Well…let me explain.
Foods high in antioxidants are powerful. They are also most often the foods that are the darkest, the brightest, and the strongest-smelling (think berries, spinach, beets, kale, pomegranates, purple cabbage, garlic, etc). And, it’s the very nutrient that leaves intense color on your beautiful wooden cutting board that is actually at work doing incredible things in your body when you eat it.
It is often the antioxidant capacity that actually gives produce it’s color. For example, the dark purple pigment in the skin of blueberries is called anthocyanin….and it’s actually there to help the blueberry defend itself against the elements. Well, anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that is being shown to have an positive effect on the aging brain. Take a bunch of fresh blueberries….mash them in your hand, and that purple-blue antioxidant will (temporarily at least) stain your skin. It’s that very nutrient that stains the skin that has the ability to help reverse the effects of the aging brain & promote memory. Defends the blueberry, but will help defend you too. Cool, huh?
Antioxidants work by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals on the body. That’s why I refer to them as the police force and firefighters of the body…it’s a simple way to think about the good that they do.
There are many types of antioxidants, and they all have positive effects on your health – decreasing disease, keeping your cells healthy, whole, and young; they are mostly found in those dark and bright colored fruits and veggies…creating nature’s defense force against the toxicity of our environment.
Instead of memorizing all the hundreds of antioxidants, an easy way to recognize them, is their power to stain!
So, the next time your hand gets stained while working with raspberries, beet juice stains your wooden cutting board, pomegranate seeds burst onto your white shirt, instead of getting frustrated, just remember, the very reason these amazing foods have the power to stain is also the reason they can do things in your body that no other food can do! Eat up!