I have a fascination with natural antioxidants both on a personal and professional level. Besides great anti-aging benefits, antioxidants are vital for maintaining perfect health by counteracting excessive free radical damage, often associated with chronic disease.
When evaluating a food or drink, I think about how much value it has for my body. Some questions I may ask are: Will this meal add to my health, or take it away? And how natural is this food? Is it grown straight from the earth or made by someone or even made in a factory? The least processed and a natural bright colour will normally indicate a high antioxidant and nutritional content. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs contain the most, which is why we need to eat more of these foods. Aim to eat lots of colour and to prepare it fresh. We have an entire spectrum of fruits and vegetables to choose from and we are so lucky to have that option in this part of the world. I was in the supermarket, yesterday pondering this very thought, that we are blessed with the choice.
There are people that don't have that freedom but we are fortunate, so looking after your health and reducing food waste is a great way of showing gratitude. This thought led onto another one. Imagine if we were to plant fruit trees, instead of gums or oaks or whatever lines your streets. It would encourage children to eat straight from the branches (potential fruit fights!) and a food option for homeless. It's just a thought but I'd like to think if the garden of eden did exsist or was possible, it would have fruit trees everywhere.
Allium sulphur compounds - leeks, onions and garlic.
Anthocyanins - eggplant, grapes and berries (especially blueberry)
Beta-carotene - pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley.
Catechins - red wine and tea.
Cryptoxanthins - red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes. Flavonoids - tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples (my personal favourites) Indoles - cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (good for estrogen detoxification)
Isoflavonoids - soybeans, tofu, lentils and peas.
Lignans - sesame seeds, bran, whole grains and vegetables.
Lutein - leafy greens like spinach, and corn.
Lycopene - tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon.
Polyphenols - thyme and oregano.
Vitamin C - oranges, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, capsicum and strawberries.
Vitamin E - vegetable oils (such as wheatgerm oil), avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Clients always ask me what I have for lunch and I always say "salad". Seems boring but it's the best thing for my body and I always look forward to it. I make them with all sorts of veggies and they look beautiful. I take as much care with my food preperation as possible, combining different colours and flavours. This process is creative and it encourages me to eat well when I take extra time and care.
A simple way to eat better is to include one big salad everyday that includes leafy greens and a cold-pressed olive oil dressing with lemon, herbs, macrobiotic sea salt and raw honey. Try it for a month and you'll soon have salad cravings instead of sugar ones. Raw fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients (especially antioxidants) and are easily digested and assimilated, giving you more life energy.
Big green salad with pomegranate for added antioxidants, combine this with your choice of protein. I prefer mine on their own or sometimes with brown rice and lentils.