Thursday, November 20, 2008

7 Winter Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Artichoke Hearts

I knew artichokes were good for the liver and was pleased to hear that they're high in antioxidants as well. Artichoke hearts are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. Although they are great fresh, you can find canned artichoke hearts packed in water in any season. Add them to your homemade pizza to make it equal parts gourmet and healthy!


High in both fiber and protein, beans are also high in antioxidants. The antioxidant levels found in kidney and pinto beans are considerably higher than those in black beans, but black beans are not too shabby either. Dried and canned beans (go for low sodium beans) are available all year round, but a big bowl of vegetarian chili on a cold night will certainly warm you up.


This is the season of the mighty cranberry and you should eat these berries any way you can. They are antioxidant powerhouses. They give your immune system a much-needed boost in the Fall. Cranberries may also protect against heart disease as well cancer.


Considered on par with antioxidant superstars cherries and cranberries, pecans are a delightful way to increase your antioxidant intake. Naturally sweet, eating a moderate amount of nuts weekly lowers the risk of gaining weight. I just wouldn't necessarily eat them in the form of pecan pie.


Being dried fruits, prunes are available all year long. They are high in two important antioxidants; one fights the negative consequences of oxidation fats and cholesterol, and the other fights cell-damaging free radicals. Folks either love or hate prunes, but I find them enjoyable chopped into small bits and scattered over my morning oatmeal. What about you?

Granny Smith Apples

Maybe there is some validity to the age-old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." The humble apple is actually high in antioxidants and provides just slightly less than strawberries. Don't skip the skin, though. Antioxidants give color to foods, and the color of the apple is in the skin. Plus, not every apple provides the same amount of antioxidants. The USDA ranking of antioxidant levels found that the apple variety Red Delicious contained more beneficial phytochemicals than Granny Smiths. These two types of apples offered more antioxidants than Gala apples.


Spices add flavor as well as antioxidants to many dishes, and cloves are no exception. As well as being high in antioxidants, this spice used in many Winter dishes and desserts also has a mild anti-inflammatory effect and can help relieve dental pain.

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