- Dr. Nancy
Immune Boosting Salsa Recipe That Your Family Will Love
There is no doubt that antioxidants are important for your health. There are many different antioxidants available to us in fresh fruits and vegetables. Some antioxidants are known for giving fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors. For example, lycopene is found in red fruits and veggies and beta carotene is what gives carrots and other orange and yellow fruits and veggies their color.
Antioxidants are not just there to make our produce pretty though. The benefits of antioxidants extend to pretty much every area of your health and immunity.
Fighting free radicals
One of the most important roles that antioxidants play involves free radicals. When cells use oxygen and generate energy for your body, free radicals are a natural byproduct. They may be natural but unfortunately, they can be dangerous if there are enough of them in your body. Free radicals are linked to many chronic health conditions, including metabolism, heart disease and cancer.
Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance between the number of free radicals that are roaming your body and the ability that your body has to cancel out their effects and neutralize them. Antioxidants give your body more power to affect this balance and make free radicals less damaging.
The real problem starts with oxidization. This is the same process that helps cuts to heal and turns apples brown when they’re exposed to air but it’s a lot more of a problem where free radicals are concerned.
When oxidized cholesterol gets a “hit” from free radicals, it is much more likely to find its way into the walls of your arteries. From there, it sets the scene for plaques to become an issue. And that raises the risk of blocked arteries and heart attacks.
Optimal amounts of antioxidants can prevent oxidation of cholesterol. Essentially eliminating the source of plaquing.
Cutting your cancer risk
Because free radicals are so unstable and volatile, they can be very harmful to cells and can damage cell DNA. This can encourage them to become cancerous.
Fighting free radicals can also mean that antioxidants reduce your risk of some cancers. Carotenoids in particular are a great choice and studies are continuing to find anti-cancer qualities linked to them. You’ll find these in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.
Boosting your immune system function
Free radicals are particularly hazardous to the immune system. Immune cells produce reactive oxygen species (a form of free radical) as part of its defense against infection.
The immune system relies heavily on cell to cell communication to function properly. Damage to the cell signaling system will result in a compromised immune response.
An abundant supply of antioxidants is required to help neutralize the free radicals and prevent damage to the immune cells.
It is essential to have adequate intake of antioxidants for young and old alike. Diet is the best way to achieve this. Fruits and vegetables contain a complex mixture of antioxidants, as well as other micro and macro nutrients.
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This is a quick, easy and delicious recipe that is loaded with antioxidants.
3 Ataúlfo mangos, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
½ cup cilantro, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Sea salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Adjust seasoning to taste. This is a great topping for fish, chicken, tacos or a green salad with steamed asparagus.
Makes approximately 2 cups