Everything You Need to Know About Antioxidants
Antioxidants are powerful compounds that heal and nourish our bodies in powerful ways. Some of the ways that antioxidants may heal you and help protect you are:
- They help protect cells from DNA damage
- Neutralize free radical molecules
- They prevent cancer
- They have antiviral and antibacterial effects
- They have anti-inflammatory effects
- Prevent Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease
- Slows aging
- Improve immune system
- Improves brain power & memory
The best ways to get antioxidants is through food.
Dietitians use the colors in fruits and vegetables to identify antioxidants, which include:
- Red/Purple (Anthocyanins, polyphenols & resveratrol)
- Red (Lycopene)
- Orange (Beta-carotene)
- Orange/Yellow (Cryptoxanthin & flavonoids)
- Yellow/Green (Lutein & zeaxanthin)
- Green (Indoles, sulforaphanes & lutein)
- White/Green (Allyl sulphides & quercetin)
Here is a list of the antioxidants listed by color with their specific health values and some foods contain them.
Anthocyanins, Polyphenols & Resveratrol
beets, red potatoes, red peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes, blood oranges, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, blueberries, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries.
Prevents aging of cells and tissues. Helps lessen asthma and diabetes. Lessens cardiovascular disease. Prevents Alzheimers. (source)
tomatoes, papaya, asparagus, watermelon, red cabbage, grapefruit, guava, mango, carrots
Can reverse damage to your adrenal cortex which controls your stress response. Reduces cancer. Promotes heart health, eye health and strong bones. One of the most common pesticides used on food damages our brains but these antioxidants can heal this damage. (source)
carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, apricot
Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A in our bodies. When beta-carotene is combined with vitamin E, it has been shown to be one of the most powerful topical antioxidant combinations for the skin. It can prevent premature aging of the skin, sun damage and skin cancers. Beta-carotene also promotes healthy immune system and eye health. *Beta-carotene needs healthy fats to be absorbed in our bodies, so eat with nuts or avocado.
Cryptoxanthin & Flavonoids
papaya, mango, peaches, oranges, tangerines, bell peppers, watermelon
Are also powerful antioxidants that the body converts to active retinol, or vitamin A. Beta-cryptoxanthin reduces risk of lung cancer and colon cancer. They also have all the other benefits listed in the list at the beginning of this article.
Lutein & Zeaxanthin
kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, green beans, oranges, kiwi and papayas
Can reduce the risk of light damage that causes macular degeneration in the eye. (source) Reduces risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Indoles & Sulforaphanes
dark leafy greens, radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
Protect cell damage. Can inactivate carcinogens. Has anti-viral and antibacterial effects. Can reduce inflammation in bodies and cells.
Allyl sulphides & Quercetin
onion, leeks, garlic, chives, grapes
Prevents osteoporosis, improves blood circulation and reduces plaque in the heart. Removes toxins from the body.
Antioxidants have incredible anti-aging effects when consumed in a healthy daily diet, but they also work topically! Antioxidant skin formulas (and those with Vitamin C and Vitamin E) show beneficial scientific results. (source)
Antioxidants are so important to the human body staying healthy and preventing deadly diseases. Look better, feel better and live better by adding antioxidants to your daily diet.
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