Let's start the New Year working on not shaming ourselves for bad choices we make. Rather, embrace the fact that we are normal human beings who are not always perfect, but are still pretty amazing.
When we constantly stress or are exposed to daily environmental stressors, we can cause internal damage known as free radicals. These little buggers, if not dealt with, have been linked to chronic diseases and autoimmune problems. Keep in mind that when I refer to stress I'm talking about persistent, chronic stress and not just a little stress here or there. By incorporating stress reducing techniques, we can help reduce our risk of health-related complications down the road. One way to do this is by regularly eating foods rich in antioxidants.
The definition of an antioxidant is:
"a substance that reduces damage due to oxygen, such as that caused by free radicals. Well-known antioxidants include enzymes and other substances, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, which are capable of counteracting the damaging effects of oxidation." (Thanks Medicinenet.com)
Antioxidants can be found in an array of fruits and vegetables. Another substance that has been linked to reducing inflammatory responses in our body is omega-3. One food source rich in omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fishes like sardines, anchovies, salmon, tuna, herring, and mackerel.
Below is an easy go-to recipe that I enjoy making to get in those healthy fats and antioxidants (especially after a night out!).
Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Herbs
Makes 6 servings
(adapted from Cooking Light)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (2.5lbs) salmon (wild caught or sustainably caught if able)
cooking spray (preferably olive oil based)
4-5 fresh lemon and lime slices
Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Place the salmon on a pan coated with cooking spray. Rub the herb mixture over the salmon, then evenly place the lemon and lime slices over the fish. Bake for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.