Eat Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
These contain antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals which prevent free radical damage. Artichokes and russet potatoes top the vegetable list; green, leafy vegetables are especially loaded with anti-oxidants. Spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes, in particular, contain alpha-lipoic acid which helps to reduce free radical damage to the brain cells. The carotenoids are a family of several hundred fat-soluble pigments found in yellow-orange and red fruits and vegetables, as well as green-leafy vegetables, which exert antioxidant activity. Berries, apples, plums, and cherries scored the highest antioxidant content among fruits, with wild blueberries being unsurpassed. Since many antioxidant phytochemicals work in synergy, it is generally better to get them from whole foods as opposed to supplements.
Replace Refined and Processed Grains with Whole Grains
Whole grains are valuable sources of antioxidants; they also provide necessary minerals, fiber, and protein. “Wheat flour” is not generally whole grain flour. So read labels carefully.
Substitute Legumes for Meat
Small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans contain even more antioxidants than cultivated blueberries.
Eat an Ounce of Nuts Daily
Nuts, especially walnuts, not only provide vitamin E, but also have phytochemicals that exert antioxidant activity. Brazil nuts are rich in the trace mineral antioxidant selenium.
Use Antioxidant-Rich Seasonings
Such as oregano, ginger, garlic, dill, thyme, mint, and onions. Curcumin in turmeric has been shown to exhibit both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Be sure to keep your herbs in dark containers, as exposure to light can destroy some of their healing phytochemicals.
Drink a Cup of Tea Daily
While we cannot recommend black or green tea because of its caffeine content, certain herbal teas are helpful. Rooibos (red bush) boosts the antioxidant defenses in the blood.
Use Honey Instead of Sugar
While sugar consumption depletes antioxidants and encourages inflammation, natural, unprocessed honey contains antioxidants and combats inflammation. In fact, it has over 100 antioxidant compounds! Since honey is a concentrated food, use it judiciously.
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Vinson, JA, et al., Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits. Food Funct. 2012 Feb;3(2):134-40.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is educational and general in nature. Neither Wildwood Lifestyle Center, its entities, nor author intend this article as a substitute for medical diagnosis, counsel, or treatment by a qualified health professional.