Friday, June 3, 2011

Antioxidants, Antioxidants in Foods & Types of Antioxidants | Healthmad

Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells against damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. The damage caused by free radicals can cause cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause. Examples of antioxidants beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin C, E and A, and other substances.
Antioxidants in foods
Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, carotenoids and flavonoids antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables, which are relatively high in antioxidants are apples, grapefruit, green grapes, oranges, peaches, plums, strawberries, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, onion, spinach and tomato. Antioxidants are a lot of other foods such as nuts, grains and some meats, poultry and fish.

Types of antioxidants
  • Beta-carotene antioxidants is found in many foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables like spinach, are rich in beta-carotene antioxidants.
  • Lutein antioxidants, best known in conjunction with healthy eyes, is rich in green leafy vegetables, spinach, etc.
  • Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, orange and other foods
  • Selenium antioxidants is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is part of antioxidant enzymes. Amount of selenium in the soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soils than selenium in their muscle
  • Vitamin A antioxidants occurs in three forms: retinol (vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods rich in vitamin A are liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese.
  • Vitamin C antioxidants is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, meat, poultry and fish.
  • Vitamin E antioxidants, also known as alpha-tocopherol, found in almonds, oils including wheat germ, safflower oil, corn and soybeans, and is also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli and other foods.

Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that can fight against many cancers, including lung, breast, colon and prostate and also protect against alzheimer’s disease, asthma, eye disorders, skin disorders, wrinkles, osteoporosis, gallstones and menstrual disorders. Deficiencies of vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene antioxidants are associated to heart disease.

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