Everyone’s heard about antioxidant-rich foods and how great they are for us, but what exactly do antioxidants do? The answer is quite complex, but we’ll simplify it here:
The American Dietetic Association says, “Just like rust on a car, oxidation can cause damage to cells and may contribute to aging.”
This oxidative damage to the cells is caused by “free radicals”. And when we eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, antioxidants capture the free radicals in the body and neutralize them, preventing them from causing harmful damage to our cells.
Now that you know why antioxidants are so good for you, let’s eat!
When you’re aiming to increase antioxidants in the diet, these are the foods to go for:
Blueberries Broccoli Red kidney beans Pecans
Cranberries Carrots Pinto beans Walnuts
Blackberries Peppers Black beans Pine Nuts
Here’s an antioxidant-packed side dish that’s delish!!
Broccoli with Caramelized Onions & Pine Nuts
4 servings, 3/4 cup each
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, or chopped slivered almonds
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion, (about 1 medium)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Toast pine nuts (or almonds) in a medium dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
- Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, adjusting heat as necessary, until soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, steam broccoli until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the nuts, onion, vinegar and pepper; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 102 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber; 166 mg sodium; 328 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: 69 mg vitamin c, 45% dv vitamin a, 62 mcg folate! All antioxidants!!