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When visiting your local farmers’ market, you’re not only picking up deliciously seasonal produce, you’re also bringing home a wide array of antioxidants that can help protect your body. Here are 10 foods that should be on your shopping list.
The Power of Antioxidants
Antioxidants can be found as vitamins, minerals or phytochemicals (special plant compounds). They help repair cell damage caused by free radicals, which can mess with your immune system. Some researchers also believe that free-radical damage may be involved in promoting chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
If you’re thinking about picking up an “antioxidant-rich” supplement—don’t be fooled. Each fruit and veggie has their own unique combination of various antioxidants—you won’t find any of these specialized combos isolated in a pill. Your best bet is to eat a variety of seasonal produce so you can reap all the benefits.
Tomatoes are brimming with the antioxidant lycopene which is more potent in cooked tomatoes. To get the most lycopene out of your fresh tomatoes, turn them into gazpacho, tomato sauce or jam.
Recipe: Tomato-Fennel Salad
Antioxidants: Vitamin C, anthocyanin, quercetin
Recipe: Red, White and Blue Fruit Cups
The antioxidant lutein gives this stone fruit its gorgeous hue. Lutein helps keep your heart, skin and eyes healthy.
Antioxidants: Vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin
Recipe: Peach Mustard Chutney
One cup (chopped) of this powerhouse veggie has 206% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin A and 134%of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C.
Antioxidants: Vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein
Recipe: Kale Chips
Antioxidants: Beta-carotene, vitamin C, neochlorogenic acid, chologenic acid
#6: Bell Peppers
Did you know that a bell pepper has more vitamin C than an orange? Red peppers have even more vitamin C than the green ones.
Antioxidants: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E
Recipe: Tomato Stuffed Peppers
The bright orange color of this melon comes from the antioxidant beta-carotene.
Antioxidants: Beta carotene, vitamin C, zeaxanthin
Recipe: Cantaloupe Granita
Antioxidants: Vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin
Recipe: Grilled Corn Salsa
This green leafy bunch of goodness is one of the top sources of the antioxidant lutein, which helps protect your eyes.
Antioxidants: Beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin
Recipe: Spinach and Strawberry Salad
These babies are high in two inflammation-fighting phytochemicals: anthocyanin and quercitin.
Antioxidants: Vitamin A, vitamin C, anthocyanin, quercitin
Recipe: Cherries Jubilee
The old butter verses margarine controversy is back in the spotlight. With many folks favoring wholesome, natural foods, margarine has now taken a backseat to butter. But can this full fat delight be part of a healthy diet?