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April 14, 2009
Traditionally, coffee and chocolate are not supposed to be too useful for our health. However, according to the study of the experts from the department of food science at Leeds University, it can be good to consume such products as chocolate, tea and coffee, along with certain fruit and veggies containing polyphenols, in order to preserve youth, avoid having serious diseases and live a long and healthy life. Gary Williamson, a leader of the research group, presented the list of 20 most useful foods, which are “…essential to fulfill the maximum individual lifespan“, he said.
There is a hypothesis about negative impact of oxygen molecules on our body. Certainly, oxygen is essential for normal functioning of all body systems and organs, but as a result of certain chemical reactions in our body, the molecules of oxygen lose electrons and turn into free radicals. Such radicals are quite dangerous because they have a tend to attack other healthy cells of our tissues and obtain the electrons they need. These process causes aging of the cells, and there is the only way to stop it is to consume more antioxidants, which can neutralize those free radicals.
When we are young, our body can produce necessary amounts of antioxidants, but such factors as aging, stresses, environmental problems and so on, frequently cause an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. That is why we need to receive more of these useful elements from the foods and drinks we consume. The following products are supposed to be the most effective natural sources of antioxidants:
- Coffee. 1-2 cups of coffee a day can provide your body with necessary amounts of antioxidants. In addition, coffee can assist in improving your memory, as well as help you refresh your mind and get focused on something. Finally, regular consumption of reasonable doses of this beverage contributes in normalization of the function of your digestive system, prevents developing stones in kidneys and can have positive effects on your blood pressure.
- Broccoli. It is an absolutely unique vegetable which is linked to a variety of health benefits. Annually, Americans consume approximately 75000 tones of broccoli. This plant has large amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin E and is considered to be among the most effective natural remedies which can help you prevent the development of cancer, along with many other dangerous diseases. Also, it is a polyphenol-rich food.
- Cranberries. These berries have very high content of natural antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C, selenium, ellagic acid and anthocyannis. 100% juice can be a perfect way to enrich your diet with antioxidants. Gary Williamson underlines that in order to achieve good effects, it is also possible to use other berries and fruit, such as cherries, oranges, apples, peaches, raspberries, strawberries and wild strawberries, and so on.
- Tea. Both green and black teas are very good sources of antioxidants. Usually, a high-quality tea contains over 300 useful chemical compounds, including tannin, proteins, amino acids, vitamins and so on. If used in moderate amounts, tea has numerous positive effects on your body: it strengthens the vessels, stimulates blood production, serves as a great source of fluoride and helps to strengthen your teeth enamel.
- Chocolate. Chocolate has unique nutritional qualities and can help you lower negative effects of stresses, stimulate your muscles and nervous systems, have positive effects on your blood pressure. Chocolate contains tannin, which stimulates detoxification and improves the function of your digestive system. Remember that tannin overdoses can trigger headache, that is why it is necessary to control your consumption of chocolate.