Creating meals with components of antioxidant defence system


Antioxidants

Having written about the breakfast meal created by the components of the antioxidant defense system, I present the concluding part of the article with meals for lunch and dinner. Let us be reminded that we are working to prove the quote of Hippocrates which says; “Let your food be medicine and your medicine be thy food.

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.

Dinner (supper): This is the meal usually eaten in the evenings when the individual is expected to be winding down. It is expected that the quantity of whatever has to be eaten should be reduced. This may not always be the case, but one has to always bear in mind the time that it may take for digestion to take place and the time of going to bed. For the wellbeing of the individual, digestion should have been completed before going to bed. It therefore follows that dinner should be eaten between 6.00 and 8.00pm. This gives sufficient time for digestion before bedtime. We also have to remember that dinner has to be light as against heavy types of food such as eba, wheat, “poundo” yam for swallows or yam and stew, rice and stew and so on.

There are several light and nutritious meals that can be created from the components of the antioxidant defense system; I will only describe the vegetable and protein dish. Simply put, this is a dish of vegetables that we have already identified as sources of the vitamins, enzymes and trace elements that contain these antioxidants. Included in this list would be the green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale collard greens, beet greens, lettuce; cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and watercress.

Other components are tomatoes, garlic, onions etc. The vegetables sliced or chopped should be dressed with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or other types of vegetable oils that contain free fatty acids. For protein, one can either use fish, chicken or turkey. These can be lightly boiled, grilled or roasted. This meal eaten three to four times a week can be completed always with a glass or two of alkaline water and a cup of green tea. Green tea like we know is a powerful source of antioxidants.

In conclusion, we need to begin to pay attention to what we eat daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. These meals will be referred to as being nutritious if they contain nutrients that are active in preventing diseases, enhancing functions of organs or boosting the immune system. There are certain components of plants that heal and such knowledge has to be exploited while preparing our meals.Not all nutrients are stored in the body. For this reason, these nutrients have to be supplied regularly to the body through our meals.



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