One of the definitions of rust is to ‘deteriorate or degenerate through neglect or inactivity’. Are you rusting? From this definition, it sounds like a lot of us are!
Free radicals are like rust in our bodies.
Free radicals form in our bodies for several reasons, but the most common is from a poor diet. If free radicals are allowed to run unchecked they cause oxidative damage resulting in a variety of debilitating diseases. In other words, we rust!
People who live near the ocean know how damaging salt water can be to anything made of metal. Without antioxidants in our body, the same oxidative damage that can ruin metal, will ruin us. Just like a coat of the right paint can prevent metal from rusting, antioxidants prevent free radicals from ‘rusting’ our bodies.
Your mom was right – eat your vegetables!
Antioxidants are found in a wide variety of our foods, but mostly in fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that natural sources of antioxidants are always best. Because of our Standard American Diet, filled with fast foods and chemical-laden, prepackaged convenience food, most Americans do not get enough fruits and vegetables. It’s no wonder that heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other life threatening illnesses are on the rise!
To get enough natural antioxidants in our diet we need to eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. When surveyed, approximately 30% of Americans revealed they never eat raw fruits or vegetables! Not only are fruits and vegetables good for general health but many of them have anti-cancer properties as well. Research suggests if you want the most powerful cancer prevention plan, increase your fruit and vegetable servings to 10-12 per day.
Food for thought..
The tomato has over 10,000 phytonutrient components in it. You can’t match that in a supplement. Want to keep your brain sharp? Eat an apple. Research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that eating apples “may protect against oxidative damage (rusting) that contributes to age-related brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and may help to maintain brain performance.” Gives a whole new meaning to the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” doesn’t it? Broccoli contains the ingredient sulphorphane which is believed to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries contain anthocyanins which help protect against cancer, diabetes, bacterial infections, fibrocystic disease, neurological diseases and inflammation. And the list could go on and on. Do your own research – you’ll find hundreds of ways that fruits and vegetables are good for you – not only in preventing diseases – but healing for already occurring oxidative damage.
Let food be thy medicine.
Hippocrates said over 2,000 years ago, “Let food by thy medicine and let medicine by thy food.” Research continues to prove that food is indeed the best medicine. Most importantly, according to Genesis 1:29-31, God created food for our good: “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” The secret to longevity (to keep from rusting) is in the food that God created for us!
Are you trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet? I’d love for you to share in the comments!
Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Tips
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”Benjamin Franklin, from the 1735 edition of Poor Richard’s Almanack
Healthy Tip: Add more vegetables in your diet by making soups. I buy several bags of frozen soup mix vegetables and add onions, chicken broth, canned tomatoes and seasonings to make a delicious homemade soup. Incorporate more fruit in your diet by making smoothies. Use frozen berries, bananas, almond milk and a splash of agave nectar – tastes awesome and you get 2-3 servings of fruit in your smoothie.
Wealthy Tip: Try clipping coupons or using coupon sites to save money on your groceries. I love using Southern Savers because you can add coupons to your grocery card electronically. To get the most savings, only buy an item for which you have a coupon when it’s on sale.
Wise Tip: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of waters that yields fruit in its own season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 100:1-3