Antioxidants are essential to good health, and can prevent cancer, reverse or slow aging, enhance the immune system, increase energy, and improve organ health. Fruits and vegetables are the primary sources of antioxidants, and experts recommend a minimum of five servings daily, with seven to ten servings being optimal. Here are ten tips to help you get more antioxidants into your diet.
Make Breakfast Count
Starting the day with a healthy breakfast can set you up for success. Adding fruits such as strawberries, 100% juice, and yogurt to a blender can provide one to three servings of fruits to your daily intake. Berries can also be added to cold or hot cereal. If you’re in a rush, even fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s offer fruit and yogurt parfaits and apple slices.
Snacking is an excellent way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet. A handful of raisins or fresh red grapes, strawberries dipped in yogurt, baby carrots dipped in hummus, and pecans can all be excellent sources of antioxidants.
Add Salads to Lunch and Dinner
A salad with each main meal can provide a significant antioxidant boost. Don’t be afraid to mix things up with red pepper slices in a green salad, cranberries in a field greens salad, or fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers, and red onions in a rice salad.
Indulge in Berry Desserts
Berries with whipped cream or chocolate can be a delicious and healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth while still getting an antioxidant boost.
Opt for Antioxidant-Rich Beverages
Replace soda with tea or coffee, both of which contain antioxidants. A glass of wine with dinner or a glass of chai tea can provide a change of pace while still offering antioxidant benefits.
Think Outside the Box
Berries and salads aren’t the only sources of antioxidants. Researchers suggest that powerful antioxidants can also be found in unexpected foods like russet potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans.
Overcooking vegetables can cook out beneficial antioxidant properties. Steam vegetables instead of boiling them, and stop cooking them when they’re still brightly colored and have a bit of a bite.
Plant a Garden
People who grow their own vegetables and fruits are more likely to eat them than those who buy them from the store. Planting a garden can provide fresh and healthy produce while also being a fun hobby.
Take Your Healthy Diet on Vacation
Vacations can be an opportunity to try new foods and incorporate them into a healthy diet. Trying interesting vegetable dishes in restaurants can provide inspiration for healthy meal ideas.
Learn to Cook
Cooking involves preparing whole foods and paying attention to how things are cooked. If you’re ordering takeout every night, you’re less likely to be eating whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables that provide the base for antioxidant intake.
Incorporating these ten tips into your diet can help you increase your antioxidant intake and reap the benefits of good health. Remember to aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and consider adding a few new antioxidant-rich foods to your meals each week.