They improve your skin tone while helping to keep you looking and feeling fresh. At the same time, they increase your vitality by making you feel more awake and full of energy. It's the so-called antioxidants! The question now is how to be certain that you're getting enough of them.
An important building block of general health
Antioxidants help the body to reduce oxidative stress by binding to free radicals. They do this by actually sticking to the free radicals, which prevents them from doing harm. As a knock-on effect, antioxidants help to keep us looking fresh and vital, for example promoting a healthy complexion as well as more attractive and resilient hair and nails. If we ensure that we're taking in enough antioxidants, we also feel more energetic…and it's even easier for us to relax. Over the past few years there has been a growing number of supplements on the market that are intended to supply the body with antioxidants. Nonetheless, when we get antioxidants naturally, i.e. from the foods we eat, in time we often become aware of the fact that we don't really need such supplements. Next we'll look into which foods offer the most benefits if you're looking to get enough antioxidants in a natural way.
Healthy naturally – antioxidants in food
Here's some information that many are unaware of: cinnamon contains a high level of antioxidants. It's an easy addition to many meals like hot cereal in the morning or sweet desserts that you might enjoy later in the day. We're all familiar with the slightly sweet taste of this spice, but it also has an energizing effect that you may not have known about. This is also true of red cabbage: it's another food that is very high in antioxidants. If you're not so familiar with cooking using red cabbage, you can just let your creativity be your guide – consider adding it to salads or making a healthy cabbage-quinoa stir fry with whatever vegetables you like. If you're not a big fan of quinoa, or maybe it's not readily available, you can replace it with rice or your favourite pasta. It's even possible to make pastries using red cabbage that are both easy to prepare and taste delicious!
One more option when it comes to getting your antioxidants is green leafy vegetables. The source in this category of foods includes green cabbage, spinach and arugula. Green leafy vegetable contain important vitamins, chlorophyll, amino acids and iron. All of these help to strengthen the immune system, thus eating more of them contributes to making you more resistant to disease. Like red cabbage, there are seeming unlimited ways to put leafy green vegetables to use in the kitchen. Salad is a natural choice, likewise pesto, and you can also add them to soups. What about steamed vegetables as a nice addition to your evening meal? You can even use leafy green vegetables in smoothies! Put some thought into it, and we're sure that you'll be able to come up with many ways to incorporate these energizing foods into your everyday meal plan.
The important takeaway from all of this information is that with just a little effort, it's possible to upgrade our eating habits and include good sources of antioxidants in every single meal. Using our suggestions and your own ingenuity, we're certain that you'll both have more fun in the kitchen and improve your overall well-being through improving your diet. Bon appétit!
Source: Dr. Michael Greger and Gene Stone, How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Flatiron Books, 2015
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