By Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk
Fight premature aging, cancer and disease with antioxidants. Free radicals in our environment, food and water can damage our cells but antioxidants help protect them so that the damage doesn’t happen. Pretty cool, right?
Eating colorful fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) will provide your body with lots of great antioxidant protection. Here are the foods that are ranked highest in antioxidants:
1. Small Red Beans
This may surprise you, but beans are actually really high in antioxidants! The small red beans contain something called phenolic antioxidants and lower cholesterol, blood sugars and the risk of breast cancer. Red Kidney Beans and Pinto Beans are also really high in antioxidants, so mix it up, make a bean chili or a bean dip.
Both wild and farmed blueberries are great sources of antioxidants, and the good news is there is no significant difference between the antioxidant content in fresh, frozen or even dried blueberries. Make a smoothie with frozen blueberries or snack on a bowl of fresh berries when you want something sweet and juicy.
Cranberries are not just another staple on the American Holiday table. They pack some serious antioxidant punch and are also well known for their beneficial effect on preventing urinary tract infections. Try 100% cranberry juice diluted in water or sparkling water for a refreshing, tart drink, or add some unsweetened dried cranberries to your trail mix.
4. Artichoke Hearts
Artichoke hearts are not only a delicacy, they also are packed with free radical fighting antioxidants too! While the fresh ones are in season in the spring, you can get bottled artichoke hearts all year around. Eat them as part of an antipasti platter, add them to your salads and in springtime, cook them up with some homemade aioli dip. Delicious!
I’m not talking about the smart phone off course, but of the big, juicy dark purple berries known as blackberries. Because of their size, they really are the perfect finger foods. You can also throw frozen ones in the blender for an antioxidant-boosting smoothie, or add them to a healthy parfait!
What tricks do you have for sneaking in more antioxidants to your diet?