Love those antioxidants! But what are they?

Antioxidant smoothie

Antioxidant is a buzzword in nutrition talk these days. They're the nutrient that keeps our cells healthy. They can help fight cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and macular degeneration.

"High amounts of antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables," said SwedishAmerican dietitian Molly Sleger. "Each color has its own specific type of antioxidant. Major colors to eat include green, orange or deep yellow, red and blue or purple."

Here are Molly's tips for increasing antioxidants in your diet: 

  • Include a fruit or vegetable at each meal and snack
  • Add chopped vegetables to soups and pasta sauce
  • Turn a sandwich into a salad
  • Add raw baby spinach to smoothies
  • Top salads with fruit such as berries or apple
  • Swap high fat meats for vegetables for pizza toppings
  • Bring a vegetable side dish to barbecues and holiday gatherings
  • Leave a fruit bowl on the kitchen table or work desk
  • Make extra vegetables at dinner to heat up for the next day's lunch
  • Have a meal prep day that focuses on prepping vegetables
  • Wilt spinach into pastas, soups or eggs
  • Add a scoop of pumpkin purée to hot oatmeal
  • Use thinly sliced apples in place of crackers, top with Brie cheese
  • Drink unsweetened green tea