Antioxidants 101: how to decrease free radicals and disease

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables for an adequate supply of antioxidants to fight free radical damage

Last week I discussed free radicals, which goes hand-in-hand with today’s article. As I said before, oxygen can become over reactive (because of pollution, cigarette smoke, unhealthy foods, etc.) and cause damage to the cells (via free radicals). This damage can eventually lead to disease:

  • heart disease
  • macular degeneration
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • stroke

Free radicals can be compated with antioxidants, which bind to them decreasing their destructive path, or they can repair damage already caused. The body naturally produces antioxidants (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione), but in today’s world these aren’t enough to protect against rampant free radical damage. The good news is that fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants (hum-doesn’t that sound familiar ‘eat your fruits and vegetables’). There are different forms:

  • vitamin A: liver, carrots, egg yolks
  • beta-carotene: carrots, apricots, pumpkins, collard greens, spinach, kale
  • vitamin C: oranges, limes, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, and tomatoes
  • vitamin E: nuts, seeds, leafy greens
  • Selenium: fish, shellfish, red meat, eggs, chicken, and garlic
  • flavonoids/polyphenols: purple grapes, cranberries, tea
  • lycopene: tomato, pink grapefruit
  • lutein: dark green vegetables, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach
This entry was posted in Diet, Foods, Longevity, Nutrition, Physiology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Antioxidants 101: how to decrease free radicals and disease

  1. Pingback: Antioxidants Again | Body Change Wellness – Indiana

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