NutritionFacts.org

antioxidants

Antioxidants are an essential and affordable component of a healthy diet, with many benefits thought to include slowing aging, reducing inflammation, preventing COPD (and even treating it), and preventing cancer (see here and here). Antioxidants may also prevent the hardening of arteries and increase stool size. Antioxidants are contained in both food and beverages (see here and here), in tea (both herbal and green, especially cold-steeped), Indian gooseberries (see here and here), dragon’s blood, apples (see here, here, here), nuts, beans (see here and here), raisins, dates, rice (especially red and black), beets (see also here), vegetables, sweeteners, kale, Ceylon cinnamon, tomato juice, and spices (especially cloves). Plant-based diets ensure the highest average intake of antioxidants over animal products (see also here), and different cooking methods affect the absorption of antioxidants in foods (see also here). No limit seems to exist on the amount of antioxidants that one can safely consume (at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables is recommended every day). This is especially important if we’re under stress. However, one should be wary of consuming certain antioxidant-containing products, such as noni juice and vitamin supplements, which may do more harm than good. For example, heavy metal contaminants in Ayurvedic medicine (see also here) undermine the hefty antioxidant levels.

See also the related blog posts: Acai to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankings, Can antioxidant-rich spices counteract the effects of a high-fat meal?

Topic summary contributed by Rachel Sapire
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Watch videos about antioxidants

  • Back to Our Roots: Curry and Cancer
    Back to Our Roots: Curry and Cancer
    Dramatically lower cancer rates in India may in part be attributable to their more plant-based, spice-rich diet.
  • How to Slow Brain Aging by Two Years
    How to Slow Brain Aging by Two Years
    The consumption of blueberries and strawberries is associated with delayed cognitive aging by as much as 2.5 years, thought to be because of brain-localizing anthocyanin phytonutrients, as shown on...
  • Food Antioxidants, Stroke, and Heart Disease
    Food Antioxidants, Stroke, and Heart Disease
    The oxidation of high-fat and cholesterol-rich foods in our stomachs may help explain why eating antioxidant packed foods appears to reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
  • Food Antioxidants and Cancer
    Food Antioxidants and Cancer
    Antioxidant intake from foods (not supplements) is associated with lower cancer risk.
  • Spicing Up DNA Protection
    Spicing Up DNA Protection
    The DNA of those cooking with spices such as ginger, rosemary, and turmeric appears less susceptible to breakage.
  • Which Spices Fight Inflammation?
    Which Spices Fight Inflammation?
    An elegant experiment is described in which the blood of those eating different types of spices such as cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric is tested for anti-inflammatory capacity.
  • Greens vs. Glaucoma
    Greens vs. Glaucoma
    Kale and collard greens contain vision-protecting plant nutrients such as zeaxanthin that may significantly lower the risk of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.
  • Antioxidant Rich Foods With Every Meal
    Antioxidant Rich Foods With Every Meal
    To stay out of oxidative debt we need to take in more antioxidants than we use up.
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