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Digital Subscriptions > PlantBased > August 2019 > Nutritionist’s notebook: antioxidants

Nutritionist’s notebook: antioxidants

Dr Justine Butler from Viva! Health explains the power of plants

Antioxidants protect our health, but you don’t have to splash out on expensive supplements as there’s a plentiful supply – and powerful ones at that – hiding in a fruit and veg shop near you.

Unstable molecules called free radicals are hell-bent on wreaking havoc in your body, causing damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Think of them as the terrifying White Walkers from the hit HBO series Game of Thrones – scary, living-dead beings whose mission is simply to destroy.

The destructive capability of free radicals lies in the fact that these oxygen-containing molecules carry a single electron; because electrons much prefer to travel in pairs, they try to snatch a partner electron from other molecules. They’re not fussy – one from a cell wall will do, even though it may cause that cell to die and taking one from your DNA may cause a mutation that leads to cancer. They can also make LDL – the ‘bad’ cholesterol – more likely to get trapped in an artery wall, which is definitely bad news. Free radicals can leave a trail of destruction if let to run riot.

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About PlantBased

Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to take advantage of the fresh fruit and veg which fills our supermarket shelves – and if we’re lucky – our gardens, too. This month, we’ve included a wide range of dishes to help put your produce to good use, by including recipes for fresh salads (p24), delicious fruit tarts (p41) and authentic Asian dishes (p71). As August gifts us with long, warm evenings, it’s the perfect time to throw a garden party – but why not add a fun, Mexican twist? On page 28, we share our tips on how to throw a successful fiesta, followed by five recipes that will leave your guests wanting more. However nice the summer sun is, it can be easy to forget how important it is to protect our skin. Turn to page 76 to find Dr Diccardo Di Cuffa’s advice on how to stay safe in the sun. Later in the mag, we head to Cape Town to explore the plant-based options the city has to offer, while recommending a host of restaurants you must try when visiting the cape. We also share a veganised recipe of the Bobotie – a classic South African dish, originally made with meat – let us know what you think of it. Enjoy the issue.