We’re often told to eat foods rich in antioxidants but have you ever sat down to ponder what an antioxidant is and why it’s so important for us to consume foods high in them? Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation produces free radicals, which in turn cause chain reactions in the body that can damage and kill cells. Many of these oxidized reactions are leading contributors in many human diseases & many types of cancer. The antioxidants help prevent these chain reactions from taking place and free our bodies from free radicals. But even beyond helping protect us from certain types of cancer, they also help slow down the signs of aging & who doesn’t want to look younger longer??
In order to immediately start increasing your consumption of antioxidants there are two very simple and readily available food sources to turn to—mixed nuts & dark chocolate. Pair the two together in this simple and easy snack recipe and you’ll reap the benefits!
Eating a variety of mixed nuts can lower cholesterol and improve heart health, they can help you consume your daily requirement for healthy oils & because they are rich in protein, fiber, mineral and vitamins they help you feel full longer and can actually help you lose weight. Dark chocolate on the other hand can lower blood pressure and help control blood sugar and increases the flow of blood to the brain and heart which helps improve cognitive function.
Press desired fruit and nuts into melted chocolate and then let cool.
These nutty little clusters also taste delicious—so if all those reasons weren’t enough then perhaps your taste buds will convince you!
- Dark Chocolate (aim for chocolate that is comprised of at least 70% cacao)
- Mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, macadamia etc.)
- Dried fruits (dried cranberries, raisins, dried blueberries, dried Goji berries etc.)
- Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper; set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl melt desired amount of chocolate in 15-30 second intervals until melted completely.
- Spoon melted chocolate onto wax paper in quarter sized mounds.
- Gently press nuts & dried fruit into each circle.
- Set aside to cool & harden for at least 1 hour or freeze to speed up the process.
- Serve & enjoy!
*Drinking milk reduces the absorption of antioxidants so refrain from using milk chocolate, white chocolate or drinking milk when eating foods you wish to reap the benefit of antioxidants from.
*Even though consuming dark chocolate and nuts provide health benefits they should be consumed as part of a well-rounded and diverse diet. Practice moderation.