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Creating meals with components of antioxidant defense system

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PHOTO CREDIT: Taste

Boosting the antioxidant defense system by the food you eat. “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food.”
We have finally arrived at the point where we can prove the above statement. This is going to be done with the antioxidant defense system as our case study. Components of this defense system have been identified in older articles that I have written on the subject and I have also shown the plant sources of these vitamins, and trace elements. We have now come to the stage of creating meals from these elements, knowing from what sources they have come.

Before I show the different meals, I will like to show the several categories of types of meals commonly eaten by human beings: breakfast, lunch and dinner. These can be made up of salads, [vegetables], fruits [fruit salads], main meal, snacks, swallows, oils, beverages etc. These meals I am going to write about are mainly suggestions only. However, in writing about them, I found out that they are more or less what we are already used to.

Breakfast: Our breakfast should comprise of a selection of the different kinds of fruits in the list. The idea is to concentrate on fruits that are in season. Like I have always said, lemon should regularly be taken with our first one or two glasses of water in the morning. It serves as a detoxifier along with the water. It is also a tonic. From the list of fruits that there are, we can eat two or more different types of fruits every day in a week. Let us not forget that there are requirements of the body for other types of fruits and not only for boosting the defense system. There are fruits like pawpaw, watermelon and avocados. Apples, strawberries and bananas will also go down well. At such a time in the morning a hot cup of green tea will add to the antioxidants coming from the fruits.

Lunch: making lunch our main meal of the day is almost like a custom in this our clime. It is very common to find a meal of rice or swallow for lunch. We have a variety of plant sources of foods that we can choose from. Let us first consider our swallow with a vegetable soup. The swallow part of it can be made with wheat or the local delicacy here known as “amala” and this has to be the one made from plantain. Talking about the vegetable soup, I am going to suggest we use the spinach vegetable as against the more common ugu, green or shoko. This is because spinach is a richer vegetable than the others.

Also, in the list where we are making our selection from, there are the other ingredients like pepper, red yellow or green depending on our choice. There is crayfish and shrimps and different varieties for our main source of protein: different kinds of fish, chicken turkey, beef and organ meat. Even though I did not include palm oil anywhere in our list, but without palm oil there is no soup. Let me say here that there is absolutely nothing wrong with palm oil and should be included in our soups. There are a number of other soups that we eat in this part of the world, but remember the antioxidant defense system is our case study.

If we choose to have rice for lunch, there is brown rice in our list and it is a very good source of selenium, a very important co-factor in the gluthatione peroxidase enzyme reactions. For the stew that will accompany the rice for lunch, there are also a variety of ingredients that make up the various components of the antioxidant defense system from which we can make our choice. For the oil, I will suggest olive oil, together with it there is tomatoes, onions and garlic, red, green and yellow peppers and for source of protein, it can either be fish or chicken or turkey. Adding organ meat to this delicacy could make it more inviting, while ensuring adequate antioxidant activity.

Salad: this is an important accompaniment of our diet I think we in this part of the world should adopt and add to our meals for the sake of our health. Salads should regularly accompany our rice meals and others such as boiled yam or potatoes.

We shall continue from here in next week’s edition of the Guardian Newspaper.


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