Antioxidants. This is a word that we hear, read or even say on a daily basis, the focus being on making sure we get enough antioxidants in our daily diet.
But what exactly does an antioxidant do? Well, their job is to protect our cells from damage caused by oxidants known as free-radicals.
These free-radicals are produced by your body as a means to defend itself against invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
Why is this a bad thing, you ask? Sometimes free-radicals become too many in number and when this happens, they begin attacking the healthy cells in our bodies.
In addition, we are exposed to numerous external oxidants such as alcohol, tobacco smoke and environmental pollutants.
Too many oxidants in our blood streams and we are at risk of serious health issues such heart disease and cancer.
The job of an antioxidant is to disarm the oxidant and remove it from the blood stream.
Harmony is Key
Although the thought of having oxidants in your body may seem scary now, it’s crucial that your body has a healthy balance between both oxidants and antioxidants.
The problem, however, is that oxidants usually outnumber the antioxidants produced naturally by the body.
Therefore, a steady flow of antioxidants from an external source to maintain the balance in the body is required.
We can achieve this through making sure we consume enough foods which are rich in antioxidants.
7 Foods High in Antioxidants
- Broccoli – high in beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and carotenoids lutein. Some antioxidants are destroyed when exposed to extreme heat while others like beta-carotene may become more potent. Therefore, steaming broccoli is a sure way to get your daily intake of antioxidants.
Bocadillos’ stir-fry option contains a generous helping of broccoli, so if you’re looking for taste and nutrition, this is the option for you. Add chicken or beef for an extra protein punch.
- Walnuts – not only are they really rich in polyphenols, they are low in sodium and cholesterol free too. An easy addition to your daily meal plan – just a handful is needed per day.
Our Waldorf salad is an excellent way to get your daily dose of walnuts. Not only do they add gorgeous texture to our fresh salad, they also do their bit in fighting off those free-radicals.
- Kidney beans – red, black and pinto kidney beans are jam packed with antioxidants and are also rich in muscle-boosting protein. They have very little fat and no cholesterol. Beans are versatile and can be used in salads, Mexican inspired meals and even soup.
- Raisins – containing about 3 times the amount of antioxidants as grapes, raisins provide you with a quick and easy way to achieve your daily intake. A handful a day alone or combined with walnuts, or sprinkled over your morning cereal and you’re good to go.
Both our Waldorf salad and Meusli based breakfasts contain raisins. So, whether you are visiting us for a fresh morning start, or a light lunch, we make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to get your much-needed antioxidant kick.
- Dark chocolate – that’s right, we said chocolate. However, when choosing this route, we must make sure we are choosing a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, at least 70%. This will provide you with a decent serving of flavanols and polyphenols.
Not many people need encouragement to make sure they get their chocolate fix. However, for those who do, we have a banting friendly, dark chocolate cake which is surprisingly low in carbs and especially high in antioxidants. All in all, you’re doing your body a favour by indulging in this one.
- Barley – this ancient grain is a powerful source of antioxidants and when soaked and sprouted, the antioxidant levels sky-rocket. Interestingly, sprouted barley is also easier to digest, making it easier for the body to actually absorb the nutrients it provides
- Tomatoes – containing 3 types of antioxidants, lycopene, vitamin C and Vitamin A, tomatoes are one of the most potent antioxidant foods available. Lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when the tomatoes have been cooked
It’s important to remember that the way you prepare and consume these foods and others will influence the bioavailability of the antioxidants.
A general rule may be to not cook your food colourless. Make sure your vegetables are still vibrant and crispy when you’re done preparing them.
Bocadillos Restaurants in Port Elizabeth
If you’re on the search for healthy restaurants in PE, then Bocadillos is the place for you. We believe that with the right amount of effort, the food we consume can provide us with all the health benefits we need and more.
To make a booking at one of our restaurants in Port Elizabeth, contact us.