Antioxidants


Fight Cancer! Fight Heart Disease! Fight signs of Aging! What is all the hype about!? We keep getting things sold to us with the headliner that they are good for our health because they have Antioxidants. You know it’s mainstream when you find everything from Chocolate to wine are boasting that they have them.

Carotenoids

    • 500 mostly yellow-to-red pigments.

Examples of Carotenoids:

    • Beta-carotene: 
      • Our bodies convert into vitamin A, may bolster our immune system, fight certain types of cancer, and help prevent heart disease.

Examples of foods: Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and apricots.

    • Lycopene:
      •  has been shown in studies to effectively protect the prostate from cancer.

Examples of foods: tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit),

    • Lutein and Zeaxanthin:
      • This combination may guard your eyes from oxidative damage.

Example of foods: Kale, corn, eggs, and spinach all include this duo.

Flavonoids

    • Bright red, purple, and blue pigments

Examples of Flavonoids:

    • Anthocyanins:
      • Improve eyesight, halt tumor growth, and protect against heart disease.

Examples of food: Berries

    • Catechins:
      • May inhibit tumor growth.

Examples of food: abundant in tea, chocolate, grapes, berries, and apples.

    • Quercetin:
      • Protects the lungs and fights inflammation.

Example Of foods: Onions, tarragon, and apples

    • Naringin:
      • May lower cholesterol.

Examples of food: Grapefruit

Isothiocyanates

    • These antioxidants are responsible for the sulfur aroma and flavor of green leaf vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
    • They protect DNA in cells from damage by carcinogens
    • Sulforaphane:
      •  Found in broccoli, may inhibit the growth of breast-cancer cells.

Vitamins and Minerals

Out of approximately the three-dozen vitamins and minerals essential for good health, only three act as antioxidants.

1. Vitamin E:

      • Hunts for free radicals that attack fat cells, particularly LDL cholesterol.  May be effective against cataracts and cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
      • After Vitamin E disables a free radical it’s antioxidant capacity is in-effective so make sure to read below about Vitamin C’s effect on this vitamin.

Examples of foods: Sunflower seeds, safflower oil, almonds, hazelnuts, and wheat germ.

2. Vitamin C:

      • “recharges” Vitamin E by giving it the power to disable up to 1,000 times other free radicals.
      • This vitamin also protects proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and DNA from damage by free radicals.
      • Eating vitamin C-rich foods has been associated with lower rates of lung and breast cancer.

Examples of foods: Citrus, strawberries, peppers, kiwi, and tomatoes.

3. Selenium:

      • This is crucial for the formation of several antioxidant enzymes.
      • Some of  these enzymes protect sperm and blood vessels from oxidative damage, while others help vitamins C and E perform.

Examples of foods: meat, seafood, grains, and nuts.

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