Best Antioxidants to Sleep healthy and stay healthy this winter

Sleep nutrition and anti-flu nutrition go hand-in-hand this winter as the season's health challenge rages on.  Our nutritionist Gayle Reichler offers a list of the best antioxidants that will make your sleeping life and overall health much more colorful.  What do blue, red, orange and yellow mean to you?


With viruses and the flu abundant this winter, it is a good time to try to do whatever you can to strengthen your immune system. When we lose sleep, our bodies are weakened.

Aside from taking my vitamins, I also try to make sure to eat fruit that is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are components in food that may be responsible for improving and maintaining health.  The most well known components of food with antioxidant activity are vitamins A, C, and E; carotenes and lycopene. Many antioxidant foods are often identified by their distinctive colors such as the deep hue of blackberries and the bright reds of strawberries and cranberries. These foods get their color from anthocyanins, natural plant substances that may contribute to heart health.

 

Here is a list of some of the best antioxidants based on an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

Antioxidant Content of Common Fruits and Berries

Fruit                                                                               Serving                                     Antioxidant Content (mmol/serving)

Blackberries

1 cup

5.794

Strawberries

1 cup sliced

3.584

Cranberries

1 cup whole

3.125

Raspberries

1 cup

2.87

Blueberries

1 cup

2.688

Oranges

1 medium fruit

1.261

Grapes, red

1 cup

.505

Apples red

(1 medium fruit)

.429

Grapes, green

1 cup

.212

Bananas

1 medium fruit

.192

 

Here is a recipe for Cranberry Applesauce, a great way to use Cranberries!

Cranberry Applesauce

  • 4 apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, picked over
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or water
  • a 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • a 3-inch strip of lemon zest removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a heavy saucepan cook the apples, the cranberries, the sugar, the apple juice or water, the cinnamon stick, and the zest over moderate heat, stirring, for 15 minutes, or until the apples are very soft. Discard the cinnamon stick and the zest, force the apple mixture through the medium disk of a food mill into a bowl, and stir in the butter. Serve the applesauce warm or chilled. The applesauce keeps, covered and chilled, for 1 week.

Source:  
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cranberry-Applesauce