ABCs of Antioxidants

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.
Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C and the carotenoids.
Carotenoids are antioxidants found in red, deep yellow, orange and dark leafy green vegetables.
Diseases such as cancer and heart disease may be prevented by a diet rich in antioxidants.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and cataracts.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. You’ll get a big boost in your Fiber content too!
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and other greens are full of powerful antioxidants.
Hesperidin is an antioxidant found in citrus fruits that may protect against heart disease.
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.
Just taking a supplement isn't the answer--try for at least 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C.
Lutein is a carotenoid that may help prevent age-related blindness. Find it in dark green leafy vegetables.
Mango and papaya are rich in beta-carotene (a carotenoid).
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin provide beta-carotene (a carotenoid).
Quercetin is an antioxidant phytochemical found in fruits (apples, cherries, pears, grapes, cranberries), onions, dark green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
Red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelon are good sources of lycopene, a carotenoid. Strawberries and red peppers are rich in vitamin C.
Selenium is an antioxidant found in seafood, meat and whole grains.
Today is the perfect time to start eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables--and your antioxidants!
Use healthful cooking methods--stir-frying, steaming, microwaving--to prepare antioxidant-rich foods.
Vegetable oils are rich in vitamin E.
Wheat germ is also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
“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!
You can choose to eat an antioxidant-rich diet as part of your healthful lifestyle.
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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