Surprising Sources of Antioxidants
“When it comes to brain protection, there is nothing quite like blueberries,” according to James Joseph, PhD, lead scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. “Call the blueberry the brain berry,” says Dr. Joseph.
Clearly blueberries are an amazing source of antioxidants, but did you know so are eggs, spinach & organic milk? [Underwood, 2002].
“Spinach and other leafy greens are still the best sources, but whole eggs are another easy way to get more lutein,” says Mayer
Jillian Michaels breaks down why I eat the whole egg rather than just the egg whites in the following graphic from Jillianmichaels.com:
Eggs + Spinach
“Eggs aren’t commonly considered a rich source of the antioxidant lutein (which protects your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts) because they have low concentrations of it, relative to top sources such as spinach. Scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University discovered that the lutein in egg yolks is absorbed more effectively than that in spinach, possibly because the yolks’ fat helps our bodies process the antioxidant much better. So even though one egg has only about 5 percent of the lutein found in just 1/4 cup of spinach, we absorb it 3 times more effectively, explains Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, coauthor of the Tufts study” [Underwood, 2002].
“Switch from regular milk to organic and you’ll be rewarded with a stronger dose of antioxidants, including vitamin E and the carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein, says Gillian Butler, PhD, coauthor of a recent British study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Butler’s findings show that the antioxidants in milk from cows raised on organic or grass-fed diets are about 40 to 50 percent more concentrated than the milk from conventionally raised cows. These cows eat more grass, and the pasture itself provides more antioxidants than grain feeding even if the feed is augmented with supplements. If you’re not a frequent milk drinker, look for cheese and butter from grass-fed cows; they also offer more antioxidants than conventional varieties, says Butler.” [Underwood, 2002].
Super Food 1: Purple, Red, and Blue Grapes
Super Food 2: Blueberries
Super Food 3: Red Berries
Super Food 4: Nuts
Super Food 5: Dark Green Veggies
Super Food 6: Sweet Potatoes and Orange Vegetables
Super Food 7: Tea
Super Food 8: Whole Grains
Super Food 9: Beans
Super Food 10: Fish
Because of all these items being so nutrient packed, you’ll notice them trending throughout my Ten Day Trim. I also found this cute chart on Pinterest listing additional super foods; you can see the sources in gray below vouching for their accuracy.
What super foods do you add to your daily food regime? There seems to be more and more clever ways to add super foods into our diets thanks to so many recipes available at our digital fingertips, and so many new cookbooks popping up all the time. As modern day consumers, we are so lucky to have such knowledge and resources available to bring more creativity to our kitchens & our family’s plates!
1. Underwood A. So berry good for you; rediscovering the health benefits of berries. Newsweek. June 17, 2002.
2. Martin R. One of Nature’s Most Potent Antioxidants Offers Powerful Neuroprotective and Other Benefits. Life Extension. February 2006.
3. Jillianmichaels.com, 2015.
4. Pinterest.com, 2015.