Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eat your broccoli

I have some of the most amazing friends that were ever born. Did you know that? I'm constantly amazed by them. My friends are smart and funny and sensitive and sassy and giving and thoughtful and delightful and any other positive adjectives you can think of. Just wanted to put that out there.

Tonight, I've got antioxidants on the brain. Antioxidants are the things in our food that protect us from free radicals. Free radicals are the by products of normal processes in our bodies, but can also come from pollutants. I'm thinking about antioxidants because my friend J fed me tonight. We had a great salad (which you'll see a picture of!) with yummy tomatoes. I wondered aloud if tomatoes are a good source of antioxidants, and it turns out that they are! But so are things like berries and broccoli. Some of my fave fruits and veggies carry antioxidants to help protect my body from free radicals. Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, garlic, spinach (YUCK), tomatoes, soy and whole grains are all excellent sources. Hmm, didn't we already go over soy and whole grains?? Well, the whole grains just keep gettin' better!! And remember, keep the soy to natural soy, none of that processed estrogen running amok crap.

So what makes up an antioxidant? Sometimes it's a vitamin, sometimes a mineral and sometimes a flavonoid. What's a flavonoid? Flavonoids are the compounds in our fruits and veggies that give them their brilliant eye dazzling colors! They're the things that make a trip to the produce section of Whole Foods soooooo exciting!

But what about minerals? When I took Geology in college, I learned that a mineral is a naturally occurring homogeneous solid, inorganically formed, with a definite chemical composition and an ordered atomic arrangement. Wow! Selenium, is an antioxidant and a mineral that our food picks up from the soil. Remember, I am whatever my food eats. So, if my beef eats grass growing in soil rich in selenium, then my beef will be a source of selenium.

And lastly, vitamins! Specifically, vitamins C and E. We all know where to get our vitamins...

Actually, this is the last thing I'll say, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a potent antioxidant that breaks down estrogen in the body. Makes me think about how we don't want all that extra estrogen running around in our bodies. Antioxidants can't protect us from ALL free radicals. Let's face it, no food will ever protect us from Glenn Beck. But, if you want your food to protect you from pollutants and by-products of bodily processes, eat your broccoli!

You'll notice that breakfast looks a little different today....fruit salad, oatmeal, hard-boiled egg and grande americano.

This is the lunch that A bought me..a big salad with mushroom barley soup and a wheat roll.

And the dinner that J fed me. Scrumptious salad with olive oil and vinegar. That's some grilled chicken on the side and there's some parmesean/asiago cheese in there too.

Look familiar? Yeah, only 1/2 a pint today...need to bring that down to 1/4 pint to get it to an actual serving.

And chips and salsa. My boredom eating for the evening.

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