Bringing Antioxidants into your Everyday Meals

by Dr. Heather Manley on November 23, 2014

Bringing antioxidants into every meal keeps our bodies supported and healthy: antioxidants found in plants, help plants stay strong and healthy. Lucky for humans, when we eat these plants, we also are eating the antioxidants, and fueling our immune system to become strong to fight off free radicals and ward off disease. I have written in the past about my favorite antioxidants, however, knowing the specific name of these vital nutrient is not so important… eating more brightly colored whole foods everyday is what is important.

The question I get asked the most is, how can I do this? This is what I suggest.


Make pesto and add it to pasta, rice, and sandwiches. Many people use basil as the herb of choice but I like to make a cilantro pesto as well plus, we like to change the nut choice form time to time and use walnuts or macadamia nuts.

If you don’t have a recipe, watch Merrin show you how ( it is really simple!).

You can print up the recipe here.


Infuse your water with slices of oranges, lemons, limes, strawberries, raspberries, herbs and/or cucumbers. One of our favorite combinations is: water, lemons, mint with a little bit of raw honey.

Watch this video with kids make a festive iced tea: or click here.


When I teach students in my HBDs Go to School curriculum, we talk about coloring up your plate. I ask the kids what they had for breakfast and almost all of them say, cereal. I then ask them if they top their cereal with anything and most say no. I pull out a white board and marker and we start brain storming fruits that they can add to their cereal. We talk about how this adds not only extra flavor and sweetness but also more nutrition ( so they can run faster).

Think about this when you are eating salads, yogurt and when making a sandwich.

Check out this video on salad making with kids: or click here.

( topping ideas: any fruit, goji berries, nuts, seeds,  chopped purple cabbage, grated carrots, sliced peppers, peas)

Be well,

Related Posts

Adoring these 3 Antioxidants

Free Radicals

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Top 3 Antioxidants to Bring into Your Diet

by Dr. Heather Manley on November 16, 2014

unnamed Before diving into the to antioxidants to bring into your diet, I feel that I must begin by talking about free radicals; fighting free radicals is where antioxidants give us the most benefit. But what the heck are they? They sound vicious and dangerous….at least that is what I first thought when I learned about them in medical school.

And yes, in medical school, so that means I will need to give you a quick lesson in cell/molecular biology.

Here goes…

The human body is made up of many cells which are composed of different types of molecules that have atoms joined by chemical bonds. Normally these bonds do not split. However, a free radical is an unstable molecule. This means that it originally was happily paired up albeit sadly, the bonds split creating an unstable molecule – free radical – which becomes highly reactive and desperate in search to become stable again.

In the time that is  frantically searching, it may do some stealing from a healthy cell in your body, thus leaving it damaged.

You can read the rest of the article here.

But on to the 3 antioxidants that I respect and adore for all their super power.

1) Coenzyme Q 10

why I adore it:

Co Q 10 is present in almost every cell ( mitochondria) and is an essential factor in ATP production ( think energy). The heart, immune system and the gastric lining use this antioxidant in the greatest amount. And CoQ10  appears to recycle Vitamin E ( another antioxidant – love to see some recycling!).

2) Alpha Lipoic Acid

why I adore it:

It is both fat and water-soluble and does a very good job at protecting our eyes from free radical damage. It also does some recycling and rejuvenating of other antioxidants. Alpha lipoic acid  aids in stabilizing blood sugars ( this is an added bonus).

3) Vitamin C

why I adore it:

I love Vitamin C because it is a simple, accessible vitamin to find in  different forms ( capsule and powder) and in many of my and my families  favorite foods. Each morning, I squeeze half a lemon into my water;  it tastes wonderful,  feels very cleansing and is giving my immune system a boast and fighting off any free radicals.

 Click here to learn more about vitamin C.

Be well,


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