Antioxidants are highly essential today, considering the worldwide spread of different cancers and other life-threatening health conditions.
Be it a short trip to the supermarket, or a visit to the local vegetable market, here is a list of foods that are packed with antioxidants, and you should definitely be getting them home.
Tomatoes : Probably the most versatile fruit (yes fruit!); tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which is an amazing antioxidant that you can put to use. Also, tomatoes give you that extra boost of vitamins A and C, which help keep the body functioning to its optimum level.
Best of all, the tomato ketchup that you use so liberally, also contains a huge amount of lycopene.
Corn : A favorite in the monsoons, corn is packed full of antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin C. Plus, it helps protect your eyes, so be sure to load up on these on your next trip to the supermarket.
Spinach : You may hate it for all the reasons, but the fact is, Popeye got the girl (and his muscles too) thanks to this one single greenie. Loaded with iron, and an amazing blood purifier, spinach is one of the best foods to add to your diet. It also contains the antioxidant lutein, and the essentials beta carotene and zeaxanthin which help protect your body against the various ill-effects of free radical damage.
Berries : Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are not just meant to be in your ice creams, make it a point to eat these fruits raw, or as juices. Loaded with vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin, these berries can be added to your morning cereal, or whip up a handful of berries with a cup of yogurt, for freshly prepared fruit yogurt.
Bell peppers : They come in three colors and make your salads and pizzas colorful, but that’s just food for the eye. It may seem to be untrue, but bell peppers have more vitamin C than an orange; all the more reason to add them to your pizza toppings. Also, the threesome is known for their abundance in vitamins A, C and E.
Garlic : It adds flavor to your dishes, and keeps your heart healthy, but there’s much more to this teeny tiny herb than just this. Garlic helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol and acts as a natural antibiotic. Just a clove of garlic contains vitamins A, C, E and the essential minerals selenium, sodium, iodine, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Can wine really improve our health and increase longevity? Scientists are beginning to say "Yes!" Supposing that the theory is true -- which wines give us the most bang for the buck?
Researchers have found that red wines rich in flavonoids are best for our health. Flavonoids are best known for their antioxidant qualities and help the body resist such maladies as allergens, viruses and carcinogens.
Red wines also contain anxioxidants, which help the body resist cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir contain the highest concentrations of antioxidants and flavonoids.
Other red wines such as Merlots and red zinfandels contain fewer flavonoids, but more than most white wines. So, the best bet for drinking wine for our health is to stick to the dryer red wines. Just because wine contains components that are central to good health doesn't give us a free rein to get plastered every night. Don't overdo it -- but adding a glass of wine to your daily diet can definitely make a difference to our health.
Paracelsus, the noted 16th-century Swiss physician wrote, "Wine is a food, a medicine and a poison - it's just a question of dose." As with almost any food or drink, wine consumed in large doses can be a detriment to our health.
Most health officials agree that one or two four-ounce glasses of wine per day can be beneficial to men, while women should limit their consumption to one four ounce serving per day.
Cardiovascular expert, Professor Roger Corder, has spent years studying the evidence of health benefits from red wine. In his new book, "The Wine Diet," he says he is convinced that most of us should include red wine in our every day lifestyle.
Corder discovered what he eventually labeled the "French Paradox." Specifically, he wondered why the French have a lower rate of heart disease despite the fact that their diet was extremely rich in fats. He concentrated his research on the southwest portion of France, where life expectancy seemed to be highest.
Professor Corder discovered that the region produces very tannic local wines, which contain the highest procyanidin (antioxidant) content of any wines, worldwide. This led him to further research on the amazing medical benefits of red wine.
While wine may not be man's ultimate elixir or fountain of youth, it certainly behooves us to consider adding a glass of wine or two to our daily diet - and raise a "toast" to our continued good health.
Yes. At least, the Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile and Mexico football authorities think so! An article on Time points out that several football teams, in the World Cup season, has come up with strict 'sex rules'. From completely banning sex to specifying the duration for which they can indulge in sex, teams have come up with a gamut of solutions for success, some of them quite bizarre.
For example, the article notes, Brazilian footballers can have sex but not 'acrobatic' sex, French players can have sex but not all night and Nigerian players can sleep with their wives while girlfriends are a strict no-no!
The strict sex-related diktat put down by several football teams, has sparked the usual debate on the necessity to ban sex to ensure the player is not hindered on ground.
"In a sign of what the world's fittest sportsmen and women get up to in the Olympic village, a record 150,000 free condoms — 15 for each competitor — have been made available to them. The phenomenal outpouring of prophylactics means there will be 50 per cent more available to athletes in London than the 100,000 handed out at the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008," The Daily Mail reported.And it's not just restricted to football. The Daily Mailreported in 2012 that 150,000 condoms had been handed out the athletes, making sure that they are suitably prepared for any kind of emergency!
However, there have been conflicted opinions on whether or not sportsmen and women and athletes should have sex before a crucial performance.
Time notes, "Many coaches and athletes believe that abstaining from sex builds up aggression, a belief that probably stems from ancient civilizations like the Greeks, who thought that men derived strength from their semen. This theory is so pervasive that even Muhammed Ali refused to have sex six weeks before a fight, fearing that ejaculation would release the testosterone (and therefore aggression) he needed for a boxing match."
However, most other scientific studies have proved otherwise. An article on Plos observes, "Despite the extravagant stories exchanged between males in locker rooms, a normal session of business time between married partners results in the expenditure of only 25-50 calories, and it’s thus unlikely to influence next day energy stores."
Most of the arguments against sex, however, are based on the perception that sex has psychological repercussions which might reflect on an athlete's performance. But no scientific study has been found to attest the same.
Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist, has been quoted on the National Geographic News as saying that the 'long-standing myth that athletes should practice abstinence before important competitions may stem from the theory that sexual frustration leads to increased aggression'.
"After three months without sex, which is not so uncommon for some athletes, testosterone dramatically drops to levels close to children's levels," he said. "Do you think this may be useful for a boxer?" Emmanuele A Jannini of the University of L'Aquila in Italy is quoted as saying in National Geographic.
In fact, an article on Greatist.com, suggests that sex, the night before a big game, could actually be beneficial. It cites one study which says that testosterone boost from an orgasm might actually boost muscle strength and leg power for men. Whereas, for women, hormones released during an orgasm can actually 'stop the release of pain transmitters' for close to 24 hours. Which means it could help relax sore muscles and reduce muscle pain.
An article on CNN quotes Maria Cristina Rodríguez Gutierrez, director of sports medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as saying, "Sex only burns between 200 and 300 kilocalories, which doesn't compare to running a marathon or just a regular workout session. You can restore these calories by eating a chocolate bar or drinking a can of soda."
However, the Bosnia coach, who warned, 'there will be no sex in Brazil', is not listening! Bad luck, boys!