We have all heard or know that antioxidants are incredibly beneficial to good health. It’s believed the antioxidants in food can help prevent cancer, slow aging, boost your immune system, increase your energy, and improve heart health.
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Fruits and vegetables are our primary source of antioxidants and we really don't get enough of them. Don't you want to slow down the effects of aging? I know I do. Experts recommend a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, but say getting 7-10 servings is best.
There are 10 steps to getting more antioxidants into your diet.
10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to help you feel better, look better, and think better. If I told you by eating more fruits and veggies and less saturated fats you would look and feel better wouldn't you do it? The experts have been telling us for years that this is what we need to do and we ignore them for convenience. We would rather stop and a fast-food restaurant and grab a burger and fries rather than a salad and fruit cup.
1. How can I add antioxidants to my breakfast?
Breakfast doesn’t have to be something you pick up at the gas station on the way to work or a fast-food restaurant. It doesn't have to be toast and jelly because that's all you have time for on the way out the door. Try this quick delicious breakfast instead. Put some strawberries (3-6), 100% juice, and yogurt 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 to your daily intake. Add strawberries or bananas into your cold or hot cereal on days when you have a little more time.
Say you truly have no time in the morning and usually grab something on the run. Even the Golden Arches can be of some help here. Order a fruit and yogurt parfait and some apple slices. For about $2, you will have a breakfast providing one to two servings of fruit and a ton more antioxidants than a breakfast sandwich. Your breakfast will be more filling and better for your body. You will have more energy to get through your day.
2. How can I add antioxidants to my snacks?
An easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet is snacks. We all like to snack sometime during the day. If you are like I was you may only have time for a quick bite to eat before returning to work. Adding fruits and vegetables to your snack time will help you get the recommended 7-10 servings a day. Try these snack tips to add fruit and veggies to your daily meals.
A handful of raisins, or some fresh red or purple grapes? Try dipping some strawberries in yogurt for a quick at your desk snack. You’ll feel fantastic mentally and physically, You will know you are eating healthier and mentally that helps us to stay on track.
The strawberries provide the nutrition you’re looking for, not in the mood for strawberries? Try blueberries or blackberries instead. Need crunch? Add some baby carrots dipped in hummus, celery dipped in homemade ranch dressing, a handful of pecans, walnuts, or cashews for a little crunch and a nice antioxidant boost.
3. How do I add antioxidants to my lunch and dinner meals?
Adding a salad to each of your main daily meals can add loads to your overall health and well-being. I know, I know salads can get boring. They don’t have to though, and they don’t have to be just salad greens. If you’re going classic, add some red pepper slices to your green salad, this will liven it up a bit, try adding mushrooms, or sliced beets for a different texture and taste. incorporate some tomatoes in your Greek salads.
Add tart cranberries to your field greens. What are field greens? They are a mix of green and red leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, escarole, and spinach. Whip up a broccoli salad for lunch, or be adventurous and mix up a rice salad with an assortment of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers, and red onions.
4. How can I add antioxidants to my dessert?
Berries, with or without whipped cream or dark chocolate are a wonderful way to end your day of healthy, antioxidant-rich eating. Ice cream with pecans or walnuts is another way to boost your antioxidants. Banana bread with nuts added, yogurt with nuts, and fruit added yum.
5. Are there drinks that are full of antioxidants?
Instead of soda or pop (depending on where you are from) have tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds. Coffee and yogurt with added fruit and I am all set for a great morning. Have a glass of wine with dinner, or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea. try your chai tea warm or over ice for a nice antioxidant-rich treat.
6.Where else can I get antioxidants besides fruits?
We know we can get our antioxidant fix from berries, salads, and the like, 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 depends on where you get your information from. When you make your rice salad full of vegetables, add some beans for even more antioxidants along with added fiber and protein.
Many healthful foods contain antioxidants. If a person consumes some or all of these foods regularly, they may increase their antioxidant levels, potentially helping them prevent the damage that doctors associate with oxidative stress.Medical News Today
7. Don't overcook your vegetables
You think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for your family’s dinner. But if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam (don’t boil) vegetables. Don't cook the color out of your veggies. Stop before that to get the most antioxidant effects from them. Raw veggies are the best way to get the most from your meals.
8.Plant 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. So plant a garden, watch it grow, and eat the fruits (literally) of your labor. Don't let apartment living deter you from growing your own vegetables. You can grow tomatoes in a container on your balcony or in a window. I love watching the plants grow and then harvesting them. You can delve deeper into tomato gardening
9.Take your healthy diet on vacation
Too many of us consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Think of vacation as a way to be introduced to new foods. Order an interesting vegetable dish in a restaurant and then pay attention to how the chef prepared the dish. Vacationing in different spots of the country or the world is an opportunity to learn how to prepare new meals.
I went on a cruise in 2018 with my family and we had the opportunity to try wild mushroom soup. It was decadent. I asked the chef how it was made and he was more than happy to share the recipe with me. I now make this recipe at home.
10. Start Cooking and experimenting with foods and spices.
Cooking is not opening bags and boxes and adding a few eggs or water to a prepared mix. 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. Make cooking fun, take a class with a friend, get your hands dirty and throw flour everywhere 🙂 Have fun with it, and make healthy eating a part of your daily routine.
How to be successful on the new myWW plans
- mindset: this isn't a diet, don't let yourself feel deprived. Eat your points!
- tracking: I track everything, even zero point foods
- portion control: this is on my fridge to keep me mindful
- persistence: I wrote this poem about never giving up
- planning: I use meal plans and freezer cooking often
- support: I'm in my WW Facebook group daily