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Antioxidants: Delicious Free Radical Eaters

May 28th, 2009 1 Comment

Antioxidants: Delicious Free Radical Eaters — By Nutritionista

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants = vitamins/minerals/nutrients (like vitamin A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and selenium). Antioxidants are subtances that prevent or slow the damage that occurs when our body’s cells use oxygen. When our cells use oxygen, they naturally produce unstable, chemically reactive molecules called free radicals. The oxidative damage caused by these free radicals can contribute to all kinds of health problems of all kinds, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Antioxidants essentially neutralize the free radicals, preventing oxidative damage. Research isn’t totally conclusive about all the ways that antioxidants help (or don’t help) with certain health problems, but it looks promising

Which foods contain antioxidants?

Regardless of to what extent antioxidants can prevent cancer or heart disease, the foods that naturally contain them are inarguably good for you. Which foods contain the most antioxidants? I bet you can guess… fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, poultry, and fish. Below is a list of antioxidant rich foods, categorized by the particular antioxidant they contain. Click the links to find recipes or ways to use the food.

Beta-carotene: orange foods/leafy greens
sweet potato
carrot
cantaloupe
squash
apricot
pumpkin
mango
collard greens
spinach
kale

Lutein: leafy greens
collard greens
spinach 
kale

Lycopene: red/pink foods

tomato
watermelon
guava
papaya
apricots
pink grapefruit
blood orange

Selenium: wheat/fish
snapper
halibut
cod
tuna
salmon
barley

Vitamin A: orange foods/dairy products
sweet potatoes
carrot
egg yolk
mozzarella

Vitamin C: produce
papaya
broccoli
brussel sprouts
strawberries
cantaloupe
cauliflower

http://nutritionista.tumblr.com/post/110135676/make-it-eastern-spiced-tomatoes-cauliflowerkale
oranges

Vitamin E: nuts/seeds/oils/produce
sunflower seeds
almonds
olives
papaya
swiss chard
spinach
blueberries

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all the foods that contain antioxidants (tea and dark chocolate, for example), but it should get you started!

  • FigandCherry.com

    Thanks for linking to my blood orange recipe! That’s a lovely shot of blueberries, yum! You’ve got a great blog here;)