Antioxidants in the New Year

Does your New Year’s resolution include consuming more antioxidants in 2013?

Do you plan to increase your consumption of antioxidants into the New Year? You do not always have to turn to the advertised “super foods” like a green drink mix or a supplemental pill.

Often food marketing companies advertise “super foods” or other food products that are high in antioxidants but you can find antioxidants in many foods you are already consuming. Nutrients that are antioxidants include: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, anthocyanin’s, beta carotene, catechin, ellagic acid, lutein, lycopene, resveratrol and selenium.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, foods that include nutrients that protect our cells in the body from damage from free radicals are called antioxidants. The damage caused to the cells increases our risk for cancers, heart disease, diabetes, cataracts and infections.

Eating a wide variety of foods can help you get the full benefit of these antioxidants.

Common foods with antioxidants include:

  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Egg
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Milk
  • Green or black tea
  • Tuna
  • And many more!

So how can you add more of these and other antioxidants into your meals and snacks daily?

A few tips include:

  • Adding beans, nuts or berries to a salad
  • Adding fresh vegetables to pizza
  • Adding salsa to eggs or whole grain chips
  • Eating fresh vegetables with bean dip
  • Adding beans, brown rice and vegetables to soup
  • Buying a new fruit or vegetables to try from the store or farmers market

Adding antioxidants does not mean having to buy a “super food” but can be as simple as adding a fruit, vegetable, whole grain, lean protein or tea into your current daily intake.

To find a nutrient education program near you, visit the Michigan State University Extension website at www.msue.msu.edu.

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