Getting more fruits and vegetables in your diet is the easiest way to increase your antioxidant consumption, but nuts, seeds, fatty fish, coffee, tea and even chocolate are also on the high-antioxidant food list.
Antioxidants are found primarily in colorful fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is a potent antioxidant that is found in orange-hued foods, such as apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tangerines and winter squash. Include foods rich in beta-carotene in every meal to ensure you're getting your antioxidant boost for the day.
Vitamin C is another major antioxidant found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Fill your plate with berries, bell peppers, broccoli and other crucifers (such as Brussels sprouts, red cabbage and cauliflower), dark leafy greens, kiwi, grapefruit, mangoes, oranges, papaya, snow peas and tomatoes.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant found abundantly in nuts and seeds, nut and seed oils and safflower oil as well as dark leafy greens, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, kiwi, mangoes, papaya and pumpkin.
Though filling your plate with fruits and vegetables is the number one way to eat more antioxidants, you can also bolster your diet with antioxidants by sipping tea, coffee and wine – all in moderation, of course. Tea, coffee and wine are super sources of the antioxidants called polyphenols. Consider starting your day with a cup of your favorite brewed coffee, sipping tea throughout the day and enjoying dinner with a glass of wine.
It's true: Dark chocolate (and cocoa powder) is high in the antioxidants known as polyphenols and flavonols. Who doesn't want an excuse to eat more chocolate? Just be sure that you keep your portions small, since too much of anything can be a detriment to your health. Have a cup of hot chocolate made with cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate as a cold afternoon treat. Slowly nibble on a small square of chocolate after lunch and dinner (letting it suffice as your dessert). Shave a little dark chocolate over oatmeal and pancakes for a sweet morning surprise and garnish your desserts with a dusting of cocoa powder.
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