For maximum benefit, drink tea and eat it too

For maximum benefit, drink tea and eat it too
All of us have heard of the free radicals that are present in our bodies. These free radicals or molecules enter our bodies in many ways. Through medicines, lack of nutrition, during illness (when our bodies create them purposely to fight viruses and bacteria), through our regular metabolism and external factors such as cigarette smoke, pollution and radiation, among others. In fact, even just by breathing and breaking down food, our body creates free radicals, or molecules with unpaired electrons that attack healthy cells in our bodies.

If you have a healthy lifestyle that incorporates a regular exercise regimen along with intake of proper nutrition, your body would be able to limit the damage free radicals cause. But if the production of these molecules becomes excessive, then it could damage your body in the form of heart disease, dementia and cancers of the esophagus, mouth and larynx, to name a few. The quantum of free radicals in our bodies increases with age.

But all is not lost. Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. They are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables like vitamin C and E, and carotenoids, which include beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein, help protect our bodies against the destructive effects of free radicals by acting as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to cellular damage and disease.

One way to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals to our bodies is to introduce antioxidants into our bodies. According to the researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging at Tufts University near Boston, US, fruits like prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes, and cherries and vegetables like kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli flowers, beets, red bell peppers, onions, corn and eggplant contain maximum antioxidants. Intake of about five of these fruits and vegetables daily are recommended. Of course, if you are not allowed to eat certain foods, please do check with your doctor before eating something new.

One of the easiest ways to introduce antioxidants into your body is by consuming green tea. The obvious way to consume green tea is by drinking three-four cups of black green tea daily. But another way, and one which I think is much tastier, is by using green tea in your recipes.

So come make these green tea cupcakes and impress your friends and family.

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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