Striving to eat a healthy diet, has so many facets, and things we don't even consider when meal planning. Eating a wide range of foods including ALL the food groups is vital to a healthy lifestyle.
What are antioxidants?
"Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. They are sometimes called “free-radical scavengers.” The sources of antioxidants can be natural or artificial."
I want to share some of my favourite foods that have a good amount of antioxidants - always try to include one or many in your daily diet.
First and Foremost - My BEST - Dark Chocolate!
The antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate have been linked to impressive health benefits such as less inflammation and reduced risk factors for heart disease. That is enough for me!
Granted, we should probably not eat truffles every day, but a little dark chocolate in moderation, is perfectly good for your health, while also making you feel satisfied, and not deprived, and in turn end up eating too many calories.
I was never a lover of artichokes, until I tried them preserved in oil over a bowl of pasta with some garlic & parmesan! Absolutely delicious.
Historically artichokes were used to treat liver illness such as Jaundice. They are a great source of fibre too. Artichokes are vegetables with some of the highest levels of antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid. Steaming them prior to preserving can increase the level of antioxidants too.
Beets are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, folate and antioxidants. They contain a group of antioxidants called betalains that have been linked to impressive health benefits. A good beetroot salad is always a winner, but try steaming fresh beetroot and serving hot with a bit of olive oil and garlic - really delicious.
I love to bulk meals up with baby spinach - not only adding colour and flavour, but spinach is very low in calories, so if you are watching your intake of calories, this is a great addition.
Spinach is rich in nutrients, high in antioxidants and low in calories. It’s also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which defend the eyes from free radicals. (So when your mom told you to eat carrots for your eyes, spinach would have helped too).
Raspberries are soft, tart berries that are often used in desserts. They are a great source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants.
So if you are indulging on a piece of cake, garnished with raspberries, there is that plus!!
COFFEE (another favourite)
Apparently coffee has more antioxidants than green tea - well, that's me convinced I don't need greet tea, and I definitely get extra antioxidants with probably more coffee than necessary in a day (but one has to just be diligent and make sure).