What Are They?
Oxidation in the body produces unstable chemicals and free radicals that damage cell membranes and other structures. These free radicals are linked to to various diseases like heart disease and certain cancers.
Antioxidants are compounds in foods that neutralize these potentially harmful free radicals.
Why is This Good?
Chemicals eliminate or neutralize free radicals that are found within the body. This prevents cells from deteriorating quickly. The effect inside the body means that cells and organs stay happy and healthy. The effect on your appearance means that your skin appears youthful, healthy and glowing.
Where Can You Find Them?
Everyday, new foods are added to the “antioxidant ‘it’ list.” The truth is, there are many types of antioxidants that are found in different foods. Here is a list* of antioxidant compounds and where they are often found.
- allium sulphur compounds – leeks, onions and garlic
- anthocyanins – eggplant, grapes and berries
- beta-carotene – pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley
- catechins – red wine and tea
- copper – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
- cryptoxanthins – red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes
- flavonoids – tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples
- indoles – cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
- isoflavonoids – soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas and milk
- lignans – sesame seeds, bran, whole grains and vegetables
- lutein – green, leafy vegetables like spinach, and corn
- lycopene – tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon
- manganese – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
- polyphenols – thyme and oregano
- selenium – seafood, offal, lean meat and whole grains
- vitamin A – liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, and egg yolks
- vitamin C – oranges, blackcurrants, kiwifruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, capsicum and strawberries
- vitamin E – vegetable oils (such as wheatgerm oil), avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains
- zinc – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
- zoochemicals – red meat, offal and fish. Also derived from the plants that animals eat.