It’s no secret that antioxidants are incredibly beneficial to good health. The research shows that consuming antioxidants can help prevent cancer, reverse or slow aging, improve your immune system, increase your energy and enhance heart and other organ health.
Given all we know about antioxidants and their beneficial properties, it’s quite shocking that more people don’t eat tremendous amounts of 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. The question to ask yourself is “do you want to experience average health or optimal health?”.
Here are 11 ways to eating more antioxidants this week.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a hurried toaster tart on the way out the door. Throw some berries, spinach, banana and 3 scoops of Nutrimeal into a blender; pour your delicious mixture into a cup and head out the door. You’ve just added one to three servings of fruits/veggies to your daily intake. Adding the Nutrimeal full meal replacement to this smoothie will also help you feel satisfied and feeling fuller longer, not to mention you will feel great and spend far less on the drive-thru breakfast options that are not healthy.
Here’s an easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet. Consider awareness of the colours you are taking in and the state of the food. Is the food natural and unprocessed? Or does it come in a package? Some options include a handful of raisins for a snack, or some fresh red grapes. Need crunch? How about some baby carrots dipped in hummus? Consider a handful of pecans for crunch and a nice antioxidant boost. Dip some strawberries in yogurt. You’ll feel decadent, but the berries provide the color you’re looking for.
3.Lunch and dinner
Where ever possible, adding in greens can go a long way. It might sound boring, but adding a salad to each of your main daily meals can add loads to your overall health and well-being. Salads don’t have to be boring, and they don’t have to be just plain 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 rice salad with a mix of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions. Consider adding nuts and seeds to your salad or get really wild and add fruit!
If you are choosing to have a dessert, berries, with or without whipped cream or chocolate are a wonderful way to end your day of healthy, antioxidant-rich eating. Consider dark chocolate as the healthiest option (70% or higher cocoa).
I highly encourage sticking with plain water where ever possible. But if you are looking for antioxidant rich options you could replace your soda with tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds. Have a glass of wine with dinner, or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea or green tea.
6.Think outside the box
We know we can get our antioxidant fix from berries and vegetables 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 rice salad full of vegetables, add some beans for even more antioxidants.
You think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for your family’s dinner. But if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re likely cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam (don’t boil) vegetables or bake/ broil them and stop cooking them when they will have all of their bright color and most of their bite.
8.Consider planting 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. Even if this is simply a few pots on your back deck, it encourages eating more vegetables for the entire family. So plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits (literally) of your labor.
9.Bring your healthy diet on vacation
Are you someone who goes on vacation and has the mindset of taking a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. I challenge you to think of vacation as a way to be introduced new foods into your life, not to abandon the good way you feel because you have been eating well. Order an interesting vegetable dish in a restaurant and then pay attention to how the chef prepared the dish, the spices, the ways the veggies were cut and cooked.
10.Learn to cook a new recipe
Step out of your comfort zone. Cooking meals from scratch means 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 our antioxidant intake.
11.Consider adding in a Multivitamin full of antioxidants
When we really understand how challenging it can be to get optimal levels of nutrients in our diet every single day, taking a high-quality multivitamin could go a long way to filling the gaps in your nutrition. There are a few things to consider when choosing a supplement. Firstly, find out how is it manufactured. If it is made to pharmaceutical grade GMP, then chances are high that it is a higher quality product. Learn if the raw ingredients are high quality by reviewing details on the company website. Finally, understanding the science and research behind the products made by this company can help paint a picture of the quality. If you don’t want to do all of the research…
I can help make this really simple. The trusted product I have personally used and used with my own family for 12 years is USANA CellSentials. This is the multivitamin/multimineral that I don’t go a day without!
Have questions – send me a message!
If you are ready to take your health to another level, consider adding in additional antioxidants to your daily meals/snacks. There are so many beneficial properties, I encourage you to track how you are feeling as you make this shift in your health.