One nut per fruit! My fave!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Should I Believe?

Fancy wording can really mess up human understanding and change human behavior for the... well, not for the better. Let's talk about antioxidants as an example. Most people believe that antioxidants are a healthy thing for the body and yet, contrary to popular knowledge, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has claimed that anti-oxidants do nothing for the body. They stated:
On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of the food(s)/food constituent(s) evaluated in this opinion and (1) a beneficial physiological effect related to antioxidant activity, antioxidant content, or antioxidant properties, and (2) the protection of body cells and molecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage.

Meaning that there is no evidence to support that antioxidants help psychologically or within cells and molecules. So based on this little amount of knowledge would a normal person try to research more on the subject to find if this information is true? No. Would that same person, however, stop worrying about the level of antioxidants in foods because a report, that was worried about the health of Europe, said it doesn't help? Probably, yes.

On the other hand, Jennifer Warner wrote an article entitled "Antioxidant Riches Found in Unexpected Foods" which talks about the benefits of the small red bean. The small red bean happens to be the highest total antioxidant capacity per serving at 13727 per half cup. Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD, Warner writes:
Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress, a process that damages cells within the body and has been linked to the development of cancer, heart disease, [and] Alzheimer’s disease...

Stating that antioxidants do exactly opposite of what the EFSA says, i.e. help with stress lines and prevent against cancer. Honestly, it's hard for a person or a reader to know who's right.

So, the over analyst I am forced me to borrow a book called "The O2 Diet," written by Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. Glassman, a nutritionist, talks about how oxygen works in the body and how antioxidants can help.

Imagine this... You are 16 and you play football. It's your senior year and you had 2 finals this week plus it's the last game of the season on Friday night. So naturally you don't study all week long, then on Thursday night you pull an all-nighter, take your exam in 1st period, and the other one in 4th period. You work out for an hour after school just to make sure you’re in excellent shape for the game. Play throughout the game, because you’re the starting quarterback, then go and party with your buddies after you win until 4 in the morning. You go to sleep and wake up at 9AM on Saturday ready to go.

Wow, I'm exhausted just thinking about how sick I would be if I did that now, and I'm only 23.

So, 3 years later, it's your birthday, and you are 21 years old. You're a junior and it's coming up on finals. You've learned your lesson on procrastination, so the Trig final tomorrow evening is no big deal. Your plan? Party like its 1999, go to sleep at 6 in the morning, wake up 2 hours before the test and ace that bad boy. Problem? You're not 18 anymore and physically you're body cannon recuperate as quickly as it could 3 years ago.

Therefore the A you studied for turned out to be a D, which dropped your grade two letters. Ouch.

What happens is, as a body ages, cells start to degenerate and as these cells die they release single oxygen molecules into your body. These single oxygen molecules bounce around the body with no home, therefore destroying things as they travel. Kind of like bumper cars. This can create premature aging, heart disease, cancer, and a poor immune system as well as many other serious diseases and conditions.

To help these homeless oxygen one must ingest antioxidant type foods that absorb the single oxygen molecules, therefore preventing damage to the body.

I guess, the moral of the story, never believe everything you read unless it's backed up by good information that makes sense to you. OH... and eat your small red beans and wild blueberries, if anything they taste so good and they make you have less wrinkles on your face. Always a plus.


  1. small red bean? is that the technical name?

  2. I feel as though this case is all too common, people believing everything that they hear. Although I do feel that anything that can help to prevent wrinkles can't be half bad! I'm interested in researching how effective antioxidants are even if you choose to eat foods that have high levels of them. I understand that these "bumper car" oxygen cells are destructive but how destructive are they truly? Are these chronic illnesses really the result of lifestyle choices and the oxygen molecules are just being blamed?