A rich antioxidant diet may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Research has found that antioxidants found in many of the healthy foods we eat each day offer us disease-fighting and prevention benefits, as well as overall body health impacts. So getting those antioxidants into your daily diet is a task worth taking up, and with just 5 simple steps, not a difficult one.
1. Understand Why Antioxidants Are Beneficial
Antioxidants are special nutrients, found in the foods we eat, that act as neutralizers for the damaging free radicals that affect our body’s cells. Free radicals have incomplete electron shells that are more chemically reactive than our normals cells that are neutral (making them electrically charged). The electrically charged free radical molecule causes DNA damage and disease when it tries to steal electrons from the body’s other stable molecules. The more antioxidants we are able to feed our body, the more anti-aging, disease prevention, and overall wellness we bring to our bodies.
2. Learn What Foods Are Antioxidant-Rich
Start with veggies and fruit–both well-known sources of antioxidants. But also add whole grains, nuts, tea, and even proteins that have a wealth of antioxidants like Vitamin A, C, E, Lutein, and Beta-carotene.
- Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, is plentiful in papaya, blood tomatoes, apricots and watermelon.
- Vitamin E is found in almonds, broccoli, soybean oils, wheat germ and mangos.
- Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables is also found in fish, cereals, poultry and some beef.
- Vitamin A is abundant in liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, some cheese, egg yolks, and even milk.
3. Pack Antioxidants In and Around Your Meals
For cancer fighting, the American Cancer Society recommends nine servings of antioxidants a day. To achieve that try:
- Having a pre-breakfast or mid-day 100% juice or tea.
- Incorporating both a fruit and vegetable at each meal.
- Choosing only whole grains for high antioxidant contents on the label, for meals and snacks.
- Adding a low-fat, antioxidant-rich milk at mealtime.
4. Plan Antioxidant Snacks
Snacking can be a tremendous energy tool that will help pack your day with antioxidants! Take advantage of it by:
- Grabbing a handful of nuts or seeds for an afternoon snack.
- Choosing a low-fat yogurt dip for your fruits.
- Making a low-fat, no sugar fruit smoothy for an afternoon snack.
5. Juice for Antioxidants
Store bought juices can have extra sugars, artificial colors, and flavors to improve taste and appearance, but they don’t increase their nutrition. For a great combination of antioxidants from both fruits and vegetables, consider juicing! Juicing machines are available at any kitchen store, and let you create your own combinations of 100% juice, with no additives, at home. Suddenly you’re choosing tasty fruit/vegetable combinations you love, but also with your unique antioxidants needs. If there are fruits or vegetables you don’t eat enough of, juicing them will help you get the antioxidants you otherwise might avoid.
More and more studies indicate that antioxidants not only have disease prevention properties, but actually aid cancer patients in fighting their cancer. With all these benefits and such a simple plan for getting them, why not start uping your antioxidants today?