If you are health conscious, you probably know what “GI”, Glycemec Index, means. GI is the index to show how quickly a particluar food gets digested, absorbed and metabolised and causes a faster and bigger rise in blood glucose and insulin levels. The lower GI is, the smoother your blood sugar level is when you consume it. (And that’s what you need for sustainable energy and optimal health.) For example, according to Harvard Health Publishing, GI of cornflakes is 81, one of the highest. GI of kidney beas is 24, one of the lowest.
“PI,” Phytochemical Index, is a relatively new one to show us how healthy a particular food is. According to AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research), “Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds
. In laboratory studies, many phytochemicals act as antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals and removing their power to create damage.”
Antioxidants & Free Radicals
Focusing on antioxidants is a great way to stay healthy. Antioxidants are natural phytochemicals that exist as vitamins, minerals, and other compounds in foods. They are believed to prevent diseases and aging by fighting free radicals in the body. Studies show “higher intakes of phytochemical-rich foods are associated with a lower risk of abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridaemia as the main cardiometabolic risk factors.”
What are free radicals? They form when the body undergoes stress. Stress from unhealthy foods and toxins in the environment, such as cigarette smoke, and even from aging, breathing, and exercising. Yes, that’s right—free radicals are “by-products of life”. The body of even the healthiest person creates free radicals, 24/7!
Enjoy a rainbow of colors in your diet, then you will accomplish something very important to your body–you are supplying it with an antioxidant-rich diet. This diet provides power to fight off free radical damage, keeping your body younger and healthier longer.
Antioxidant rich foods
Studies show that increasing a variety of fresh, whole foods helps to round out nutrition and ensure that you get a variety of important vitamins and minerals. You have probably heard that you should “Eat the Rainbow”. Enjoy one food from each color of the rainbow daily:
Red – apples, berries, red peppers, tomatoes, cranberries, pomegranates, beets, etc.
Yellow & Orange—sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, yellow peppers, lemons, etc.
Green—cucumbers, kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, celery, snow peas, limes, green tea, etc.
Blue & Purple—blueberries, berries, eggplants, purple carrots, plums, etc.
White—mushrooms, cauliflowers, garlic, ginger, jicama, onions, etc.
Adopting adaptogens in your daily routine
The modern life style is surrounded by stressors. Adaptogens are natural herbs and mushrooms that help restore the body’s natural physiological functions from stress. Adaptogens’ plant-derived compounds may help modulate stress responses, enhance energy production, and sleep quality.
The majority of adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms have similar functions and benefits. However, each one stands out with specialized healing properties. They are naturally caffeine free. They are neither stimulants nor sedatives. And they do not have addictive tendencies.
Green tea is one of the best “antioxidant-rich” foods. Antioxidants in green tea are called “Catechins.” Catechins are 100 times stronger than Vitamin C, and 25 times stronger than Vitamin E. “EGCG” is one of the eight subclasses of Catechin antioxidant and most prominent of all. EGCG comprises more than 50% of Catechins.
Vitamin C enhances the antioxidant activity of Catechins when it is consumed together. Adding a squeeze of citrus to your cup of green tea is a great idea.
In order to get benefits from green tea, “consistency” matters. Drinking one or two cups a day works better than drinking seven cups once in a while. To help you be consistent, make a tea station available where you can see it. Your personal tea station with your favorite cup, a tea caddy, and a spoon on a pretty tray, will help your tea time become a daily ritual.
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” ~ Ann Wigmore