Antioxidants are beneficial to your overall health; they are thought to aid in preventing cancer and signs of aging as well as helping to boost your immune system and improve organ function. One of the best ways to ensure you are getting enough antioxidants is to up your fruit and vegetable intake.
Here are our suggested ways to increase antioxidants in your diet:
Eating Breakfast Every Day
Many of us opt for the easiest option for breakfast, which tends to be something that is not nutritionally balanced and not the healthiest option either. If you have the time, you can throw any mix of fruits, juice, yogurt, etc into a blender and make yourself a simple, delicious, and antioxidant-rich breakfast. This is an easy way to add in multiple servings of fruits and veggies. If you’re short on time, you can prepare things like smoothies, oats, cereals, and yogurts the night before to grab and go.
Make Sure You’re Eating Snacks
Snacks are not only a great way to get in some mid-day food between meals, but they also allow you to sneak in some extra nutrition during the day. Choosing to eat various fruits or vegetables alongside your typical snack will help you feel fuller and get you more fibre in your diet! If you’re in a pinch you can choose traditionally whole fruits like grapes, berries, apples, bananas, pears, etc. If you have a little more time on your hands, you can make a plate of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers to dip in hummus or other dips.
Add A Side Salad to Your Meals
A side salad doesn’t have to be boring. Make it something that you want to eat with your meal. You can add a mix of your favourite veggies like peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli to your salad. If you want a refreshing salad, try adding cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, or cranberries! Adding in a side salad is such a great way to get in those extra antioxidants during your day.
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Adding Fruit to Your Desserts
Dessert is the best way to satisfy your sweet tooth at the end of the day. Just because it’s a sweet treat doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy! Try going for a simple bowl of berries and whipped cream, an all-natural fruit sorbet, or a smoothie! This is the perfect way to get your fill of antioxidants at the end of the day.
Be Smart About Your Drinks
A soda here or there isn’t the worst, but try swapping it for tea, coffee, or even wine! A glass of wine with dinner has its benefits outside of just giving you antioxidants!
Look at Your Options
Antioxidants are found in so many unobvious foods. Many root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, beetroots, and others like asparagus, squash, pumpkin, and avocados have antioxidants. Knowing that you have all these options should allow you to boost your intake while eating the veggies you like!
Change Up Your Cooking Methods
Overcooking vegetables may be your worst enemy. When you can, try steaming instead of boiling or baking your vegetables. Stop cooking them once they’ve reached their bright colour. Alternatively, you can buy frozen or canned veggies as they are packaged at their peak nutritional state, then you just have to warm them up!
Get A Green Thumb
Growing a garden is one of the best ways to eat your veggies, according to experts. It’s rewarding to eat something that you’ve grown with your own hands, plus you’ll get a new hobby!
Don’t Cheat Your Diet
The concept of a cheat day does more harm than good in the long run. Allow yourself your “cheat” foods in moderation throughout the week instead of isolating them to one day. This way your diet stays consistent and your antioxidant intake is constant. When eating out don’t give up on your nutrition. Instead, make sure to order vegetable-based side dishes to keep with your diet.
Learn How to Cook
Cooking your own meals means you aren’t subjected to the unhealthy world of pre-packaged meals, and you have total control over what goes into your body. This allows you to learn new skills in the kitchen, prepare meals how you like them, and learn how to properly cook a variety of whole foods like fruits and veggies.
Don’t Let Cost Be a Deterrent
It can seem daunting to add fruits and vegetables into your diet because of their cost. Canned and frozen vegetables and fruits taste just as good, they’re easier to prepare, and they are nutrient-rich. Many grocery stores offer reduced prices for produce throughout the week, sales, and coupons as well!