Food For Thought – Vitamins, Amino Acids…
Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Chocolate
Common by products of normal metabolism are so-called free radicals, highly reactive oxygen molecules that lack an electron and can be damaging to healthy tissue. Foods high in what are known as antioxidants can help correct the problem by donating one of their electrons to the radicals, neutralizing their reactivity. Lots of foods are high in antioxidants, notably vegetables and fruits (especially ripe blueberries), as well as chocolate and nuts (though these should be eaten in moderation). Vitamins C and E are thought to have good antioxidant powers, but the best way to get vitamins is in your food.
While low-fat diets are good for cardiovascular health and weight control, the particular fats in many kinds of fish- known as omega-3 fatty acids- are crucial for the growth of the outer membrane of brain cells. Omega-3s are thought to contribute to greater alterness, lower the risk of dementia and generally help you retain your faculties.
Caffeine and Sugar
Too much caffeine messes with sleep cycles and heart rate and makes you jump; too much sugar leaves you wired. Have coffee, tea and energy drinks ONLY In moderation, and try to opt for the natural sugar in fruit over the refined stuff in candy and soda.
Many patients help themselves to over-the-counter aids, from St. John’s Wart to ginkgo bilboa and soybean extracts. But herbs, like prescription drugs, can have side effects, and researchers are investigating their efficacy.
Probiotics are bacteria, like the kind found in yogurt, that have health benefits. Other strains are being marketed in foods and supplements to help treat intestinal and urinary problems, eczema and more.