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Antioxidants E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. antioxidants_fruit_juiceOxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells.

Antioxidants play a key role in fighting free radicals, a form of oxidation that weakens cells and wears down cell's natural defenses. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers", preventing and repairing damage caused by free radicals.  Research suggests that free radicals cause a number of health conditions and degenerative diseases associated with aging, such as: 

  • Age related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cataracts
  • Cognitive impairment/dementia
  • Diabetes

Studies indicate that antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infections.

Antioxidant Examples

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients found in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our bodies. Examples include: 

  • Vitamin A and Carotenoids
  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
  • Glutathione
  • Flavonoids / polyphenols 
  • Lycopene
  • Lutein

Antioxidants in Foods

  • Vitamin A and Carotenoids. Apricots (bright-colored fruits and vegetables) broccoli, cantaloupe, carrrots, collards, kale, peaches, sweet potatoes, squash, tomotoes, etc.
  • Vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and lime etc, broccoli, green leafy vegetables,green pepers, strawberries and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oils..
  • Selenium. Fish, shellfish, chicken, grains, eggs, red meat, and garlic.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10),  Meats, fish, vegetable oils, wheat germ, rice bran, soy, spinach and broccoli. soybean, sesame, and rapeseed oils.
  • Glutathione. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables,rare or raw meats, and raw eggs are an especially rich source of glutathione.
  • Flavonoids / polyphenols. cCranberries, purple grapes, soy, red wine, pomegranate and tea.
  • Lycopene. Tomato, pink grapefruit and watermelon.
  • Lutein. Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprout, kale and spinach

 

 
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