10 Ways to Get More Antioxidants Into Your Diet
Our immune system needs all the help it can get! Not only will the right supplements assist in immune support, but also eating a diet rich in antioxidants.
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you're exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
Antioxidants are incredibly beneficial to good health. It’s believed the antioxidants in food can help prevent cancer, reverse or slow aging, enhance your immune system, increase your energy and improve heart and other organ health.
Given all we know about antioxidants and their beneficial properties, it’s amazing more people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables, the primary sources of antioxidants. Experts recommend a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but say getting 7-10 servings is best.
Here are 10 steps to getting more antioxidants into your diet.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hurried toaster tart on the way out the door. A smoothie is another way to get a variety of fruit and vegetables into your system early on in the day! Throw some greens, frozen strawberries (or fruit of your choice) and non-dairy milk into a blender and away you go. You’ve just added one to three servings of fruits to your daily intake.
Here’s an easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet. Dip some strawberries in non-dairy yogurt. You’ll feel decadent, but the berries provide the color you’re looking for. Need crunch? How about some baby carrots dipped in hummus? Consider a handful of pecans for crunch and a nice antioxidant boost.
3. Lunch and dinner
It might sound too easy, but adding a salad to each of your main daily meals can add loads to your overall health and well-being. They don’t have to be boring, and they don’t have to be just salad greens. If you’re going classic, add some red pepper slices to your green salad, some tomatoes to the Greek salad, or tart cranberries to your field greens. Whip up a broccoli salad for lunch, or be adventurous and mix up a brown rice salad with a mélange of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions. Use different greens for variety and add nuts and seeds for extra crunch! A salad dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar can round out everything.
Berries are a wonderful way to end your day of healthy, antioxidant-rich eating.
Replace your sugar-laden soda with green tea which boasts antioxidant compounds.
6. Think outside the box
We know we can get our antioxidant fix from berries, salads and the like, but researchers say powerful antioxidants can also be found in a variety of unexpected foods, like russet potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans. The beans, in fact, may have more antioxidant power than blueberries, experts say. So to your brown rice salad full of vegetables, add some beans for an even more antioxidant kick.
7. Cook lightly
You think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for your family’s dinner. But if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam (don’t boil) vegetables, and stop cooking them when they will have all of their bright color and most of their bite.
8. Plant a garden
Experts believe that people who plant and harvest vegetables from their own yards are far more likely to eat more vegetables and fruits than people who buy their produce from the store. So plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits (literally) of your labor!
9. Take your healthy diet on vacation
Too many of us consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Think of vacation as a way to be introduced to new foods. Order an interesting vegetable dish in a restaurant and then pay attention to how the chef prepared the dish.
10.Learn to cook
If you’re cooking, you’re not opening bags and boxes. Cooking involves scrubbing and peeling vegetables, preparing whole foods and paying attention to how things are cooked. If you’re ordering out every night, you’re far less likely to be eating the whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables that provide the base for your antioxidant intake.
Antioxidants are powerhouse compounds that contribute to our health and well being. Adding them to your diet is easy and I hope these tips help!
Until next time lovelies!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
and Registered Health & Nutrition Counsellor™
LOVING DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This guide and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.