ABCs of Antioxidants

A
Antioxidants are nutrients and/or phytochemicals that protect healthy cells from damage by free radicals. Vitamins C and E, the carotenoids, and selenium are all antioxidants.
B
Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C and the carotenoids.
C
Carotenoids are antioxidants found in red, deep yellow, orange and dark leafy green vegetables.
D
Diseases such as cancer and heart disease may be prevented by a diet rich in antioxidants.
E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and cataracts.
F
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. You’ll get a big boost in your Fiber content too!
G
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and other greens are full of powerful antioxidants.
H
Hesperidin is an antioxidant found in citrus fruits that may protect against heart disease.
I
If you eat a plant-based diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you'll probably get the antioxidants your body needs.
J
Just taking a supplement isn't the answer--try for at least 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
K
Kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C.
L
Lutein is a carotenoid that may help prevent age-related blindness. Find it in dark green leafy vegetables.
M
Mango and papaya are rich in beta-carotene (a carotenoid).
N
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E.
O
Oranges and other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.
P
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin provide beta-carotene (a carotenoid).
Q
Quercetin is an antioxidant phytochemical found in fruits (apples, cherries, pears, grapes, cranberries), onions, dark green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
R
Red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelon are good sources of lycopene, a carotenoid. Strawberries and red peppers are rich in vitamin C.
S
Selenium is an antioxidant found in seafood, meat and whole grains.
T
Today is the perfect time to start eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables--and your antioxidants!
U
Use healthful cooking methods--stir-frying, steaming, microwaving--to prepare antioxidant-rich foods.
V
Vegetable oils are rich in vitamin E.
W
Wheat germ is also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
X
“Xperts” are discovering more and more about antioxidants every day. Yet one thing remains constant: Benefits come from eating whole foods. There is no magic pill!
Y
You can choose to eat an antioxidant-rich diet as part of your healthful lifestyle.
Z
Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant carotenoid found in spinach, greens, and corn. It may play a role in protecting against age-related blindness.

Now you know your antioxidant ABCs...use this knowledge every day!
By Hollis Bass, MEd, RD

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