Why do we need antioxidants – and can we get them from raw food? The second question is easy to answer – yes we can! The first is a little more complex. Antioxidants are important elements that help the cells in your body repair properly and protect them from the damage caused by free radicals. Every cell in our body faces ‘attack’ every day whether that’s from common viruses such as colds and coughs, or stress and pollution. A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including a rainbow of colors will help us to get all the antioxidants we need.
An anti-oxidant rich raw food smoothie needn’t simply consist of fresh fruits and veggies, though of course, they are the perfect place to start for a nutrient dense snack, or meal.
A raw food smoothie can not only be a super kickstart to your day, but it can also be a filling meal to have at any time during the day, to keep your blood sugar levels steady and hunger pangs at bay. Let’s explore the ingredients you can add to your raw food smoothies to help battle antioxidant stress and to look and feel your best.
Filling Anti-Oxidant Raw Food Smoothie Ingredients
One worry that some people may have when embarking on a raw food diet is that they will not feel full, satiated or satisfied – but that really shouldn’t be a concern if you plan your meals properly and know the right ingredients to choose. The fruits and veggies that you add to your juices and smoothies are simply bursting with nutrients and goodness, offering a wealth of benefits including anti-oxidant and anti inflammatory properties. However, there are lots of other non-fruit and veg ingredients you can add to them to make them feel more substantial and filling – as well as providing essential healthy fats, antioxidant benefits and protein too!
Here are just a few ideas:
Nuts: Think about using almonds, cashews, Brazil or macadamia nuts. They can be used in their butter form – and added into your smoothie mix, or could even be blitzed and ground down to be added as they are for a creamy taste and some extra texture into your smoothie.
Seeds: Combinations of sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, flax, hemp or chia are great to add in, or simply pick one or two that you like and vary. All these seeds will add variety, texture and important fiber, nutrients and protein to an already zingy smoothie!
Non-Dairy Milk/Yogurts: Depending on your dietary requirements you may choose to add in some non-dairy products to your smoothie for a creamy taste and extra energy. Oat, almond or soy milk are excellent choices.
Dietary Oils: Oils that came from flax seeds or chia seeds make for an excellent, flavorsome add to your smoothie. As do coconut or avocado oil, all rich in omega 3’s and an important source of energy.
You don’t need to add tons of any of these ingredients to feel satiated either. A couple of tablespoons of any of these ingredients will add extra calories, protein, and fibre, whilst keeping you feeling satiated and your blood sugar levels steady.
So…Which Fruits Fight Free Radicals?
For a nutrient dense, fruit-rich raw food smoothie that has heaps of antioxidant healthy fruits in, look no further than the following:
All have a wealth of benefits – with blueberries ranking as the top fruit in terms of antioxidant levels. Generally, the darker colored the fruit, or skin of the fruit is, the richer it will be in antioxidants. One single cup of blueberries has well over thirteen thousand different types of antioxidant in it! Blend one or more of these into your smoothie with some of our other delicious suggestions for a healthy, sustaining meal that will help you look and feel your best.