It’s no secret that 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 (which we could all use this time of year!), increase your energy and improve heart and other organ health.
With all the information we have about antioxidants and their benefits, it’s amazing that more people don’t get enough in their daily diets. It is recommend to have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but to really pack a punch getting 7-10 servings is best.
Here are 10 ways you can get more antioxidants into your diet.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hurried pop tart on the way out the door. Try throwing some fruit, 100% juice and yogurt into a blender for a delicious smoothie. Then pour your smoothie into a cup and sip on it as you go. This can add one to three servings of fruits to your daily intake. Or add some berries into your cold or hot cereal.
If you are making a stop to grab something on the run, try ordering a fruit and yogurt parfait or a fruit cup.
How about a handful of raisins for a snack, or some fresh red grapes? Or dip some strawberries in yogurt. The berries will provide the color you’re looking for. Remember to eat the colors of the rainbow!
Need crunch? How about some baby carrots dipped in hummus? Or have a handful of pecans for crunch and a nice antioxidant boost.
3.Lunch and dinner
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 or carrot salad for lunch, or be adventurous and mix up a rice salad with some fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions.
Berries, with or without whipped cream or chocolate are a wonderful way to end your day with a healthy, antioxidant-rich treat.
Replace your soft drink with tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds. Or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea.
6.Think outside the box
Did you know that powerful antioxidants can also be found in a variety of other foods like russet potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans. The beans, in fact, may have more antioxidant power than blueberries. So try adding some beans to your rice bowl full of vegetables for even more antioxidants.
You think you’re on the right track by 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 have all of their bright color and most of their bite.
8.Plant a garden
People who plant and harvest vegetables from their own gardens are far more likely to eat more vegetables and fruits than those who buy their produce from the store. So plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits (literally) of your labor. (Check out the link below for info on how you can grow some amazing produce from inside your home, year round!)
9.Take your healthy diet on vacation
We often consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Instead, use vacation as a way to be introduced to new foods. Order an interesting vegetable dish in a restaurant and maybe even find a new favorite dish to add to your menu at home.
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.
Following these 10 steps can help set you up for great success in adding all of those amazing God-given antioxidant rich foods to your diet.
Want to be able to grow your own food year round? Check out this tower garden. I absolutely LOVE mine!