The Importance of Antioxidants in Your Daily Diet
Between farmers’ markets and juice cleanses, the promotion of using fresher ingredients with antioxidants in our meals is a strategy that is spreading rapidly in the culinary world. And many five-star chefs are implementing this healthy trend in their menus. Carl Schroeder, the chef/owner of Market Restaurant + Bar, puts a large emphasis on using fresh foods and ingredients in his dishes. In fact, the chef often changes his menu depending on which ingredients are in season. His philosophy has always been, “If it grows together, it goes together.”
Super Foods for Your Daily Diet
Instead of turning to those processed potato chips to snack on, it is more beneficial for us to include these healthy, yet delicious, super foods into our daily diets:
Eggs: Eating eggs for breakfast is a great way to fill up on quality protein. They contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory.
Nuts: “All nuts are healthful in small doses, and studies show how they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss,” says Today Show nutritionist, Joy Bauer. It is crucial to remember, however, that portion sizes matter even when it comes to healthy foods. Foods like nuts are nutrient rich, but if you over eat them you can pack on the pounds.
Beans: Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste.
Salmon: Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces), has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat, making it a great protein choice. You can serve it grilled, baked, or put it on top of a leafy, green salad for a nutritious, but fulfilling meal.
Broccoli: A great vegetable that is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K (bone-building), broccoli has plenty of fiber to fill you up and control your weight. There are also many different ways you can eat broccoli. If you stayed away as a kid, give it a try as an adult. Try eating it raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled.
Dark Orange Vegetables: Most dark orange vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers, are loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. If we eat more foods that are rich in potassium, and fewer high-sodium foods, we can weaken the effect of sodium on blood pressure and reduce bone loss. Dark orange vegetables also have antioxidant compounds that prevent damaged cells, which can ultimately lead to major health problems.
Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants and are widely available in grocery stores year-round, although their peak season is mid-June to mid-August. They are also high in water and fiber, which helps control blood sugar and can keep us full longer.
Juices to Boost your Immunity
Juices are a popular way that many people try to ‘cram in’ servings of fruits and vegetables into their daily diets. Here are a few examples of some super foods that are blended into the form of a delicious treat:
Carrot Apple Pear Juice: Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene and Vitamin A plays an essential role in regulating the immune system. It also helps boost the activity of white blood cells, which help defend the body from diseases.
Green Power: A wonderful combination of healthy green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and parsley that provide a significant amount of nutrients such as magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6.
Bringing more antioxidants into your diet can protect your body from a great number of diseases. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer through the deconstruction of the highly unstable free radicals. Certain foods with antioxidants can also cut the risk of developing health complications such as type 2 diabetes or dementia. Although there is no guarantee in preventing these diseases, striving to eat more whole foods with antioxidants in your daily diet can make your body stronger and more equipped to fight off foreign viruses. If you want to make a change in your diet, and start living a healthier life, antioxidants are the way to go.
Alexandra Zuccaro is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A in English. She a strong interest in journalism and hopes to pursue a career in the field.