What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants play a big role in protecting the body from free radicals, unstable molecules that can affect the ability of cells to function normally. Free radicals can cause a lot of damage, especially at higher-than-normal levels.
Some of the best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables, and these 4 foods are top picks for getting the antioxidants your body needs to stay healthy.
Specifically: Red, purple, and blue grapes.
Why? Dark-colored grapes are packed with phytochemicals, antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and heart disease. They also contain two specific types of phytochemicals that especially good for your immune system.
Try: Fill a small container with grapes and pop it in the freezer. When grapes freeze, they turn into bite-sized ice pops. Before you freeze them, try dipping them in yogurt and a tasty topping for an extra flavor boost.
Specifically: Walnuts, almonds and pecans.
Why? Walnuts contain the most antioxidants out of all nuts and are also packed with a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds contain the most vitamin E, a super powerful type of antioxidant. Pecans also rank high in antioxidants, and have even been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.
Try: This recipe is easy to make and offers a triple-threat of flavor – salty, sweet, and a little spicy. Toast almonds and other nuts in the oven and use them in a variety of different ways.
3) Dark Green Veggies for Antioxidants
Specifically: Kale, broccoli, and spinach.
Why? Greens of the darker variety contain a lot of nutrients, and strong antioxidants like kaempferol, lutein, and quercetin. They’re also packed with vitamins C, E, and A, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Try: Make a hearty tossed salad with kale and spinach. Enjoy broccoli raw and try dipping it in one of these tasty dips.
4) Orange vegetables
Specifically: Sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash and acorn squash.
Why? Sweet potatoes contain more vitamins C and B6, potassium and fiber than white potatoes, and are packed with calcium and and vitamin A. Carrots are also full of vitamin A, while butternut and acorn squash are high in vitamins A and C.
Try: Check out these 25 sweet potato recipes. Try this butternut squash recipe that contains pecans for an extra antioxidant boost. Acorn squash is super tasty when baked with a little brown sugar and butter. Here’s how to make it.
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