Get Your Daily Dose of Antioxidants By Adding An Herb To Your Smoothie!
So you have heard the word, “antioxidant” and you know it is good for you; but you really don’t know why. It was the trending word for a while and then it faded away. Although we don’t hear about it as often in the media, it plays an important role in your health. Let’s explore antioxidants and then how you can bring the benefits to your everyday life with a smoothie.
What Are Antioxidants?
Let’s cut to the chase. Your body was created to heal itself to a point. In very simple terms, it is like your very own trash compactor. An antioxidant is a substance that slows down or inhibits oxidation of fats, hydrocarbons, oils, toxins, etc. Oxidation is how a substance changes because of the addition of oxygen. This process produces free radicals that lead to damaging your cells. Antioxidants are like roaming scavengers that prevent and reverse cell damage. So in my mind, antioxidants are like your very own mercenary group that is there to take no prisoners when free radicals are invading your precious cells. They prevent or delay cell damage.
What is missing from our diets most now? You got it. Antioxidants. Some of the highest sources of antioxidants are from our food like fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Many of the popular diets have taken out these powerful antioxidant fighters.
How Do I Know The Best Sources Of Antioxidants?
The great thing is that someone has already figured out the antioxidant values of foods, herbs, and spices. These scores or values are called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.) To make it easier on all of us, I can sum it all up with this, “The higher the score a food has the better antioxidant power for you.”
I’ve included my Top 9 Antioxidant Foods below. For a complete list of ORAC scores, please see the USDA downloadable sheet at http://www.orac-info-portal.de/download/ORAC_R2.pdf:
Top 9 Antioxidant Foods:
What Herbs Are Top-Leaders Of Antioxidants?
Interestingly, many herbs and spices have higher ORAC values or antioxidant capability than many of the top foods. I love this example. Ground cinnamon has an ORAC score at 267,537; while Goji berries have an ORAC score of 25,000. I think this illustrates how great things can come in small packages:
Top 9 Antioxidant Herbs:
How Can I Incorporate Antioxidants Into My Everyday Life?
My goal is try to incorporate a variety of foods and herbs from the Top 9 lists in my daily diet. I like my Apple-Blueberry Antioxidant Smoothie in the mornings to start my day out right with antioxidants. By adding about ¼ teaspoon of an herb to my smoothies, I ensure that my body is getting its antioxidants for the day!
Apple-Blueberry Antioxidant Smoothie Recipe
3 to 4 Handfuls Spinach
1 to 2 Cups Wild Blueberries
¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Dark Cocoa
¼ cup Protein Powder
As you can see, my morning smoothie has wild blueberries, dark cocoa, and cinnamon that are full of antioxidants. To add some additional antioxidant power, sometimes I add Goji or Elderberry powder to it. This recipe is easy to modify and substitute in case you easily get bored with the same smoothie.
I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy your morning smoothie!
Blessings, Herbal Farmwife
Please visit Herbalfarwife.com for “Do It Yourself” natural remedies using herbs, spices, vitamins, minerals, and healing foods!
DISCLAIMER: This information should not be considered to be healthcare advice, medical diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals. Always consult a healthcare professional first before trying any herbs, spices, vitamins, or minerals mentioned in this posting. This information is merely a discussion of “thoughts” among friends. Please note that none of these statements have been evaluated by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.