Antioxidant foods – make your plate a rainbow

Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells of the body from free radical damage, boost the immune system and prevent premature aging. Plants contain a vast array of antioxidants beneficial for optimum human health and each different plant pigment contains a different beneficial phytochemical, so eat as many different colours of fresh fruits and vegetables for maximun antioxidant effect.

Nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E as well as selenium have antioxidant properties, As antioxidants work better as a team, rather than individually, eating a wide variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables ensures you are benefiting from an array of different phytochemicals, nutrients and antioxidants beneficial for optimum health.

Antioxidant packed foods include :

Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Broccoli, Brazil nuts (raw & unsalted), Berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, bilberries, Cabbage – red & white, Cauliflower, Carrots, Cherries, Citrus – lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, Chilli peppers, Eggs (organic), Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, pak choi, spring greens, Kiwi fruit, Mango, Papaya, Pumpkin seeds (raw & unsalted), Sweet potato, Tomatoes, Yellow, red, orange peppers, Yellow & orange squashes, Walnuts (raw & unsalted).

Drink antioxidant teas throughout the day to provide your body with antioxidant protection, use teas such as:

Green (up to 4 small cups per day), White, Oolong, Redbush and Rosehip teas.

Pack a punch in your daily cooking by using immune-boosting turmeric, ginger, onions and garlic.

The rainbow diet

Which colours have you eaten today?

Red – strawberries, red peppers, raspberries, tomatoes, goji berries.

Yellow/orange – mango, squash, sweet potato, oranges, lemons, carrots, yellow and orange peppers, apricots, peaches.

Green – Leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin seeds, avocado, red peppers, spinach, kale, kiwi fruit, apples.

Blue/purple – Blueberries, purple sprouting broccoli, aubergine, berries, bilberries, red cabbage, red grapes.

White – Cabbage, white grapes, potato, brazil nuts, cauliflower.

Article by Jo Rowkins dipNT MBANT, nutritionist, founder of awakening health & executive health adviser at The Spa Resorts.

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