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January 5, 2012

Radical Radicchio

10:36 am - Posted by Gregg

Looking for a food to add to your daily or weekly intake that can add as many healthy benefits as it does flavors and texture? Look no further than the nearest fresh vegetable section of your local market. A published study reports that radicchio boasts an antioxidant content that rivals blueberries and spinach – making it a “must add” to your next salad!

In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Italian researchers documented radicchio’s “antioxidant score” of 3,537 per 100 grams (roughly 2 cups of raw, shredded radicchio — about the same amount you’d enjoy in a single salad portion).

Antioxidant activity is usually measured via an ORAC (“Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity “) score. This documents the ability of foods to neutralize harmful oxygen free radicals that are linked to causing damage to our bodies. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the most common free radical in humans is reactive oxygen molecules that cause cell damage to DNA and can possibly lead to coronary heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Scientists and researchers have found that antioxidants (such as vitamins E and C, and polyphenols), which are produced naturally in foods, potentially neutralize some of these free radicals, thereby possibly decreasing the amount of damage they can cause. (For more information, click to the links below.)

The beginning of a new year offers a terrific time to recommit to a healthy diet – not just to lose excess weight and look great, but also to feel great and be great (on the inside). Try adding radicchio to your salads for crunch, color and health! (And feel free to share your radicchio serving ideas here.)

For a healthy Grilled Radicchio from the Mayo Clinic:
Click Here

For more recipe ideas that use radicchio as a main ingredient:
Click Here

For more information about the definition of antioxidants:
Click Here

For more information on the potential worth of antioxidants:
Click Here

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