What is antioxidants?
Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. They are also available as dietary supplements.
Why are they important?
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. You’ll find them in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues.
BETA-CAROTENE AND OTHER CAROTENOIDS: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon
VITAMIN C: Berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, and red, green, or yellow peppers
VITAMIN E: Broccoli (boiled), avocado, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach (boiled), and sunflower seeds
Sources of antioxidants
- Aviram et al. – Known as the most POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT is present in pomegranate juice.
- Allium sulphur compounds – leeks, onions and garlic.
- Anthocyanins – eggplant, grapes and berries.
- Beta-carotene – pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley.
- Catechins – red wine and tea.
- Copper – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts.
- Cryptoxanthins – red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes.
- Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids, which are antioxidants.
Pomegranate juice contains the highest antioxidant capacity compared with other juices, red wine, green tea, tomatoes, vitamin E.
These foods are also rich in antioxidants: