An unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drinking alcohol, and air pollution all contribute to free radicals in our bodies. Their excess is harmful to health, so our diet should be rich in antioxidants, an effective weapon to fight the excess of free radicals. Their rich source is, for example, summer fruit.
Free radicals are formed inside our bodies during the breathing processes. They perform many essential functions in the body (provided that their amount is within the normal range). The problem starts when they appear in excess. Their formation is favored by the modern lifestyle characterized by chronic stress, the consumption of highly processed food, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, or alcohol consumption. The excess of free radicals leads to oxidative stress, which accelerates the aging process and increases the risk of, e.g., cardiovascular diseases and cancer. One of the methods to combat excess free radicals is lifestyle modification.
To stay in good health, it is vital to maintain a balance between the formation of free radicals and the functioning of protective systems. Therefore, it is essential to change factors that stimulate their formation, such as stopping smoking, changing the lifestyle from sedentary to active, and eliminating bad eating habits (i.e., highly processed food). With the help of a properly balanced diet, you can also support your body’s protective system. For this purpose, products rich in antioxidants (carotenoids, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, polyphenols) should be increased. One of the richest sources of these valuable compounds is summer fruit.
Aronia is one of the fruit with the strongest antioxidant properties (stronger than, for example, cranberry and pomegranate). It has a high content of polyphenols and vitamin C. Moreover, it is a source of iron, folic acid, vitamins K and E.
Because of their intense dark color, blackberries appear in folk culture as a symbol of suffering and sadness; nevertheless, eating them can bring only benefits! First of all, they are an excellent source of vitamin C – half a cup of fresh blackberries covers half the daily requirement for this nutrient. Secondly, they contain large amounts of polyphenols which, like vitamin C, help fight oxidative stress. Third, blackberries are a good source of other nutrients important to your health, including vitamin K (participates in the blood clotting process), dietary fiber (improves the functioning of the digestive system, helps maintain healthy body weight), and manganese, which plays an important role in the process of bone development and the functioning of the immune system.
Truskawki to wakacyjne owoce, po które warto sięgać nie tylko ze względu na smak i fakt, że komponują się dobrze z wieloma produktami. Truskawki wzbogacają nasz jadłospis w błonnik pokarmowy, magnez, witaminę C, a także polifenole. Dobrze sprawdzają się w trakcie letnich upałów, ponieważ ze względu na wysoką zawartość wody, pomagają dbać o odpowiednie nawodnienie organizmu.
Strawberries are holiday fruit worth reaching for not only because of the taste and the fact that they go well with many products. Strawberries enrich our menu with dietary fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, and polyphenols. They work well during the summer heat because, due to the high water content, they help to keep the body properly hydrated.
Raspberries are low in calories (100 g provides about 40 kcal), and at the same time, contain raspberry ketones. These compounds stimulate lipolysis and thus positively affect the metabolic rate and the fat deposition process in the body. Raspberries promote weight loss and protect us from oxidative stress thanks to the presence of vitamin C and polyphenols. In addition, they are a source of non-heme iron, vitamin K, and calcium.
Blueberry is the fruit that is a good source of antioxidants, vitamins (in addition to vitamin C, they provide vitamins E and B6), and dietary fiber. Therefore, their inclusion in the menu is conducive to maintaining healthy body weight and good health. The compounds found in blueberries have anti-atherosclerotic and anti-cancer properties, lower blood pressure, and have a beneficial effect on cognitive functions and the memory process.
How can we use the health-promoting properties of summer fruit in the kitchen? They can be used to prepare both savoury dishes (e.g., salad with strawberries, spinach, and nuts) and fit desserts. Summer fruit is also a perfect ingredient for refreshing cocktails. It is worth adding other healthy products to them, such as chia seeds, ground nuts or almonds, oatmeal, and bran.
Summer fruit is not only full of flavor but also antioxidants that help fight harmful oxidative stress. Therefore, their consumption delays the body’s aging process and plays a vital role in the prevention and treatment, e.g., cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. It is worth taking advantage of the summer season to take full advantage of their health-promoting properties!
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