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Antioxidant Foods / Antioxidant Vitamins

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Benefits of Antioxidants
Antioxidants FoodsJust as the word suggests, antioxidants are substances found in foods that help reduce oxidation in the body. Antioxidants may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals (molecules that are produced when your body breaks down food, or is exposed to environmental pollutants like tobacco smoke and radiation.) Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease and cancer, whereas antioxidants may possibly help delay the aging process, increase immune function and possibly decrease risk of infection and cancer.
 
Antioxidants are found in foods in the form of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols.
 
Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants are found in many foods. These include fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and some meat, poultry and fish.
Types of antioxidants
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
Carrot - Antioxidants FoodAntioxidants FoodsAntioxidants Foods
 
Tomato - Antioxidants FoodLycopene is a pigment that gives vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon, their red color. It also appears to have strong preventive capabilities, offering many benefits of antioxidants.

Several studies suggest that consumption of antioxidant foods with lycopene are associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants FoodsTomato products, such as spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, ketchup and pizza sauce are, by far, the major sources of lycopene in the typical American diet. Enjoy tomato or vegetable juice as a refreshing and healthful snack. When choosing soups think tomato!

Watermelon makes a light, fat-free dessert. Wake up your taste-buds with fresh pink grapefruit along with your favorite breakfast.

Many antioxidants foods are often identified by their distinctive colors - the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots; the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes.

Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals - Benefits of Antioxidants
 
Vitamins Daily Reference Intakes* Benefits of Antioxidants Antioxidant Activity Sources
Vitamin A 300-900 µg/d Protects cells from free radicals Liver, dairy products, fish
Vitamin C 15-90 mg/d Protects cells from free radicals Bell pep pers, citrus fruits
Vitamin E 6-15 mg/d Protects cells from free radicals, helps with immune function and DNA repair Oils, fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts
Selenium 20-55 µg/d Helps prevent cellular damage from free radicals Brazil nuts, meats, tuna, plant foods
 
Many recent studies conducted suggest several benefits of antioxidants from consuming foods such as grapes, cocoa, blueberries, and green teas on cardiovascular health, Alzheimer's disease, and possibly even the reduction of the risk of some cancers.
 
Contact the NutritionVista dietitians so they can plan your menu to not only address your current health and diet, but to ensure your diet has plenty of vegetables and fruits and provides you all the benefits of antioxidants.
 
Reference: NIH.gov
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