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How to Stay Healthy at Christmas
Alan Crozier, a Professor of Plant Biochemistry and Human Nutrition, from the University of Glasgow, has studied the health giving properties of several foods often eaten at Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas is a great opportunity to treat ourselves to chocolate, which can boost the level of heart-protecting antioxidants in the blood. The anti-oxidant properties can protect the heart and arteries from oxidative damage, similar to the rust that develops on metal after a period of time. Dark chocolate can boost levels of antioxidants in the blood by 20%. However, milk chocolate does not have the same health giving properties. A study revealed that you need twice as much milk chocolate as dark chocolates to obtain the same amount of antioxidants.
Research shows that full bodied red wines produced in countries with lots of sunshine, such as Chile, Argentina, Australia and South Africa, are the best when it comes to antioxidants that can help fend off heart disease and cancer by lowering the levels of free radicals in the body cancer. However, because of the adverse effects of excessive alcohol, it should be no more than two or three glasses of red wine per day.
Some fruits and vegetables also contain unusually high level of protective antioxidants. Adding cherry tomatoes to a salad rather than can also boost health. Cherry tomatoes contain 10 times the level of antioxidants as normal sized tomatoes. Similarly using Lollo Rosso lettuce in the salad will provide much higher amounts of antioxidants than Iceberg lettuce. Blackberries, redcurrents, raspberries etc are also rich sources of antioxidants and they are present in similar amounts in fresh and frozen berries.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Glasgow