3 Antioxidant-Rich Recipes Made for Summer
Antioxidants are defined as, “Substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.”
In layperson’s terms, antioxidants are substances, which can be natural or humanmade, that may help prevent or delay types of cell damage.
Free radicals, on the other hand, are unstable molecules due to their unpaired electron, which makes them reactive. They can naturally form, such as after exercise and when they body converts food into energy. Yet our bodies are also exposed to free radicals from a variety of environmental sources. This includes sunlight, air pollution, and cigarette smoke.
When out of balance, free radicals can lead to “oxidative stress.” If prolonged, this state can trigger cell damage and may play a role in a variety of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.
In my opinion, it is critical to seek out natural ways to provide antioxidants for your body in the form of a healthful diet. Examples of important antioxidants found in food (rather than made by the body) include:
- Vitamin A: Green leafy veggies like kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as dairy products, eggs, fatty fish, and liver
- Vitamin C: Most fruits and vegetables, especially berries, citrus fruits (like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes), tomatoes, and bell peppers
- Vitamin E: Nuts and seeds, green, leafy vegetables (like spinach and collard greens), and pumpkin
- Beta-carotene: Brightly-colored (yellow, orange, and green) fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, and mangoes—often, the produce with the most intense color, the more beta-carotene it contains
- Lycopene: Generally found in pink and red vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, watermelon, apricots, and papaya
- Lutein: Green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and Romaine lettuce, corn, bell peppers, and eggs
- Selenium: whole grains, rice, corn, as well as tuna, nuts, eggs, cheese, legumes, and especially Brazil nuts, which are really high in this nutrient
The following are three healthy recipes I created that contain some of my favorite superfoods and pack a powerful antioxidant punch. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup frozen wild blueberries
- 12 oz cold water
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ lime juiced
- 1 tsp honey
- Stir chia seeds into water and let sit for roughly 15 minutes.
- Add lime juice, honey, and wild blueberries.
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 fresh turmeric 2-inch knob
- 1 fresh ginger 2-inch knob
- ½ tsp cloves
- 4 oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add hibiscus, turmeric, ginger, and cloves and steep until water returns to roomtemperature.
- Strain liquid and add lemon juice and honey.
- Serve chilled over ice!
- 1-2 acai packets
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 scoop BioTRUST Low Carb Lite Protein Powder
- Combine acai packets with Greek yogurt and protein powder until combined. (I used my NutriBullet to get a smooth, creamy consistency.)
- Next, choose whatever toppings float your boat. I like to combine a variety of nuts, berries, and seeds, but the sky is the limit!