It is no secret that antioxidants help keep the body healthy. It’s believed the antioxidants in food can help prevent cancer, reverse or slow aging, enhance
your immune system, increase your energy and improve heart and organ health.
Antioxidants also offer protection from a range of other ailments, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Antioxidants are substances that either prevent or repair the damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). The words "antioxidant" and "oxidant" were first used in 1928 by Walter Reichert and Fritz Paneth who, when measuring oxidation of fats in the body,
found that fats could be made to withstand oxidation better if they had been heated first. The term "antioxidant" was coined because it was thought that
these substances are good for your health because they help to slow down the process of aging. It is estimated that approximately 10-20% of your total body weight is composed of antioxidant compounds.
Considering how beneficial antioxidants are, it is amazing that more people aren't consuming enough fruits and vegetables, which are excellent sources of
antioxidants. Experts recommend eating at least five servings of fruits and veg every day, and often I've read it is preferred between 7 and ten. My advice is
getting as much as you can. Closer to ten than five.
Ok let’s look at how we can get more antioxidants into our daily routine.
1.Start with a drink and Breakfast
Get off to a good start with some lemon water - lemon contains Eriocitrin, the main lemon polyphenol, which is a water-soluble antioxidant and abundant in
lemon juice and peel. I like to squeeze half a lemon into a cup of hot parsley and ginger tea. Remember to add our Herbal Ally friends into our daily routine as well! Below is a recipe for my very own, Herbal Ally Way-Morning Magick
One Bag of Organic Lemons 🍋
One Fresh Ginger Root
Dried Parsley loose for tea or some brands have Parsley Tea Bags available.
Begin by preparing this ahead so when you are in a hurry in the morning you still take time for your Herbal Ally Way-Morning Magick!
Patiently juice an entire bag of lemons. Add the juice to a blender or food processor Peel about 2 to 3 inches of ginger root. Slice peeled root and add to juice in blender. Blend well. Strain out any stringy pieces of ginger root. Pour this blend into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
In the morning brew a fresh cup of parsley tea. 🌿
Add a prepared ice cube to your hot tea to melt. Optional: you may add a pinch of cayenne pepper 🌶 or take a cayenne capsule for an extra antioxidant punch. Sweeten with stevia or honey.
Here is where the Magick come in. Stir counter clock wise or widdershins and banish any negativity from your mind or aches and pains from your body. Verbally state something to that effect. Whenever one banishes it is important to fill the void left behind by evoking what you desire. When the cup settles, stir clockwise all the while intending a healthy body and mind-or even a carefree day. State that intention as you stir. “And So it Is.”
Follow this up with Breakfast. The morning meal does not have to be so hurriedly thrown together on the run that it is just some burnt toast and jam now does it?!?
While you can do it quick, be careful to keep it healthy at the same time. Strawberries, or other berries, 100% juice, and some Greek yogurt can be
mixed together in a blender. Transfer the blend to a cup and enjoy your tasty snack. You've just added one to three servings of fruit to your daily intake. Or
add some berries to your cold or hot cereal.
While preparing your morning oatmeal add some Green tea to the water and bring to a boil. Strain the tea out and add oatmeal and cook as you normally would. What a great way to get some extra antioxidants into your meals
2. Antioxidant snacks
Here are a few ways to increase your antioxidant intake. A handful of raisins or a bowl of fresh red grapes would be great for a snack.
Dip some strawberries or blackberries in yogurt. You will feel decadent, but the berries provide the colour you're looking for. Need some crunch? A dip of
baby carrots in hummus may be just the thing and will add some healthy vitamin A. Pecans have a great crunch and are rich in antioxidants. Even some
raw dark chocolate is an indulgent but great antioxidant especially homemade with blueberries or goji berries. Let's not forget the antioxidant packed staple banana.
3.Lunch and dinner
A salad can serve as a great addition to each of your main meals each day, which will improve your health and wellbeing. They need not be boring, and
they need not be just salad greens. For a classic green salad, add some red pepper slices, some tomatoes, or cranberries to the Greek salad. Throw in some red cabbage. Lunch can be as simple as a broccoli salad, or as exotic as a rice salad mixed with string beans, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Add avocado for vitamin E and good fat. Add a nice garlicky, olive oil lemon juice dressing for a
few more antioxidants and a bit of punchy zest.
Berry desserts, with or without whipped cream or chocolate, are a delicious way to end your healthy, antioxidant-rich eating day. Pomegranates drizzled in
chocolate or added in a muffin base would be a great treat.
Make tea or coffee your drink of choice instead of soda, as they are packed with antioxidant compounds. If you’re going for a glass of wine opt for red, with dinner, or if you want to switch it up, try a flavorful herb and spice tea blend or a chai latte instead
6.Think outside the 'fruit and veggie' box
In addition to berries, salads, and other common foods that are high in antioxidants, researchers have discovered that russet potatoes, artichokes, and
small red beans contain powerful compounds as well. Researchers say beans may be more antioxidant-rich than blueberries. I know I almost didn’t believe
that one myself but hey it’s all good stuff. So now you know, adding beans to your already veggie-filled rice salad will make it even richer in antioxidants
than an ordinary salad.
When you prepare vegetables for dinner each night for your family, you think you're doing a good thing, which of course you are!!! Let's not forget that first and foremost. Nonetheless, if you're overcooking your vegetables, a lot of their beneficial antioxidant properties are being cooked out. The best way to cook vegetables is to steam them (don't boil them) and stop after their bright color is fully developed and most of their bite is still present.
Those who plant and harvest vegetables in their own gardens eat more vegetables and fruits than those who buy their produce from the store, according to experts. Now I can't speak for everyone, but I at least know that I eat far more when I grow my own fruit, herbal allies and veggies as it's such a pleasure to get out in the garden, nurture everything and see it grow. To harvest your own food and know exactly where it came from is such a delight. I highly encourage it! If you plant your own little garden, you can watch your garden grow and enjoy the veggies and fruits (literally) of your labor. How amazing is that?
No space or winter weather keeping you out of the garden? Try sprouting seeds such as radish and broccoli for winter greens
9. Don't let going away ruin your healthy diet.
It's not uncommon for the majority of us to view vacations as a time to disregard healthy eating. But you could also take a different view and think of vacations as opportunities to experience new foods. You can explore the way a chef prepares an interesting vegetable dish by ordering one in a restaurant. Try out new and interesting fruits and veggies that you don't see often at home.
Explore! Your body and your taste buds will thank you!
10. Develop your cooking skills
The art of cooking involves preparing whole foods, washing and peeling veggies, and paying attention to how they are prepared, not opening take away
boxes and bags. We get the majority of our antioxidants from eating whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables. If you order out every night, your intake is greatly reduced.
So, try to focus more on what you actually eat, where it comes from and how it is prepared to ensure you get a healthier, more antioxidant-fuelled way of life.
Blog post is for educational and information purposes only. Always seek a medical
opinion before trying any new supplements or nutrition routine and never stop taking
medication without speaking to your medical provider.