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10 Foods Loaded with Antioxidants and Phytochemicals

This is sponsored content by Chef John Procacci, Healthy Chef Creations.

BroccoliOrganic fresh fruits and vegetables are one of the best sources of antioxidants, helping to deter the negative effects of free radicals in your body. Free radicals are the “the bad guys.” These unstable molecules enter your body just looking for a fight. They wreak havoc on cells and have been implicated in all kinds of crimes against your good health like arthritis, premature aging, cataracts, even heart disease and cancer.

Antioxidants are “good guys,” like FBI agents whose job it is to keep those delinquent free radicals on the run. But the good agents need your help. Once you are of voting age your body stops producing enough antioxidants. To aid the good-guy agents, you need to ingest fresh fruits and vegetables and their organic versions turn out to be the best source of antioxidants.

As an example, broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, is thought to contain more cancer-preventative nutrients than any other plant. It does this by aiding the liver’s production of phase II detoxification enzymes, which protect against chemical carcinogens, promoting scavenging of the nasty free radicals. Broccoli sprouts contain 30-50 times more of these protective chemicals than are found in mature broccoli plants. (Source: E. Wagner, “What’s Missing from Multi-Vitamin Supplements?”, ND-LE Magazine, Jan. 2005)

Choose fruits and vegetables with the intense colors of dark green, yellow and orange such as cantaloupe, carrots or kiwi. Don’t forget to include onions and garlic, too. Whether eaten raw or cooked, you will capture the power of these potent players in your body. For example, when you eat spinach, you get the whole package, including the fiber, plus all of the substances we know to be beneficial and probably some we don’t know about yet.

The 10 foods loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals are:

  • kale
  • strawberries
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • broccoli
  • mango
  • kiwi
  • cantaloupe
  • purple grapes

You’ll find some of these in this recipe for Aromatic Roasted Vegetables by Chef John Procacci for Healthy Chef Creations.

About Healthy Chef Creations and a money-saving offer!

Cooking used to be fun. Toss a stick of butter in a frying pan, throw in some kind of meat, and 15 minutes later you had dinner. But, in an age when butter’s verboten, salt is the devil, and food allergies are driving us away from wheat, dairy and soy, what’s a time-pressed chef to do?

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Cooking is still fun — just more so when you let the folks at Healthy Chef Creations do it for you.

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January 2nd, 2011

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