The results of a small study presented at the American Heart Association revealed that the antioxidant resveratrol — found in red wine and berries — may improve the health in people with type 2 Diabetes by lessening artery stiffness, also known as arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis raises the risk of heart attack and stroke because hardened arteries restrict blood flow to organs and tissues.
Antioxidants are natural compounds found in plant-based foods that protect cells and prevent or stop cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules lacking an electron; they are naturally produced in our body by the process of oxidation. Stress, pollution, toxins, lack of nutrient dense foods, processed food, tobacco smoke, and excess alcohol disrupts the body’s natural oxidation process and create free radicals. In other words, the production of free radicals within our body is normal. It’s a process that happens every day, and it’s part of the protective defenses in the body. The problem is when too many free radicals are produced. Over time free radicals harm the body because they damage cell DNA; this cell damage may initiate the early stages of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary. Living a healthy lifestyle is critical to achieving this balance. Managing stress, eating empowered, adopting a diet rich in antioxidants and sweating often are all part of living a Pretty Nutritious life.
Dr. Naomi Hamburg, a senior author of the study and the chief of the vascular biology section at Boston University School of Medicine, added that a longer and bigger study is necessary to say if resveratrol is one of the answers to reducing heart attack and strokes caused by arteriosclerosis. Dr. Hamburg added that for now “the overall recommendation is to have a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables.” Lucky you I decided to look at the most antioxidant-rich foods and create a plan of action: a meal plan with delicious and antioxidant-rich meals.
The recipe makes 6 servings and each serving is 162 calories.
This has been my go-to salad lately. I can’t get over the combination of raw shredded kale and Brussels sprouts. For a single portion, I use 1 cup shredded kale, 1 cup shredded raw Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/2 oz of pistachios (24 kernels), 1 tbsp of Goji Berries and one 4oz. chicken breast.
Nothing beats a pan of freshly roasted vegetables! Tired of your sauteed or steamed pot of veggies? Roast them! Roasting enhances and gives them a unique flavor by caramelizing them and bringing out their natural sweetness.
For a single portion, I use 6 asparagus spears, 1/2 bag of Monterey Farms Artichoke hearts (I get them at Whole Foods), 1/3 or 1/2 cup rice, and a 4 oz. salmon.
Free radicals will have nothin’ on you with this meal plan!