what does antioxidant mean and why Do We Need Antioxidants?

What does antioxidant mean? Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body or naturally found in some foods that scavenge or neutralize the effects of cell damage by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. (what are free radicals?)

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Antioxidants are substances which save living organisms from oxidising or reaction with oxygen or aging. In simple words, when any object oxidises, it is becoming bad, over ripe, aging, reducing in nutrients. Take for example apple which when cut turns brown. However, when we apply lemon juice (antioxidant) on the cut fruit, its stops becoming brown or oxidising. When we consume food, along with energy, some free radicals (villains!) are released in the body. Antioxidants help to kill these villains or neutralise their power in order to keep our body healthy and disease free.

Foods with antioxidants

Even by eating 7-8 portions of colourful vegetables and fruits in a day, you might still be lacking in antioxidants. We need to consume almost 10000 units of antioxidants in a day. It is advisable to choose your meals in a way that your ‘nutrition and antioxidant’ content is met and you are at your healthiest.

Antioxidant is measured by using ORAC units (Oxygen Radicals Absorbance capacity). Below is a list of top most antioxidant foods available in India.

Nuts/ Fruits commonly available in India:

  • Walnuts 6000 (¼ cup)
  • Hazelnuts 5000 (¼ cup)
  • Pistachio 4000 (¼ cup)
  • Almonds 2200 (¼ cup)
  • Figs 1500 (¼ cup)
  • Amla 1000 (1 piece)
  • Peanuts 1500 (¼ cup)
  • Chia seeds 500 (1 tbsp)
  • Apple with skin 3000 (1 piece)
  • Blueberry 6500 (½ cup)
  • Orange 2000 (1 piece)

Lentils/Legumes/Veggies commonly available in India:

  • Rajma uncooked 16000 (1 cup)
  • Lentils uncooked 15000 (1 cup)
  • Peppermint, fresh 7000 (50gm)
  • Ginger raw 1500 (10gm)

Spices commonly available in India:

  • Cloves powder 6000 (½ tsp)
  • Cinnamon powder 5000 (½ tsp)
  • Oregano dried 4000 (½ tsp)
  • Turmeric powder 3000 (½ tsp)
  • Cumin seed 1500 (½ tsp)
  • Ginger powder 600 (½ tsp)
  • Red chilli powder 500 (½ tsp)
  • Cocoa powder unsweetened 20000 (2 dark chocolates)
  • Triphala Powder 3500 (1 tsp)

Recipe for Colourful Paratha (Tortillas)Beetroot and Moringa with Herbs and Nuts

Let’s try to make every food a child wants to eat more tasty and nutritious with (hidden) veggies, herbs and nuts.

For Pink: Puree beetroot with least or no water. Add 1 cup flour or as little required to make dough. For Green: Take moringa powder. Add flour as little required to make dough.
To each flour, divide rest of the ingredients and add- spread, yeast, husk, seeds, salt. Make firm doughs. Take small balls of dough, roll thin and make paratha/ tortillas.

Kids LOVE the colours!!

  • 1 small beetroot (for pink)
  • 4 tbsp Moringa powder (for green)
  • 4 tbsp Iyurved’s 5 herbs and 7 nuts savoury spread (order here)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or jowar (sorghum flour)
  • 3 tbsp Psyllium husk
  • Salt
  • Carrom seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp Nutritional yeast (optional)

If you don’t have moringa powder, take any leaf- spinach or kale, steam it lightly without water and puree well. Don’t add extra water. Add flour to this puree to make green dough, along with other ingredients.


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