Monday, June 18, 2012

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June 18, 2012
Happy Summer!
This season — marked by the summer solstice when the sun is at its northernmost position in relationship to the earth and daylight is at a maximum —is blessed with a particularly abundant and colorful array of seasonal foods. Fruits and vegetables of every color provide you with a rich array of vitamins, minerals, AND antioxidants. Because antioxidants play such a large role in maintaining optimal health, and summer fruits and vegetables are such a great source of antioxidants, I wanted to share with you one aspect of the way antioxidants function that is rarely highlighted but that I find fascinating.

Antioxidants do their "job" by giving away or donating an electron to substances (known as free radicals, which we label as "bad"). Free radicals are so-called because they have an uneven number of electrons. In other words, they have one free, unpaired electron. Their need to find a mate for this unpartenered electron results in their being excessively reactive. By pulling electrons from other molecules, free radicals cause damage to blood vessel walls or cell membranes. Even one unpaired electron is enough to cause a damaging chain reaction.
Antioxidants. ability to give away an electron is the part of the story we are familiar with. However, when an antioxidant has completed its good deed, it ends up becoming a free radical itself as it now has its own uneven number of electrons. The solution is for another antioxidant to provide its needed electron. For example, when vitamin C loses its electron, an antioxidant like glutathione can turn vitamin C radical back into the antioxidant form of vitamin C! But this leaves glutathione as a radical. Luckily lipoic acid comes in and provides it with its missing electron — and so the relay race goes on...
The real truth about antioxidants is that nutrients work together. Our metabolism requires a juggling team of nutrients which keep us healthy through teamwork. Once again, this reinforces the fact that no one food can optimize our health. The juggling team requires a variety of nutrients, and there is really only one place outside the body where we can count on finding what we need to maintain our full antioxidant juggling team: in a nutrient-rich diet like that provided by the World's Healthiest Foods. And when it comes to summer fruits and vegetables, variety is the name of the game, so be sure to take advantage of the summer abundance to provide you with the rich source of nutrients and help keep those jugglers working.
Optional Ingredients Makes for Great Tasting Summer Squash
If you grow your own garden, you know how prolific summer squash can be. This week I will share with you how to prepare this abundant summer vegetable in ways that are quick and easy, and taste great! Learn how easy it is to prepare this delicious Summer Squash recipe with me in this week's video.
Summer Squash
Summer squash is a member of the cucumber family and comes in many different varieties. You can enjoy the entire plant, including its flesh, seeds and skin. And if you grow them yourself, be sure to enjoy their edible flowers; they are great visual and taste additions to your summer salad.
What You Should Know About Summer Squash
Although summer squash has long been recognized as an important food source of carotenoids, only recently have research studies documented just how fantastic summer squash can be when it comes to these key antioxidants ... The Latest News About Summer Squash.
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Enjoy your Healthiest Way of Eating this week!
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