It is so easy to miss out on essential nutrients and steer towards quick, easy and ready made foods that unfortunately, may not contain the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs. Eating certain foods every day that are high in antioxidants, will ensure that your body is protected against any harmful radicals and reduce disease formation such as cancer. Foods high in antioxidants are typically rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
My top 10 foods to eat every day are rich in antioxidants and can be easily added to salads, lunches or mains. I personally tend to eat all vegetables raw by adding and mixing them all in a salad for lunch or include them with my main meal at dinner time. Vegetables can also be blended in a juicer together with fruit for a nice healthy boost in the morning. If you're new to juicing or you're thinking of giving juicing a go, then I would recommend checking out the Juice Master Keeping It Simple Recipe book, by Jason Vale for amazing and delicious juice and smoothy recipes. All foods listed below contain a nutritional brief and the information have been sourced and combined from various professional and reputable sites, reference links have been provided and are marked in numbers. After reading the article, tell us which food you're planning on introducing every day and why?
My top 10 foods to eat every day include but not limited:
Kale is a green leafy vegetable and is high in antioxidants. It is best if you eat kale raw rather than boiled to ensure that you receive all the nutrients that this vegetable has got to offer. According to the healthline.com, 1 cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C than an orange. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient necessary to help respond to injuries, reduces the chances of bone fractures and aids in the transportation of calcium throughout the body. Kale also includes a high amount of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin, a healthy immune system and good vision.
Spinach contains amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is known to be high in iron as well as vitamin K, protein, fibre, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin E. Spinach is also low in fat and cholesterol and best eaten cooked for higher nutritional value, according to the globeandmail.com. If you're not too keen on cooked spinach, try adding it raw in salads or juice it in a juicer!
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3. Bell Peppers, particularly orange peppers!
Did you know that all coloured peppers come from the same seed? All bell peppers start off as green, then they turn yellow, orange and finally red. Orange peppers are high in vitamin C which help support a healthy immune system, they are also high in antioxidants and contains beta-carotene and vitamin K1, which is important for bones and blood clotting . Include more bell peppers in your diet by adding these bright coloured vegetables in your cooking or crunchy salads.
Tomatoes are high in antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E) and are considered as a superfood. This fruit protects against heart disease , cancer and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, bones and teeth . Tomatoes are the perfect addition to so many meals making it an easy ingredient to add to your diet. You can buy tomatoes in a variety of colours, which include green, orange, yellow and red. The brighter and redder the tomato the higher the beta-carotene.
The one fruit that you should definitely include in your diet every single day are blueberries! This magical tiny fruit is rich in antioxidants and is considered a superfood. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre, manganese and other antioxidants. Eat blueberries on their own, mix them with your favourite healthy yoghurt or blend them with other fruit in a smoothie for a healthy kick start in the morning.
6. Beans, particularly black beans
Black beans are high in fibre, protein, vitamin A, antioxidants and micronutrients. They can be easily added to main meals and salads and are an excellent dietary choice for vegetarians and vegans due to the high amount of protein present in the beans. Black beans are considered to have higher antioxidant levels than other beans according to a study that was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in 2003, this is due to the dark seed colour coat that was found to contain more flavonoids which act as antioxidants in the body.
7. Nuts, particularly Almonds
Almonds are indeed a healthy snack and are a good source of antioxidants, they are high in healthy fats, protein, fibre and magnesium which helps lower blood pressure levels. If you're a little peckish during the day, reaching for your almond nuts will help reduce hunger due to high amount of fibre and protein present.
Carrots are super rich in Beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A by the body, this antioxidant is usually present in brightly coloured food, such as a carrot! Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, prevents against eye disease and vision loss and boosts the immune system. Carrots are so easy to incorporate with your daily meals as they can be added in either salads, soups, main meals or juiced in a juicer. Adding more than one carrot to your morning juice can help you benefit from more nutrients since you are unlikely to eat numerous carrots per serving. Carrots also contain biotin which is an excellent source for healthy hair, skin and nails; vitamin K1 which helps protect against bone fractures, potassium; a source needed to regulate the body's blood pressure and vitamin B6, a vitamin that helps convert food into energy .
This is one of my favourite fruit due its taste and many healthy benefits that Avocados have got to offer. They are considered as superfood and are rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy unsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy skin and aids in the absorption of other nutrients whilst boosting the immune system. Avocados contain an excellent source of folate which helps regulate blood pressure whilst fibre aids in a better digestive system. The high level of antioxidants present in avocados also help prevent cancerous cells from forming. If you’re not too keen on eating avocados, you might want to try adding it into your diet as a dip which is super easy to make at home. All you need is an avocado, lime or lemon juice, a small onion, crushed peppercorns, chopped tomatoes and coriander. Just blend everything together and you’ll end up with a very tasty homemade guacamole dip!
Eggs are rich in high quality protein, vitamins and minerals, making them perfect for vegetarians and pescatarians to include in their diet. When choosing your eggs, make sure you choose free range eggs over caged eggs so that chickens can roam around freely without being forced into tiny cages. Free range eggs also contain more nutritional value than caged eggs and they contain more omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, beta carotene, less saturated fat and cholesterol. . Egg whites contain more protein and less cholesterol than the egg yolk, however the egg yolk contains many vitamins including: vitamin A, D, E and K, as well as omega-3 fats, folate and vitamin B12  making eggs a great addition to your daily diet.