It’s no secret that antioxidants are incredibly beneficial to good health. It’s believed the antioxidants in food can help fight cancer, reverse or slow down the ageing process, enhance your immune system, increase your energy and improve heart and other organ health. Given all we know about this, it’s amazing that more people don’t pay more attention to the amount of fruit and veggies in their diet, as fruit and veggies are the primary source of antioxidants. As you may know, it’s recommended to eat at least 5 servings a day, but 7-10 is ideal. And thinking about switching up your food and becoming healthier will also give you more sustained energy and vitality to get through the day – so even more reason to add more fruit and veg! So let’s look at how you can do this pretty easily – it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult! Follow these 10 steps for some easy tips on getting more antioxidants into your diet on a daily basis. Tip #1: Breakfast Even if you’re rushed, it’s important to make time for a healthy breakfast that will power you through your morning – and it sets the right tone for the rest of the day too. So avoid the toast, the breakfast biscuits, the sugary cereal and switch to a healthful option of protein, fats and vitamins. Throw some berries, protein powder and yogurt (or almond milk depending on your preferred consistency) into a blender; pour your delicious mixture into a cup, add ice if it’s hot outside, and head out the door. Alternatively, you could add some berries and/or other fruit to some healthy oats, either to eat at home or when you get to work. Either way, there’s one or two servings of fruit straight away and your day’s off to a great start! Tip #2: Snacks This is a really easy way to get more antioxidants in your diet. How about a handful of raisins for a snack, or some fresh red grapes? Dip some strawberries in yogurt - you’ll feel decadent! Need crunch? How about some baby carrots dipped in hummus? Consider a handful of pecans or walnuts for crunch and a nice antioxidant boost. Tip #3: Lunch and dinner Adding a salad to each of your main daily meals can add loads to your overall health and well-being. They don’t have to be boring, and they don’t have to be just salad greens. If you’re going classic, add some red pepper slices to your green salad, some tomatoes to the Greek salad, or tart cranberries to your greens. Whip up a broccoli salad for lunch or mix up a rice salad with a mélange of fresh vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, peppers and red onions. Tip #4: Dessert Berries, an orange or a kiwi fruit with a square of dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) are a delicious and healthy way to end your day. The Health Coach's Cont Tip #5: Healthy drinks Replace your soda with tea or coffee, both of which boast antioxidant compounds, but avoid too much caffeine after 1pm if you’re at all sensitive to it and want to get a good night’s sleep. Have a (yes, one!) glass of red wine with dinner a couple of times a week, or for a real change of pace, pour a glass of chai tea. Tip #6: Think outside the box Powerful antioxidants can be found in a variety of unexpected foods, like potatoes, artichokes, and small red beans. The beans, in fact, may have more antioxidant power than blueberries! Tip #7: Cook lightly You may think you’re being good, preparing vegetables each night for dinner, but if you’re overcooking the vegetables, you’re cooking out a lot of the beneficial properties of the antioxidants. Steam (don’t boil) vegetables and stop cooking while they still have all their bright colour and most of their bite. Tip #8: Plant a garden It seems that people who plant and harvest vegetables from their own yards/gardens/allotments are far more likely to eat more vegetables and fruit than people who buy their produce from a shop. So plant a garden, watch it grow and eat the fruits (literally) of your labour! Tip #9: Take your healthy diet on vacation Too many of us consider going on vacation an opportunity to take a vacation from everything, including healthy eating. Think of vacation as a way to be introduced to new foods. Order an interesting vegetable dish in a restaurant and then pay attention to how the chef prepared the dish. Tip #10: Learn to cook If you’re cooking, you’re not opening bags and boxes. Cooking involves scrubbing and peeling vegetables, preparing whole foods and paying attention to how things are cooked. If you’re ordering out every night, you’re far less likely to be eating the whole foods and natural fruits and vegetables that provide the base for our antioxidant intake. In a nutshell, eat fresh wholefoods and avoid anything in a box, packet or bag.