We often hear about things like carbs, fats, protein, sugars, and fiber, and how these things impact our bodies but many people don't know enough about antioxidants.
What exactly are they? They're substances that help protect your body against free radicals. What are free radicals? Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you're exposed to smoke or radiation. They contribute to cell breakdown and are linked to aging and disease.
Aside from helping your body with free radicals, foods high in antioxidants are also usually rich in fiber (which helps keep you full) and contain the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body functioning well.
Most people focus on cutting out foods that are bad for them. But, typically, emphasizing adding good foods naturally helps you eat fewer bad foods and helps you have a healthier mindset when it comes to eating.
So what high-antioxidant foods should you add in? You might be surprised by a few.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Dark chocolate specifically has more antioxidants than blueberries or raspberries. This might be the one time when choosing a sweet is better for you than fruit.
This food isn't as common in American diets as it is in other parts of the world. But making an effort to eat it more often can help you get more antioxidants in. A side of spinach and artichoke dip might do just the trick.
Beans are a staple food in many cultures. They're an easy food to work into your diet by making chili, bean dip, beans with rice, or even using them to make brownies.
Many people enjoy snacking on nuts. Pecans make a great snack, trail mix add-in, or topping for desserts. You can even have dark chocolate-covered pecans to combine two high-antioxidant foods.
You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your daily cup of coffee has an added health benefit! If you don't drink coffee already, having a cup in the morning will boost your antioxidant intake.
While many other foods are rich in antioxidants, these five, in particular, might be easier to add to your meal plan than you think. Making small changes to how you eat can add up to a big difference.