Real Foods Containing Antioxidants
The foods containing antioxidants are all the foods that nature gave us. Yes, every natural whole food that grows in the soil contains many antioxidants, different kinds, and in different combinations.
Because the term “antioxidants” sounds so scienctific, you might be thinking they are the product of a lab. Supplements may come to mind, when in fact, it’s plants that have them – even the weeds in your backyard!
This is because antioxidants are a broad category that includes vitamins, phytonutrients, and enzymes.
These are all essential for the optimal function of your body. And when your body is at its best, so is your mind, and you simply feel amazing!
By eating a rainbow of the fruits of the earth, you can be sure to get a balanced combination of different antioxidants.
I want to specify about foods containing antioxidants, because there are different perceptions of what is “food”. For many, food is what we get at the grocery store.
But in fact, much of what’s at the grocery store is more like “food-like substances”, with a hint of the original food. They have no live energy at all; roasted at high temperatures for mass production, and mostly full of additives, sugar, and salt.
A diet of plant-based whole foods is optimal for cell function and overall health.
|Food containing antioxidants, aka, real food:
• Herbs: rosemary, oregano, sage, etc.
• Fresh fruit: local and seasonal, organic berries from elderberries to strawberries
• Unexpected antioxidant super foods like chocolate, tea, and sprouts
• Herbal teas and infusions, from locally wild-crafted weeds and plants (think: the unwelcome dandelions on your lawn)
• Beans and legumes, especially small red beans and lentils
• Raw nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.
• Raw seeds (sunflower, sesame, flax, chia, etc.), which are also rich in protein
• Freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices, because you can never squeeze enough veggies into a day
• Whole grains to get familiar with: quinoa, millet and buckwheat (also economical, especially when sprouted)
|Food that doesn’t contain antioxidants (or insignificant amounts), aka processed food:
• Starchy foods and “white” foods (white bread, rice, pasta)
• Desserts including cooked fruit (all the sugar combats the benefits when absorbed by your body)
• Other packaged/processed food: bars, cereal, condiments, chips, crackers, etc.
• Meat and dairy products Not only do they have very few antioxidants, but they contain hormones, accumulated amounts of pesticides, sodium and extra water and fat.
Organic food (non-genetically modified organisms that have been grown without pesticides) contains significantly higher amounts of antioxidants.
Organic produce has up to 80% more nutrients than chemically grown produce.
In essence, fresh whole foods are the foods containing antioxidants. You want to consciously choose foods that have the highest amounts, as these will have the greatest benefit for your health. Diet should have variety, but vegetables are always in the number one spot.
Foods containing antioxidants have many advantages to antioxidant supplements. Even though some supplements are made from natural extracts, the whole food will still provide added benefits (enzymes, bioavailability, freshness, organic water, etc.), especially the benefit of taste.
Natural antioxidants give the food a rich, bright or darker colour. This is the best sign that the fruit is ripe and teeming with nutrients.
There is no comparison between a barely pale pink tomato slice on a McDonald’s hamburger, or a glowing, succulent tomato plucked fresh from your own garden.
Always eat fruit when it is ripe. You can tell a fruit is ripe when it is soft, slightly squishy and just the perfect colour – like the vibrant red of a strawberry or the deep bluish-purple of a blueberry. It should be sweet in taste, not sour (unless it’s a lemon or a cranberry of course), and melt in your mouth.
A very basic principle for balanced levels of foods containing antioxidants is the “Rainbow Diet”.
By eating all the colours of the rainbow of fruits and vegetables, nature ensures we get the right vitamins in the right proportion. In fact, usually the same coloured foods will contain the same kinds of nutrients.
The important element is balance, so choose some of each color, every day:
GREEN: spinach, collard, kale, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, green pepper, artichoke, zucchini and various sprouts.
YELLOW: lemon, banana, mango, yellow peppers, yellow apples, pears.
ORANGE: orange, Clementine, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, squash, peaches, nectarines, apricots.
RED: raspberry, strawberry, apple, tomato, red pepper, pomegranate, goji berry, cranberry.
PURPLE/BLUE: grapes, blackberry, fig, acai, blueberry, mangosteen, plum.
WHITE: cabbage, leek, garlic, onion, potato, daikon radish, jicama.
Learn more about making a natural diet work for you in Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine