It’s one thing to eat a salad. But did you know there’s a way to eat your salad so the antioxidants you’re chewing can protect you all day long?
Researchers found different colored lettuce release their health-supporting antioxidants at different speeds. So if you want to maximize how your salad benefits your body all day long, the researchers suggest eating a mix of green-leaf and red-leaf lettuces.
Here’s how it works…
Lettuce contains water-soluble antioxidant compounds that affect your body at speeds ranging from slow to fast.
The compounds found in green-leaf lettuces act at slow and medium speeds. Red-leaf varieties act at medium and fast speeds.
This doesn’t mean one’s better than the other. As Dr. Usue Pérez-López, researcher of the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology of the University of the Basque County said, you get more health benefits from mixing different types of lettuce. This way, you can enjoy maximum antioxidant support.
He explained, “If we eat foods that can generate free-radical activity, there will be some compounds that act to eliminate them more quickly. But at the same time, it is also important that our bodies should acquire foods with antioxidants that have slower kinetics so that the latter will continue to act over a longer period of time.”
Antioxidants help protect your cells from oxidative stress (free-radical damage) caused by modern life. Cell-damaging oxidative stress is nearly unavoidable because it occurs when you feel stress, inhale household chemicals, take medications, eat processed foods, breathe polluted air, etc.
Although you can’t avoid oxidative stress, it’s important to defend against it because oxidative stress is linked to nearly every disease from arthritis to Alzheimer’s. And oxidative stress ages your body faster.
So eating foods packed with antioxidants and/or taking high-quality antioxidant supplements may help you live a healthier and longer life.
Usue Pérez-López, Calogero Pinzino, Mike Frank Quartacci, Annamaria Ranieri, Cristina Sgherri. Phenolic Composition and Related Antioxidant Properties in Differently Colored Lettuces: A Study by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Kinetics. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014; 62 (49): 12001 DOI: 10.1021/jf503260v