Natural Antioxidants In Your Diet

All foods to some extent or another are filled with anti-oxidants which are essential to the body for fighting off infection, reducing inflammation and improving general health. The problem is many of us overlook simple and effective ways to boost our anti-oxidant intake. Including some of these simple things in your diet will significantly boost your intake, leaving you with more vitality and a healthier mind and body!

1- Green Tea

If your not already drinking your Green Tea then your missing out. The stuff is packed with EGCG which is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants known to man, it has been shown to kill off cancer cells, lower LDL cholesterol and ramp up your metabolism. Stick to the fresh stuff and brew your leaves several times throughout the day. It is safe to sip on green tea throughout the day as it has a calming effect and improves digestion…..

“Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb

2- Tomatoes

Especially cooked ones, they contain huge amounts of Lycopene (which is the stuff that gives the bright colouring) funnily enough more lycopene is released when the tomatoes are cooked. Therefore its a good idea to keep a few cans of canned/chopped tomatoes on hand to use in dishes. Lycopene again has been shown as a potent cancer fighter and has a refreshing effect on your bodies cells.

  • Chop up Tomatoes on Salads
  • Oven roast cherry tomatoes with olive oil and rosmary
  • Make Chilli….
  • Drink the odd glass of Vegetable Juice (V8 with Tabasco is my favourite)

Above are just a few ideas to integrate more Tomatoes into your diet. Recently I have been enjoying a tomato and basil soup on the cold evenings…..

3- Coffee

Organic and Fresh coffee is a amazing drink. Not only does it taste great, boost mood and provide energy but it too is filled with powerful anti-oxidants.

…a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2001 found that coffee has significantly more total antioxidant activity than either cocoa, green tea, black tea, or herbal tea.

Always go for a medium to dark roast as it retains most of the anti-oxidants. As for a brewing technique nothing beats a real Italian shot of Espresso as the short and powerful brewing method pumps out the most goodness with far less caffeine which in excess can leave you feeling nervous and jittery. Another good option is a french press which is easy to make and leaves all the essential oils and goodness in every cup. Either way try to drink your coffee mostly Black and Organic and don’t overdo the daily intake!

4- Fruit

Not any old fruit, some are far richer in Vitamins, Minerals and Anti-Oxidants than others. Berries are especially high in things like Vitamin C and have a high total ORAC score which is Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity basically the total score for how nutrient packed the fruit is. Blueberries top the list with Blackberries and Strawberries close behind….

A local Apple is also a safe bet, being a high performer not only in the Anti-Oxidant ranks but they are packed with Vitamins and Minerals as well as Fiber. As the old Saying goes “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away” thats a motto I live by as does Mark Sisson…..

5- Red Grapes or Red Wine

A little Red Wine can help you live longer and make your heart stronger. Why? Mostly because of a substance called Resveratrol which is abundant in Good Red Wine as well as Dark Red Grapes. Resveratrol can also protect against cancer and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, gastric ulcers, stroke and even osteoporosis.

“Resveratrol- one of the most powerful antioxidants found in red wine and the skins of dark grapes- is one of the best anti-aging supplements you can take” – Jonny Bowden

An Amazing tip I picked up a while back is to keep a bunch of Grapes in the Freezer. When watching TV or you want a juicy refreshing snack, whip them out. When frozen they take a while to eat and taste like mini sorbets. Plus if you want a nice warming winter drink Mull your red wine. Heat it lightly with a stick of cinnamon and some cloves and drink, its the perfect seasonal drink!

I have long felt there is no need to waste money on Expensive Antioxidant cocktails when your eating real food. Of course the list above is far from exhaustive and there are loads of other healthful anti-oxidant packed foods around.

The one’s mentioned though are a few I feel we can all easily implement into our everyday lives and can give huge benefits!

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