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Posted on 09-07-2011

Want a quick tip to becoming healthier from Sauganash's best chiropractor? Eat your vegetables! It may seem like a no-brainer, but vegetables - all kinds of vegetables - contain super-powerful ingredients that help keep us healthy and help us ward off a wide range of serious illnesses. These magical substances - phytochemicals - give fruits and vegetables their big nutritional kick!

"Phyto" is Greek for "plant". Brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain the most nutrients and the most phytochemicals, and they provide an important boost to longevity and healthy living. Red Delicious, Granny, and Gaia apples have high concentrations of flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals that have powerful antioxidant capabilities. Delicious fruit sources of flavonoids include blackberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, figs, raisins, and red grapes. Flavonoids are also found in pecans, walnuts, avocadoes, and of course, broccoli. Phytochemicals have wide-ranging effects - some are antioxidants, others stimulate enzyme activity, and others have hormonal action. All phytochemicals act to enhance health and well-being and human performance.

Antioxidants provide significant protection for your body's cells against the destructive free radicals. Free radicals are produced by normal metabolic activities, and they are neutralized by antioxidants which we obtain in a well-balanced diet. Antioxidant protection against free radical damage is helpful in fighting cancer, aging, atherosclerosis and heart disease, and inflammation. But if we're not consuming our daily requirement of fruits and vegetables, our reserves of antioxidants are decreased, and free radicals destroy cells and create disease.

Top 3 'superfoods' to consider adding to your next meal for an easy, quick boost:

• Broccoli- broccoli spears are much more than flowery green things your Mom used to make you eat. Broccoli is - rich in antioxidants and therefore rich in cancer-fighting ability.

• Carrots - rich in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant. Your body converts a portion of beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which helps strengthen the immune system and protects the digestive tract.

• Tomatoes- rich in lycopene - a potent antioxidant. lycopene's give tomatoes their rich, red color. These phytochemicals have proven health benefits in the areas of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Eating vegetables daily provides so much benefit for people of all ages. Five to nine portions of fruits and vegetables are recommended in a balanced nutritional program. Dr. Cynthia Seaman can provide the best nutritional advice- from healthy eating to the right kinds of supplements. Give our office a call at 773-545-2233 today!

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