While we all know the eventual consequences of habitual overindulgence, what are the immediate aftereffects of a decadent meal? In addition to the release of inflammatory chemicals associated with clogged arteries, the antioxidant levels of your blood take a nose-dive. Metabolizing a rich meal produces an excess of free radicals, and your circulating antioxidant vitamins get used up trying to squelch the oxidative fire. But fortunately, a new study from a leading antioxidant expert suggests a simple solution: Fruit for dessert can offset this drop in antioxidant levels.
While eating caloric meals tend to drain your antioxidant pool, Dr.Ronald Prior and his team found that eating various fruits — including blueberries, grapes, cherries, kiwi fruit, and strawberries — almost instantly replenishes it. Thus, their recommendation: Consume high-antioxidant foods, like fruit, with each meal to prevent post-prandial damage.
While antioxidant vitamins are present in all fruit and vegetables — they’re concentrated in foods like berries, plums, and apples.Contrary to what you might think, vitamin C levels of certain fruit, like pears, actually increase the longer they sit on the shelf. Make sure to get your nutrients from food, not supplements, which may pose more risks than benefits.
Fruit for dessert won’t just help keep your antioxidant levels up — it might also contribute to reducing your risk of stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, and leukemia. For a delicious way to try fruit for dessert, check out our featured Recipe: Banana Berry Splitz.
Published July 1, 2008