Live Lean Nation, on today’s episode I’m sharing 7 foods packed full of antioxidants.
Before I share the foods, first off, let me simply share what antioxidants are.
Antioxidants are compounds found in food, like vitamins, flavonoids, and polyphenols, that can help prevent EXCESSIVE free radical damage to your body’s cells caused by oxidation.
Now I say, “excessive” free radical damage, because some free radicals are actually beneficial to the body as they’re essential to life.
When the production of free radicals becomes excessive, that’s when they become harmful to the body by highly increasing the risk of cancer, disease, and aging.
Oxidation from excessive free radicals usually occurs from pollutants in the environment like air pollution and cigarette smoke, as well as harmful compounds found in metals and plastic food containers that can make their way into your food.
So now that you have a little background, let’s talk about the 7 foods that are packed full of antioxidants, and can improve your body’s ability to fight off those nasty excessive free radicals.
But don’t just stop at blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
Even though these fruits are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, it’s important to consume a wide variety of fruits to ensure you’re getting access to the thousands of different types of antioxidants.
This is important because antioxidants in some fruits are good at fighting certain types of excessive free radicals but not good at fighting other types.
For example, even if you consume a lot of one type of antioxidant, like vitamin C, it doesn’t overcompensate if you’re low on another type of antioxidant like vitamin E.
Other fruit like grapes, cherries, and tomatoes are also high in antioxidants and should be added to your grocery cart.
You’ve probably heard that chocolate is high in antioxidants.
Well let me be clear, it’s dark chocolate, not the chocolate in your snickers bar.
Specifically it’s the cacao in the dark chocolate.
Cacao is one of the most nutritionally loaded foods that also contains very high levels of antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
I consume cacao nibs, cacao beans, and cacao buttons from MyProtein. I’ll put a link and a 20% off discount code to these products in the videos description below.
I love adding them in the to my smoothies and as toppings on my desserts.
A lot of people are surprised to hear that antioxidants are also found in food not classified as a vegetable or fruit.
Specifically chia seeds as they’re high in vitamin E.
I love adding chia seeds to smoothies as well as fighting off late night cravings by making chia seed pudding.
You can also get the chia seeds that I use at MyProtein. Link and 20% discount below.
Other seeds like sunflower seeds are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E.
Green tea contains an antioxidant called catechins that may help fight cancer.
I love having a green tea at night to help put my body in a warm and relaxed state, and help fight off night time cravings.
And a little bonus for you: COFFEE! Yes it’s also high in antioxidants.
You didn’t think we could do a whole episode on antioxidants and not talk about vegetables did you?
Kale is loaded with nutrients including the antioxidant, beta-carotene.
But just like it’s important to eat a wide variety of fruits, you should also focus on a wide variety of vegetables.
Other vegetables high in a variety of antioxidants include dark leafy greens like spinach, cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts and broccoli, as well as colorful vegetables like beets and red bell peppers.
I bet you’re happy to hear that.
Just make sure you limit the consumption as that nasty hangover to overpower the health effects of the polyphenols.
Out of all nuts, walnuts contain one of the highest amounts of antioxidants.
But add in some almonds as well for variety.
Even better, I like to make my own trail mix with a wide variety of nuts.
So focus on eating a whole food diet comprised of a wide variety of these antioxidant rich foods.
Of course organic is always best, but do your best to fit it into your budget.
And lastly, I get it.
It’s not always possible to eat healthy all the time, especially when you’re travelling or super busy.
The free radicals don’t stop in your body just because you’re on vacation or you’re busy.
And let’s be honest, the soil that grows the whole foods we eat are becoming more and more depleted, making it hard to get the adequate amounts of B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and other vitamins and minerals from just food.
That’s why I like to supplement with what I call my nutritional insurance.
It’s a greens powder that in my opinion is better than a multivitamin as it contains more key ingredients that we tend to be depleted in.
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends, and let me know in the comments below if you currently or have measured your food portions before.
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I love you guys and keep Living Lean.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you subscribe to my Live Lean TV YouTube channel as we upload new episodes every Monday and Thursday.
I love you guys and keep Living Lean.