Fiber + Antioxidants = Good Health

By Chef Todd Seyfarth, RD, CSSD
September 2015

The recipe for good health is exercise, stress management, plenty of sleep, and of course, food, especially food rich in fiber and antioxidants. A blend of foods with different antioxidants can help everyone maintain a healthy body weight as well as address health problems.

Ingesting foods with natural antioxidants is better than taking supplements. For example, turmeric, an Indian spice, is rich in a chemical called curcumin which is a strong antioxidant. In pill or supplement form, herbs and spices such as turmeric have limited benefit. Research has found that when we can incorporate these herbs or spices and blend them with a fat or oil, we can actually increase their absorption and the bioavailability, thus increasing their health benefit.

Because every vegetable color comes packaged with antioxidants, it’s important to have a variety of colors in your diet. One of my favorite dishes is roasted beets. There are a lot of antioxidants in beets of all colors: red, yellow, purple, orange. Including a dish with a variety of beets, you get more fiber, more antioxidants, and more wonderful things that our bodies need for good health.

Grains also are a great source of fiber, but vegetables are going to give you more fiber. You cannot get more fiber per pound than with beans. Many people shy away from consuming beans, lentils, and legumes, partly because of their texture. They really are wonderful if you know how to cook them and can manipulate the texture of them. Here’s a recipe for lentil and chickpea salad that I make at home a lot because it’s super, super simple.

My recipe template is “fiber + antioxidants = good health.” Make it yours, too.

Black Bean Soup
Kale & Pesto Quinoa Bowl with Poached Egg
Portuguese Green Soup (Caldo Verde)
Ukrainian Borscht