Antioxidants are special class of micronutrients (the term "micronutrient" means that only miniscule amounts are required to provide essential support for vital metabolic functions). Antioxidants block harmful chemical reactions caused by oxidation - the destructive effect of oxygen and other oxidizing agents on the molecular components of cells. Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids are examples of antioxidants found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Plants are also rich in phytonutrients that act as antioxidants, including catechins, found in green tea; resveratrol, found in red wine; and curcumin found in turmeric. In addition to getting antioxidants in our diet, our body makes some of its own, such as coenzyme Q10.
01 ❥ THE REDS
Examples: Apples, Beets Red bell peppers, Cherries, Cranberries, Pomegranate, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Watermelon
These foods are important for a healthy heart, good memory function & urinary tract health. Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.
Good Sources: red wine, red grapes
Benefits: The wonder-working polyphenol neutralizes free radicals and may inhibit inflammation.
Cooking Tip: For a quick hit, roast whole grapes with garlic and fresh thyme. Add frozen grapes to fruit salad (bonus: they’ll keep the dish chilled).
Good Source: chile peppers
Benefits: Hot stuff, indeed: This helps stave off hunger and even burns some calories. It also relieves pain.
Cooking Tip: Add minced chiles to scrambled eggs and stir-fries.
Good Sources: tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, bell peppers
Benefits: A diet rich in this carotenoid may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 35 percent.
Cooking Tip: The body best absorbs lycopene when combined with fat: Toss tomatoes and watermelon with olive oil and feta. Canned tomatoes are a smart staple during the fruit's off season; lycopene content may even increase in foods processed at high temperatures.
Wozz! Healthy Reds Picks:
Super Hot Chili Sambal - Full of chile and capsicum this is a perfect condiment for revving up your metabolism
Indian Spiced Beet Relish - Beets = Liver Detox and who doesn't need a little detox now and then?
Cranberry Blood Orange Cognac Sauce - Packed with phytonutrients and Vitamin C and a natural antiinflammatory.
02 ❥ The GREENS
EXAMPLES: Artichokes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Celery, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Green apples beans grapes onion pears peppers, Kiwifruit, Leafy greens, Lettuce, Okra, Peas, Spinach, Watercress, Zucchini
BENEFITS: These foods lower risk of some cancers, improve vision health, and provide strong bones and teeth.
These foods that are usually high in fiber, vitamin E, Vitamin C, as well as Calcium.
NUTRIENTS: Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.
NUTRIENTS FOUND IN GREENS
- Good Sources: watercress, leeks, arugula, parsley
- Benefits: Present in virtually every green plant food (even pistachios!), this may decrease the risk of liver cancer.
- Cooking Tip: Leeks are milder than onions; thinly sliced, they make a delicious addition to salads.
2. APIGENIN AND LUTEOLIN:
- Good Sources: celery, parsley
- Benefits: This pair's neuroprotective properties may fight diseases like Alzheimer's.
- Cooking Tip: Add parsley to salads. Sliced celery, plain yogurt, and lemon juice make a simple dip.
- Good Source: green tea
- Benefits: Consumption of freshly brewed leaves may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Cooking Tip: Blend brewed green tea with frozen berries and honey for a smoothie.
- Good Sources: Kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli
- Benefits: Found in cruciferous vegetables, these help purge the body of potential carcinogens.
- Cooking Tip: Raw foods offer the most potent supply. For a no-cook side, marinate thinly sliced brussels sprouts in olive oil and lemon juice and toss with sliced apple.
Wozz! Healthy Green Picks:
Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde: This salsa is one healthy green beast. Full of fresh kiwi, tomatillos, and cilantro and low in calories.
Vietnamese Green Tea & Mint Dressing: Organic Green Tea. Superfoods watch out.
03 ❥ The YELLOWS
EXAMPLES: Corns, Lemons, Mangoes, Peaches, Pineapples, Yellow Figs, Peppers
BENEFITS & NUTRIENTS: Bright yellow fruits such as pineapple have a lot of the same phytochemicals that are found in orange fruits and vegetables. They are also high in essential vitamins like Vitamin C and carotenoids, as well as manganese and the natural enzyme, bromelain, which is helpful in healthy digestion. They also contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, these nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesiumand calcium to build healthy bones.
NUTRIENTS FOUND IN YELLOWS:
- Good Source: pineapple
- Benefits: This enzyme may ease indigestion and asthma.
- Cooking Tip: Grilled pineapple slices make a sweet, simple dessert, and chopped cubes go well with a little Greek yogurt.
