Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Antioxidant: Bioflavinoids and Raw Foods

By: Roxanne Vick

Many people have heard that the grocery stores set up their stores in a strategic way, so that you are "forced" to walk by a tempting array of apples, cherries, and all kinds of delicious fruits, before you can get to the canned goods, milk and eggs. It is in this section of the "outer" part of the store, thantioxidant-broccoli-bioflavonoidat we should spend more time. It is interesting to note that even though the USDA's recommendations are far less than the French and Mediterranean diets, only 40% of Americans are eating our daily requirements for fruit. I wonder how many are eating the Mediterranean recommended amount? It is these fruits and vegetables that contain a very powerful antioxidant called bioflavinoids. Bioflainoids, or bioflavonoids are abundantly found in many of the fruits that our bodies crave. In this article I will discuss the benefits you can get from these potent antioxidants, which fruits and vegetables contain bioflavinoids, and the therapeutic applications for bioflainoids.

Not only are bioflavinoids an antioxidant, they also benefit your blood, and your red blood cells, skin, gums, ligaments, and bones, teeth, and the strength of your capillary walls. Now, when we think of capillaries, most of us conclude that it helps with varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and maybe high blood pressure; while bioflavinoids helps with all of these ailments, the strengthening of the capillaries also helps to prevent loss of sight. The health of the capillaries behind the eyes contribute to either good vision, or poor vision. Bioflavinoids feed these capillaries directly.

The benefit that bioflavinoids has on the blood is not to be taken lightly, either. High blood pressure is wide spread in this country, and many are the medicines to fight it. By cleaning the blood, bioflavinoids go far in helping to reduce high blood pressure. It has been said that if your blood is clean, you cannot get sick. If you can stay on a pure diet (raw foods) for 90 days, all your blood cells will be replaced, according to Dr. Paul Bragg. The cells are replaced anyway, but the health of the cells is the factor. Our bodies are made to heal quickly, given the right diet. I think it's interesting that the blood cells are the first to be replaced.

It has also been said, "you are as old as your arteries". With the effect that bioflavinoids have on our arteries, an increase in bioflavinoids will not only go far in preserving our inner well-being, but our skin is also benefited by these bioflavinoids, as the antioxidant aspect of bioflavinoids helps to prevent wrinkling and sagging.

Bioflavinoids are found abundantly in nature: in the pulp and skin of many fruits, including apricots, berries, broccoli, buckwheat, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, oranges, papaya, pepper, plums, prunes, rose hips, stinging nettle tea, tomatoes. What a delicious way to gain antioxidants and bioflavinoids! I am reminded of what Hippocrates said: "let food be your medicine, and your medicine be food". I couldn't agree more. I never ceased to be amazed at the drug companies' ads on certain drugs, that have a list of side effects so long that I'll be sure to never ask my doctor about that remedy! While everyone must make their own health decisions, I would rather increase my intake of bioflavinoids from raw foods, just because they are a delicious way to good health. One more note here: there are no animal sources of this vital nutrient.

Even though bioflavinoids have no side effects, thankfully, like the doctor drugs do, I will tell you this, um, interesting story. During my fourth pregnancy I consumed a lot of lemon water. I like about half a lemon with a little honey. I drank 2 or 3 glasses of this every day, maybe more. I just loved it. Well, when I went to give birth (I actually stayed home), I gained a centimeter every hour until it was time to push. One small problem: the bag of waters hadn't broken. My midwife said it was very thick. So, we decided to break it open, although we could've waited, we just weren't feeling especially patient at the time....and out came Jordan 10 minutes later. Also, on my third child, she was practically born in her bag! So, beware all you pregnant women who eat healthy, that your bag could be nice 'n thick. But, it could be worse to have a thin bag that breaks too early!! Anyway, you get a few stories to tell when you have nine kids, right?

As far as the therapeutic applications, bioflavinoids have been used to help with allergies, asthma, bleeding gums, broken capillaries, bursitis, colds, depression, dizziness (caused by inner ear), eczema, flu, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, miscarriages, rheumatic fever, and varicose veins.

To conclude, I believe bioflavinoids are an essential part of human nutrition. I have read otherwise, but I disagree with those statements, as there is plenty of research done that shows the benefits we can gain from this powerful antioxidant. So, don't just eat your veggies, eat your fruit, and enjoy good health.

Roxanne Vick is the SAHM of nine children, and has long enjoyed walking, gardening, and spending time with her children. For some great raw food recipes for a variety of occasions, check out Live Unfired Foods for delicious recipes rich in bioflavinoids at her website: http://www.myrawfooddietrecipes.com

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photo by: Bob Jagendorf

Antioxidants and Health