Getting your antioxidant fix
Now that you understand the importance of antioxidants so which foods contain them? This is Part 2 of a two-part article.
BY: Mayura Mohta
Here are the top 10 antioxidant-rich foods:
ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity ) units per 100gms
(Source: “The New Optimum Nutrition Bible” by Patrick Holford)
Colors of the rainbow – antioxidant recommendations
1) Color me GREEN
Soup Away – Detox combo – spinach soup with basil and dill
1/2 cup minced dill
10 basil leaves
juice of 1 lemon
120ml soy/rice milk
2 tbsp agave nectar
500 gms spinach
4 cloves of garlic
a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Boil all ingredients except lemon juice, agave, salt and pepper.
- When soft, cool and blend till smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients and serve hot.
TIP: Spinach is high in iron and contains beta carotene, ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid), and other phytochemicals.
2) Color me RED
Roasted not Raw – Side Dish – roasted plum tomatoes (right) with garlic.
8 Roma tomatoes, halved
12 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
5 bay leaves
3 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp fresh basil
salt & pepper
- Lightly oil a baking dish and place the halved tomatoes.
- Push garlic cloves between them.
- Brush tomatoes with olive oil and stick bay leaves in between them.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
- When the tomatoes are soft, remove and sprinkle with oregano and basil.
TIP: Tomatoes are high in lycopene, ALA, beta-carotene and other phytochemicals.
3) Color me YELLOW
Cold sun – Dessert – mango saffron mousse
250 gms cubed mangoes
350 gms organic silken tofu
50 gms brown sugar
3 drops of saffron extract
- Blend all the ingredients till smooth and refrigerate for one hour.
- Before serving, garnish with raisins, pomegranate seeds or chopped pistachios.
TIP: Mangoes are high in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and other phytochemicals.
4) Color me BLUE
Spread it – Sauce – blueberry spread/dip
2.5 cups blueberries
1.5 cups brown sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp minced shallot
salt & pepper
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat till the blueberries have broken down and the sauce has thickened.
- Cool and store in glass jars in the refrigerator.
TIP: Blueberries are high in vitamin C, folate, iron, limonene, beta-carotene and other phytochemicals.
5) Color me ORANGE
Soothing salad – Salad – refreshing citrus salad
1 bunch of chopped kale leaves
2 oranges peeled and separated into wedges
1 red grapefruit
1 sliced red onion
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar/syrup
zest from 1 orange
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp pine nuts
- Add the kale, orange, grapefruit, onion, chili flakes and pine nuts to a large bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar and agave nectar/syrup.
- Pour the mixture over the salad ingredients and toss gently to coat evenly.
- Serve garnished with orange zest.
TIP: Oranges are high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium and other phytochemicals.
6) Color me PINK
Silky smoothie – Drink – mixed berry non-dairy breakfast smoothie
2 cups mixed berries
1 cup mango
1 tbsp pre-soaked goji berries
1 tsp flaxmeal
2 tbsp oats/brown rice powder
6 pre-soaked dates
250 ml filtered water and some ice
- Blend all ingredients till smooth.
- Add ice cubes and blend once more.
- Serve chilled with a mint garnish.
TIP: Berries especially strawberries are rich in vitamin C, folate, anthocyanins and other phytochemicals.
Juice me up – 10 best antioxidant combos
- Arthritis – Blend together 3 medium carrots + 2 to 3 celery stalks + 4 oz cabbage
- Anti-Senility – Blend together 2 medium apples + 1 cup prunes + 1 tbsp noni juice
- Osteoporosis – Blend together 1 cup watercress + ½ cup parsley + 2 celery stalks + 2 big carrot
- Flatulence – Blend together juice of 1 lemon + 1-inch ginger +1 medium orange + ½ medium papaya
- Eye disorders – Blend together 4 medium carrots+1/4 bunch spinach + 1 to 2 garlic cloves
- Ear disorders – Blend together 3 medium carrots + 1 bunch watercress + 1 oz ginger root + 1 oz turmeric
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) – Blend together 1 medium cucumber + 3 medium carrots + 1/4 bunch parsley + 1/4 head lettuce + 1 to 2 garlic cloves
- Insomnia – Blend together 3 medium carrots + 1 to 2 celery stalks + 1/2 head lettuce
- Menopause – Blend together ½ cup blackcurrants + 1 cup purple grapes + 1 medium apple
- Viral infections – Blend together 3 celery stalks + 3 medium carrots + 1/2 medium beet + 2garlic cloves + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
(Source: Adapted from “Juice Alive” by Steven Bailey and Larry Trivieri)
Tips for improving your antioxidant potential
- Eats 8 to 10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables especially berries, spinach, carrots, kale, broccoli (left), etc. every week.
- Use herbs and spices regularly for flavouring and garnishing.
- Consult a doctor and take a multivitamin-multimineral supplement daily.
- Try to avoid eating barbequed or fried food; avoid smoking or being in polluted places and under direct sunlight.
- Exercise in moderation and do deep breathing.
Mayura Mohta is a biochemist and microbiologist, who founded social enterprise Healthfriend in 2010. The organization seeks to promote wise eating choices and healthy nutritional habits within the community for sustainable wellness and a better quality of life. It does this through nutrition workshops and seminars that bust common food myths. Profits generated are ploughed back into the local community, through various charities in Singapore and India that support malnourished and underprivileged children.
(** Photos: Pitted prunes, stock.xchng, CWMGary; Healthy green broccoli vegetables, stock.xchng, lockstockb; and Garden (tomatoes), stock.xchng, djackson44.)
** TO SEE PART 1, go here.