Your body needs antioxidants, but until a few years ago, most scientists and researchers didn’t understand their true value. Antioxidants work to stabilize and diminish free radicals that can damage your body and lead to disease and health problems over time. Antioxidant super foods can also help strengthen your immune system. Most antioxidant super foods also contain beneficial vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, and they also contain a good deal of potassium and vitamin C. Blueberries are also low in calories, with a full cup coming in at just under 100 calories. Add blueberries to your breakfast cereal, use them to make smoothies or just eat them as a snack. Blueberry-based desserts are also a great way to cut down on process sugar and get your antioxidants.
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Salmon is full of antioxidants and omega fatty acids, which may help to lower your risk of heart disease, arthritis, and potentially, memory loss. For the best nutrition, look for wild salmon, not farmed salmon. Aim for two to three servings of salmon per week. Fresh salmon is excellent, but if you can’t get it where you are, wild-caught salmon that’s been frozen or packaged in a pouch or can is healthy too.
Beans are a staple food all around the world because of their health benefits, and almost all beans are packed with antioxidants that your body needs. If you’re looking to up your antioxidant intake, choose red beans, black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans – they have the most antioxidant content. You can eat beans as a side dish or with rice as a main course, or add them to salads, make low-fat dips or use them in soups. Beans are also low in calories and don’t contain any saturated fat.
Most green vegetables have some antioxidant content, but spinach is among the highest, and it also contains essential vitamins and nutrients like protein, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Raw spinach contains more antioxidant content than cooked spinach, so try making salads with fresh baby spinach. If you’re going to cook your spinach before you eat it, try lightly steaming it and removing it from the heat before it gets too wilted. You can also add spinach to fruit smoothies to disguise the taste if you really don’t like it.
Nuts make a great snack because they’re rich in protein and the good type of fat, but certain types of nuts are also full of antioxidants. The nuts highest in antioxidant content are walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds, so those are the ones you should focus on adding to your diet. Try adding a tablespoon of chopped nuts to your salad, or add them to your oatmeal or yogurt along with some blueberries for a truly healthy, antioxidant-rich snack or breakfast. A one-ounce serving of nuts also makes an excellent snack between meals or after a workout when you need a protein boost. While nuts are healthy, they’re also relatively high in fat content, so limit yourself to about one serving per day.
Author Bio: Holly is a chef at Flying Fish Restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Holly is also interested in natural health and remedies and thinks these anti-oxidant super foods are some of the best things you can possibly eat.