5 of The Most Anti-Oxidant Rich Foods and Why They Should Be in Your Diet

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Happy New Year Everyone!!!!  I hope you all had a great holiday season and didn’t go TOO overboard with Grandma’s banana cream pie.

Boy the holidays can be a tough time to get through with all the sweets and foods and drinks we don’t normally consume, can’t they?

Well the good news with the New Year can bring on big changes.   And one of those changes you can incorporate today is to eat foods that are high in ANTI-OXIDANTS.

Did you know that eating foods that contain high levels of anti oxidants is probably more effective than even the most expensive lotions and supplements money can buy on the market today?

That’s because anti oxidants help quench free radicals which damage the DNA in healthy cells resulting in cellular damage, contributing to a whole slew of degenerative diseases like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Here are 5 great foods containing anti oxidants that you can incorporate into your family’s diet starting today!

1.  Broccoli

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Studies show that even KIDS like broccoli!  That’s right, but here’s the catch.  It all depends on how it’s cooked.  The fiber components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been STEAMED.  If you OVER steam it though the broccoli tends to become very mushy.

The recommended steaming time is no more than 5 minutes for optimal flavor and nutrients.

Try this delicious Broccoli Crunch Salad if you’re looking for more ways to get this antioxidant in your diet!

2.  Blueberries

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Blueberries are by FAR one of my favorite fruits and word is a 1/4 cup contains 13,427 antioxidants!!!!  WHAT???   The bad part is they are only in season for a short time. But the GOOD news is there is no significant difference between fresh and frozen blueberries!

So go ahead and add some frozen berries to this Blueberry Blast Smoothie!

 

3.  Avocado

5-most-anti-oxidant-foodsThere is almost nothing bad you can say about the avocado and hopefully you have all jumped on the ban wagon by now.  They have an incredible amount of fiber, Vit K, copper and folate.  They also have a great deal of fat, but good fat as the saying goes.

And just to get you started, here are 33 recipes from Bon Appetit !

 

4.  Tomatoes

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This list wouldn’t be complete without tomatoes as they are probably the most widely known antioxidant next to blueberries thanks to something called lycopene.  Not to mention they are very low in calories.

One thing I do suggest however, if at all possible, is to plant a few of your own tomato plants this year with ORGANIC seeds as there are many hybrid tomatoes and GMO tomatoes on the market today.  I’ve had good success with the seeds I’ve bought from seedsnow.com.

Then you can make this UH-MAZING Caprese Salad with them in late summer this year!

 

5.  Beans

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This may surprise you, but beans are actually really high in antioxidants! The small red beans contain something called phenolic antioxidants which have been found to lower cholesterol, blood sugars and the risk of breast cancer. Red Kidney Beans and Pinto Beans are also really high in antioxidants so there’s no excuse to not make these delicious Refried Beans!

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So WHY should you incorporate antioxidants in your diet?

Exposure to environmental factors and toxins, such as sun exposure, cigarette smoke, alcohol and pollution, creates something called free radicals.

Over time, free radicals can cause a chain reaction in your body that damages important body chemicals, DNA and parts of your cells. Some cells can heal, while others are permanently damaged.

Scientists believe free radicals may contribute to the aging process as well as diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Antioxidants may stop or limit the damage caused by free radicals. Your body uses antioxidants to stabilize the free radicals. This keeps them from causing damage to other cells. Antioxidants can protect and reverse the damage caused by oxidation to some extent.

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