The BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS of ALL LIVING THINGS – CELLS.
They provide structure, take in nutrients, convert nutrients into energy, and carry out specialized functions. For example, endocannabinoids are the endogenous cells within the endocannabinoid system. These cells and related receptors are scattered throughout our entire body, predominately in the brain and immune system.
When people are deficient in these cells, a host of health issues can occur, and some doctors and researchers even believe it may lead to chronic pain conditions like Fibromyalgia.
Every system in our body requires cells to do their job. And when the cells do not function properly, they no longer respond to when we need them the most.
Let’s look at 4 Foods that combat free radical damage to cells, aid in formation of red blood cells, boost overall cell functions, and protects brain cells against the aging process.
Pomegranates and its juice have been used for thousands of years as a medicine, and contains over 100 phytochemicals – a chemical compound that protects the plant, (and subsequently us) from a range of infections.
Pomegranates may not be the first fruit you would go for due to its little seed-type fruit you pop out of the skin; however, these beauties are packed full of antioxidants to help combat free radical damage to cells.
Pomegranates contains two compounds that are touted for many of its medicinal benefits. Punicalagins – a potent antioxidant which provides three times the amount of anti-inflammatory antioxidants than green tea. And Punicic Acid – generally found in pomegranate seed oil, a type of fatty acid.
Pomegranates are also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate and potassium. Its Vitamin C and folate content encourages the destruction of free radicals, and folate is vital for red blood cell formation and healthy cell functioning.
They are very sweet, with higher amounts of fruit sugar than other fruit. However, they make a fantastic accompaniment to sprinkle on desserts, in smoothies, or just by themselves. They are worth the time to seed! And can be frozen for later use when not in season. 🙂
How can you resist a sweet, juicy strawberry? A tangy blackberry? Or popping a tasty frozen blueberry?
Berries have long been considered one of the healthiest foods you can consume.
Berries are most known for their antioxidant properties; however, they are packed with so much more.
High in anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol – important antioxidants to fight against free radical damage to cells, and has a similar antioxidant content to pomegranates. The anthocyanins in berries can cross the blood-brain barrier protecting brain cells from aging, and other degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Berries, especially strawberries, contain a whopping 150% of Vitamin C per cup! Vitamin C is one of those water-soluble vitamins that is easily excreted if you have a lot of it. Which is why in most cases, you don’t need a vitamin C supplement – just eat berries! Berries are also a good source of manganese. This nutrient is required for the body forming connective tissue, blood clotting factors, and even synthesis of sex hormones.
Berries make a great dessert, chop up over muesli, add to muffins, or freeze blueberries and eat them straight from the freezer like lollies. My favourite is a mixed berry smoothie with blackberry ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Not only is free-range chicken lower in calories and saturated fat, it contains more protein and fatty acids.
Chicken is high in protein and a good source of Omega-3 – two incredibly important nutrients for boosting cell health. Amino acids in protein are the building blocks for cells, and cells are made of fatty acids; therefore, it makes sense that the nutrients they need are Omega-3s.
Chicken is also a good source of antioxidants, choline for cell maintenance and producing cell membranes, Vitamin B12 for keeping nerve cells healthy, and is the genetic material for all of your cells.
Chicken also contains good amounts of zinc, iron and copper for boosting immune system cell functions. Copper is particularly vital for making red blood cells, keeping nerve cells healthy, and protecting all cells against damage.
Toss in a stir-fry, marinate and grill a chicken breast, baked chicken enchiladas, or my favourites – Sriracha chicken balls, and slow-cooked honey soy chicken.
Ahhh mushrooms. This humble little fungi packs some pretty powerful nutritional punches for keeping cells healthy.
Mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant Selenium, improving immune system functioning, and is a good source of Beta glucan for heart and immune health. Mushrooms are actually well-known for their impressive content of B Vitamins – Riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins promote red blood cell production, helps to maintain healthy skin, and aids in nerve cell health.
However, its copper content is what may be the stand-out. Just one cup of mushrooms contains one third RDI of copper – essential for red blood cells to deliver oxygen around the body. And along with potassium for heart, muscle and nerve function; it really makes a great super food for the cells.
Sprinkle over pizzas, chop in a stir-fry, or sauté in a little olive oil, butter and garlic for a tasty vegetable side dish. 🙂
What Foods Have You Tried?
Let me know in the comments your fav recipes that include these foods.