Antioxidants = Pigments of Color

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Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Experts believe that damage to our cells play a huge part in a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), arthritis, and many more. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can play a major role in fighting off this damage to our cells and keeping our immune system strong.

As my journey continues through The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I continue to see the incredible value that fruits and vegetables have on one’s health and wellness. To put it simply – incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet as much as you can, as often as you can – it’s a no brainer. The health benefits are irreplaceable.

Generally speaking, the more colorful the fruit or vegetable is, the more antioxidants it contains. A few of the major antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. Below you will find a list of specific fruits and vegetables that contain these powerful antioxidants.

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon

Vitamin C: Berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, orange, papaya, red, green or yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes

Vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds

Baked Chicken Alfredo Casserole- Healthy & Easy – I Promise!

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Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 bunch of cauliflower (~2 cups)
• ½ cup of chicken or vegetable broth
• ½ fresh squeezed lemon
• ½ cup low fat milk (any milk you prefer works)
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
• 4-6 gloves of garlic – minced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• ½ lb of Chicken (omit for vegetarian diet) – diced
• ½ lb of your favorite pasta (I like shells – whole wheat for my man and brown rice (gluten free) for me).
• Bread crumbs (optional)

Directions:
Boil Cauliflower heads in water until tender. Meanwhile, mince garlic and add to blender along with broth, lemon juice, milk and butter. Once cauliflower is tender, drain water and let cool (~3 minutes) before placing in the blender. Add cauliflower and blend, slowly add in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper for taste. Keep in blender until your chicken and pasta are completely cooked.

Place diced chicken, pasta and sauce in a medium size dish. Sprinkle your favorite bread crumbs on top and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

* Add some broccoli or peas if you want to get crazy! 😉
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