- Good Sources: citrus
- Benefits: These may lower cholesterol and protect against breast, skin, and stomach cancers.
- Cooking Tip: Zest away: Limonoids are concentrated in citrus peel. For dinner, bake fish with Meyer lemon slices -- then eat the fruit, skin and all.
3. LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN:
- Good Sources: corn, leafy greens
- Benefits This duo keeps eyes strong, protecting the retina and reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Cooking Tip: Grill corn and top with feta and cayenne. Preserve kernels in the freezer; this may increase lutein levels.
Wozz! Healthy Yellow Picks:
Caribbean Pineapple & Cardamom Chutney: Pineapple is a natural anti inflammatory, digestive agent, and is full of manganese which strengthens your bones.
North African Chermoula Dressing: One of our most popular dressings packed with lemon and spice. Full of anti cancer compounds and the turmeric in this dressing fights Alzheimers.
04 ❥The ORANGES
EXAMPLES: Apricots, Butternut squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Mangoes, Oranges, Papayas, Peaches, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines
BENEFITS & NUTRIENTS: These foods are important for a healthy heart, vision health, and a healthy immune system.They lower the risks of some cancers. Orange vegetables and fruits are high in beta-carotene, another natural antioxidant. Beta-carotene has long been known to be good for the eyes, and is also being studied for its ability to enhance the immune system. They also contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, these nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesiumand calcium to build healthy bones.
Nutrients found in The Oranges:
- Good Source: turmeric
- Benefits: An added perk to take-out curry: The antioxidant properties of curcumin may help counter the body’s negative responses to high-fat foods.
- Cooking Tip: Mix the spice into salad dressings or sprinkle it on cooked vegetables such as kale and cauliflower.
2. BETA - CRYPTOXANTHIN:
- Good Sources: Papaya, tangerines
- Benefits: This carotenoid plays an important role in vision and in bone and cell growth.
- Good Sources: sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, cantaloupe
- Benefits: This mighty antiager, which converts to vitamin A in the body, bolsters immunity.
- Cooking Tip: Like other carotenoids, it's best absorbed with fat: Roast vegetables with oil; pair cantaloupe with avocado.
4. HESPERIDIN AND NARINGENIN:
- Good Sources: Citrus
- Benefits: The powerful flavonoids stave off inflammation and blood vessel damage caused by poor diets.
- Cooking Tip: Broil citrus slices sprinkled with a pinch of raw sugar and serve over oatmeal.
Wozz! Healthy Orange Picks:
Spicy Summer Mango Chutney - Who doesn't love mango? and when it lowers cholesterol, improves skin, and prevents cancer then how can you go wrong?
Thai Orange & Ginger Carrot Relish- This is another super super healthy relish. Full of carrots which means packed with Vitamin A and beta carotene.
Thai Peach Salsa - Peaches are full of beta carotene, fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and low in calories.
05 ❥ The BLUES and PURPLES
EXAMPLES: Acai Berries, Black Currants, Black Salsify, Blackberries, Blueberries, Eggplants, Grapes, Plums, Prunes, Raisins
BENEFITS & NUTRIENTS: These foods are good for urinary tract health and memory function. Also healthy aging & healthy lungs. They lower the risk of some cancers. Blue and purple shaded fruits and vegetables add health-enhancing flavonoids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants.
Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.Blueberries, specifically, contain high amounts of Vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber.
Nutrients found in The Blues and Purples
- Good Sources: purple cauliflower, purple cabbage
- Benefits: Derived from sulfur compounds in cruciferous veggies, these may slow the metabolism of carcinogens.
- Cooking Tip: Steam cauliflower: it's likely the best prep for retaining indoles. Toss chopped kale with mashed avocado and olive oil.
2. ELLAGIC ACID:
- Good Sources: berries
- Benefits: The phytochemical may lessen the effect of estrogen in promoting breast-cancer cell growth.
- Cooking Tip: Keep frozen berries on hand for smoothies. For a spritzer, mash them and top with club soda.
- Good Sources: red cabbage, eggplant, grapes, berries
- Benefits: These antioxidants improve brain function and balance, and they may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
- Cooking Tip: Try swapping in finely shredded cabbage for your typical salad greens and toss with avocado and red onion.
Wozz! Healthy Blue Picks:
Balsamic Blueberry & Maple Dressing - Blueberries are one of the best antioxidants on the planet and they are native to us here in New England!
Roasted Eggplant & Sticky Miso Relish - When a vegetable is as beautifully colored as this one you just know it's healthy. Eggplant contains Nasunin which is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage.