You may have heard about antioxidants, but why all the fuss? And more importantly, which foods are they found in?
Antioxidants fight the free radicals that are formed in our bodies. Your body can cope with a certain amount of free radicals, however problems can occur with excessive build ups. The build up of free radicals is influenced by environmental factors, such as pollution, UV light, x-rays and cigarette smoke, as well as alcohol consumption. Antioxidants help to minimize the damage done to our body’s healthy cells by the free radicals.
Free radicals have been linked to several diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parksinson’s. Antioxidants help to reduce the levels of free radicals in our bodies, helping to guard against disease. Antioxidants can also help to fight the signs of aging, by counteracting the damage done to your skin.
Antioxidants are most commonly found in plant foods.
Flavanoids: Found in tea, red wine, onion and citrus fruits (has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties)
Isoflavones: Found in soy beans, lentils and milk. (prevents osteoporosis, lowers risk of prostate and breast cancer
Beta-carotene: Found in pumpkin, carrots, mangoes and apricots (protects eyes and skin)
Catechins: Found in cocoa, tea and dark grapes (protects cardiovascular health)
Vitamin E: Found in avocados, nuts, seeds and wholegrains (reduces riskof cardiovascular disease)
Vitamin C: Found in kiwifruit, oranges, broccoli and strawberry (protects cardiovascular health)
Lignins: Found in bran, wholegrains and sesame seeds (reduces risk of breast and prostate cancer)
Lycopene: Found in watermelon, tomatoes and pink grapefruit (reduces risk of prostate and gastrointestinal cancers)
Anthocyanins: Found in red wine, berries and eggplant (anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties)
Polyphenols: Found in coffee, wheatgerm and bran (protects cardiovascular heal