be organic, since they have been found to have the least amount of pesticide.
Now that farmers markets are popping up all over, you will have an amazing array of fresh, local, and nutrient-packed choices. So, ditch the processed foods and go for foods bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that keep the inflammation in your body low, and your immune system strong. It’s as easy as:
· eating fruit as part of a breakfast smoothie, as dessert, or a quick portable snack
· having at least one raw green salad a day, either as a side dish or, as a main course adding healthy protein and good fats
A busy lifestyle can sometimes make it harder to get the necessary nutrients. We get it, so we’ve made it easier by developing two BlumBoxes that when taken together give you the antioxidant punch you need to keep your immune system strong, and your cells protected. Our Once Daily Multi Packets give you the basics you need every day, which include your multi, vitamin D, and fish oil. And our Immune & Antioxidant Support Packets give you additional EGCG, Lipoic Acid, A, C, E, and zinc.
So, avoid the pharmacy – and, instead go to the farmacy for your medicine!