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
To help out on the site, email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org