You hear a lot about the benefits of antioxidants these days, so everyone tries to make healthy food choices to include them in their diet. The little molecules are capable of stopping free radicals from damaging your cells and as a result, have been shown to have a variety of health benefits.
But what you may not know is that your body doesn’t necessarily absorb all the antioxidants that are present in the food that you eat. Snacking on blueberries is probably good for your health either way, but if you’re eating them by themselves, or just with other fruit, you’re only getting a fraction of their true health potential.
2 Healthy Food Choices You Need to Make
To better absorb the antioxidants in your fruits and vegetables you need to pair them with eggs! Or with another good source of fat. Eating omelets or eggs in stir-fries or deviled eggs in a salad are all fantastic combinations to boost their benefits.
In fact, a recent study out of the University of Purdue found that young men who ate 3 eggs with a raw mixed-vegetable salad had 9 times more antioxidants in their blood than those who simply ate a regular, eggless salad. In particular, the egg eaters had more carotenoids in their blood, which are antioxidants most commonly found in tomatoes, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
According to the lead researcher, Jung Eunb Kim, the higher levels of antioxidants are the result of the fat in the eggs. The nutrient-rich yolks help the body better absorb the carotenoids and put them to good use. Without the presence of fat, the absorption rate is much lower.
What This Means For Your Health
Carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene have a variety of health benefits. They can help lower your risk of certain cancers, like prostate, bladder, and lung. They are great for the health of your heart and lowering your risk of heart disease. Antioxidants have also been known to be good for reducing inflammation.
Of course, you don’t really enjoy these benefits unless your body absorbs the nutrients properly. Eggs are particularly good for serving this purpose because the yolk typically contains over 5 grams of fat.
That doesn’t mean, however, that it has to be eggs. If you’re not a big fan of the taste, or are a vegan, there are a number of good alternatives. Half an avocado, for instance, has roughly the same amount of fat as three eggs and is also a delicious addition to any salad. A tablespoon of olive oil or an ounce of almonds would also do the trick.
Two Trends Collide
With more and more research coming out about the benefits of antioxidants, including them in your diet has become increasingly popular. Everyone wants more antioxidants.
But another food trend has been to start putting eggs on just about everything. Fried, scrambled, and poached, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eggs are everywhere.
And that’s a very good thing. Their boosting effects work on raw or cooked vegetables and are a simple way to increase your intake of nutrients.