Maintaining Healthy Balance of Nutrients and Antioxidants on a Keto Diet
You might have a million different reasons for starting the keto diet, and you surely will reap the benefits of it, in the months to come. The keto diet celebrates lean meats, low carb intake and heart-healthy fats. All of this helps you set straight your antioxidant levels, helping you stay healthy and fit. The leafy greens, good fats and low carb items you take while on a ketogenic diet help with optimizing collagen production. So what is the relationship between antioxidants, collage and the keto diet? Here’s an in-depth look into how the keto diet helps with collagen production and having the right amount of antioxidants in your system.
What is the Keto Diet?
A keto diet is one that modifies our eating habits to regulate carbohydrate intake and keep it to a bare minimum. It helps primarily with losing excess weight and achieving better health standards. In case you aren’t obese, the keto diet can be modified to include fruits and veggies, whereas stricter versions of the diet limit the consumption of all food rich in carbs. Carbohydrates are high on sugar, and their intake leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, which, in turn, may result in weight gain. However, the keto diet does not aim to starve your body of nutrients. In some instances, studies have shown that there is a correlation between obesity and nutrient deficiency. So how does the keto diet help you stay active and fit? Here’s a look at how the keto diet helps with collagen production and management of oxidative stress.
Keto diet and oxidative stress
Oxidative stress refers to the process by virtue of which free radicals and molecules damage our cells and give rises to diseases. No matter how hard we try, our body gives rise to a small number of such free radicals which cause problems. However, things do get worse when we indulge in bad lifestyle habits and take wrong decisions. For instance, smoking, bad diet and drinking excessively result in the production of too many free radicals.
However, studies have shown that the keto diet helps in preventing the process of oxidative stress. The keto diet helps in increasing blood antioxidant capacity, leading to the prevention of cell and tissue damage. Furthermore, the antioxidants produced due to the keto diet helps in stopping accelerated ageing, and illnesses such as cardiovascular ailments, Parkinson’s, cancer and even Alzheimer’s. These studies have shown that staying on the keto diet for just 2 weeks leads to a significant improvement in antioxidant blood levels. Therefore, switching to the keto diet can help you slow down ageing, prevent tissue damage and even improve your immunity! In many cases, the proper following of the keto diet has led to the complete alleviation of symptoms related to diabetes, PCOS and even cancer.
Benefits of the KETO Diet
- By restricting carbohydrate intake, the keto diet helps in inducing the breakdown of fats into fatty acids which produce energy.
- Helps with achieving fast results when it comes to weight loss
- Significant anti-seizure activity
- Provides correction of metabolic syndrome
- Prevention of onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Helps in protecting against Cardiomyopathy
- Serves as a potential adjunctive therapy for cancer
Why are Antioxidant Foods Important?
Keto-friendly foods rich in antioxidants help in repairing cell damage and preventing oxidative damage. Most fruits and veggies are hailed as healthy because they contain antioxidants and phytonutrients, both of which have significant health benefits. The keto diet is affluent in antioxidants as it has been proven that animal-based foods have more of it than plant-based sources. Plants serve as a higher source of Vitamins K, C and E, and that is why everyone must eat leafy greens. Also, since a ketogenic diet is less strict than others, you can expand it to include all kinds of food items rich in antioxidants.
Keto Diet: High in Collagen
Collagen is an essential component of our bones, skin and joints. The best thing about the keto diet is that it is naturally rich in collagen. Here’s a look at some keto-friendly food items which are high in collagen.
Fish, Lean Meats: Fish are a powerhouse of nutrients and contain a lot of really great vitamins and oils. For instance, they are rich in Omega-3s which help the body with its natural collagen production. Such foods protect the fatty membrane surrounding our skin cells, helping us have a youthful, wrinkle-less and supple skin.
Avocadoes: These help with natural collagen production, cartilage repair and also contribute towards your joint health, so make sure you have enough guacamole.
Eggs: Considered a superfood due to all the benefits they provide, eggs also help with collagen production. Egg yolk contains a type of collagen that does wonders to your hair, connecting tissues, joints and even skin!
Leafy Greens: The perfect food item which brings together antioxidants and collagen in the keto diet is leafy green veggies. Vegetables such as kale and spinach help prevent oxidative stress, which leads to younger-looking skin and healthy, smooth hair.
Tips for Maintaining a Balanced Keto Diet
Folate or Vitamin B9 helps with methylation, hormone balance and even mood control. Therefore, make sure you take enough of this super-important nutrient by eating supplements and leafy greens. Make sure you take 1-2 portions of several leafy veggies, such as spinach and kale every 3 days.
The micronutrients chromium, biotin, Magnesium and Iodine are essential for the normal functioning of the body. Here’s a list of the best keto food items to have enough of the crucial 27 nutrients your body needs.
- Vitamin A – Cod liver oil, carrots
- Thiamine – Nuts, Liver
- Riboflavin – Lean Meats, Eggs
- Niacin – Avocado, turkey
- Pantothenic acid – Beef, Avocado
- Vitamin B6, B12, Choline – Eggs, Fish
- Biotin – Egg Yolk, Avocado
- Folate, Iron – Spinach, Liver
- Vitamin C – Lemon, Broccoli
- Vitamin D – Eggs, Cod Liver Oil
- Vitamin E, Magnesium – Spinach, Almonds
- Vitamin K, Potassium – Spinach, Kale
- Calcium, Copper – Seeds, Almonds
- Chromium – Broccoli, Beans
- Iodine, Sodium – Salt, Eggs
- Manganese, Molybdenum – Spinach, Nuts
- Phosphorus – Chicken, Turkey
- Selenium – Mushrooms, Seeds
- Zinc – Nuts, Seeds
Now that you know how vital minerals, vitamins, collagen, and antioxidants are to the body’s functioning, including their sources in your diet. While the keto diet helps in losing weight effectively, make sure you don’t push your body to the extreme. Let us know in the comments below what steps you take to have a healthy and balanced diet.