How can High Antioxidant Plant Foods Support your Good Gut?
High antioxidant Plant Foods contain higher levels of inflammation-reducing properties, and high concentrations of anti-inflammatory vitamins, including vitamin C and E which help eliminate damaging oxidizing agents in the body. Vitamin E in particular can support the liver (our main detox organ) in optimizing its function. Plant foods tend to be the most antioxidant rich foods. Eating a diet high in antioxidants has many benefits such as tissue repair within the body, reducing activity of inflammation, lowering risk of cell mutation and cancer, and supporting better blood circulation. Antioxidants are an important part of your #goodgut plant-forward diet! There are plenty of ways to get antioxidants on your plate, and eating a variety of plant foods and colors is a great place to start!
What Should My Daily Intake of Antioxidants be?
We recommend having at least 5-9 servings of high-antioxidant vegetables throughout the day. To make them high fiber antioxidants more digestible, freeze, sprout, cook, and/or blend fruits and vegetables. Soak grains and legumes overnight in baking soda, apple cider vinegar, or kombu seaweed for 2-12 hours. Rinse and drain thoroughly, then pressure cook. Consider soaking and sprouting nuts, seeds, and legumes (before cooking) to make them easier to digest.
Examples of High Antioxidant Fruits
Fruits that are rich in antioxidants include: Barberries, Bilberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Grapefruit, Indian Gooseberries AKA golden berries, Juniper Berries, Lemon Skin, Pomegranate, & Raspberries. Buy these fruits organic at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. These fruits can also be incorporated into a variety of easy recipes like granola bars, oatmeal, smoothies, or just enjoy them on their own!
Examples of High Antioxidant Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and Seeds that are rich in antioxidants include: chia, flax, and hemp seeds, walnuts, coffee beans, watermelon & pumpkin seeds, pecans, and pistachios… yum! These nuts and seeds can be incorporated into your everyday diet whether it is enjoying a nice cup of coffee or eating watermelon on a hot summer day.
Examples of High Antioxidant Tea
Some examples of high antioxidant teas include: hibiscus tea, dandelion tea, ginger tea, Japanese green tea, peppermint tea, turmeric tea, ginger tea, and mint tea. These are easy teas to incorporate into your daily life and will also aid in hydration and digestion.
Examples of High Antioxidant Herbs and Spices
Some Herbs and Spices to include in your cooking for a boost of antioxidants include: allspice, basil, bay leaves, birch leaves, cinnamon, cloves, coltsfoot, curry powder (which contains turmeric), cumin, ginger, and turmeric to name a few. These are essential to have in your pantry since they are easy to reach for and are versatile.. Spice up your foods and reap the benefits!
Benefits of Antioxidant Rich Diet
A plant based diet has many benefits for the body as well as preventing and treating disease. Chronic oxidative stress-related diseases (AKA inflammatory diseases) can wreak havoc within the body. Consuming a diet with high levels of antioxidants, commonly found in plant foods, can help prevent and/or reduce symptoms of some of these diseases. In fact, plant foods introduce the highest levels of antioxidants than a diet devoid of plant foods.. More specifically, antioxidants in plant foods possess anti-tumor, anti-radiation, and anti-inflammatory properties and support for the immune system. As a bonus, those who consume a high plant-based diet rich in antioxidants will feel less fatigued and may benefit from some slowed aging properties as well.
Antioxidants work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for tissue and cell damage. Carotenoids are the source of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids are widely distributed fat-soluble pigments. Carotenoids are seen as the vibrant colors possessed by fruits and veggies like carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin etc. for example. Carotenoids are able to attach to these free radicals and eliminate them. If you are ever unsure of how to incorporate more antioxidant rich plant-foods into your diet, just look for colorful fruits, vegetables, and grains because they are likely to contain carotenoids!
Heal with each meal! Want to learn more?! The GoodGut Ebook is available NOW! Sign Up for Our Newsletter Become a Patient Join Our Good Gut Community
Try Gut Nurture!
Berger, R. G., Lunkenbein, S., Ströhle, A., & Hahn, A. (2012). Antioxidants in food: mere myth
or magic medicine?. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 52(2), 162–171.
Carlsen, M. H., Halvorsen, B. L., Holte, K., Bøhn, S. K., Dragland, S., Sampson, L., Willey, C., Senoo,
H., Umezono, Y., Sanada, C., Barikmo, I., Berhe, N., Willett, W. C., Phillips, K. M., Jacobs, D. R., Jr, & Blomhoff, R. (2010). The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutrition journal, 9, 3. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-3
Huang, G., Mei, X., & Hu, J. (2017). The Antioxidant Activities of Natural Polysaccharides.
Current drug targets, 18(11), 1296–1300.
Xavier, A. A., & Pérez-Gálvez, A. (2016). Carotenoids as a Source of Antioxidants in the Diet.
Sub-cellular biochemistry, 79, 359–375. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39126-7_14