Adding Antioxidants to your diet will help you to live healthy life

(Dr.Waseem Razaq, )

What are Antioxidants:Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals in the body, antioxidants also fight against free radicals in the body produced through oxidation. There are two types of antioxidants: naturally occurring antioxidants and industrially produced antioxidants.

Our body has its own mechanism to produce antioxidants to check balance of free radicals, however naturally antioxidants are also present in foods mostly in plants-based foods like fruits, vegetables and other plant based whole foods, several vitamins like vitamin C, E and A are effective antioxidants.

Industrially produced antioxidants are chemicals produced artificially and are added to products to prevents oxidation.

Free Radicals, Oxidative stress and Antioxidants: Free radicals are continuously formed in our body when we exercise and when our body is converting energy from food, environmental sources like smoking, pollution and sunlight are also sources of free radicals to our body. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress a process that can trigger cell damage. Oxidative stress is thought to be have a role in occurrence of number of diseases like cancer, diabetes, eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's disease and many other chronic illnesses. Antioxidants protect our body from oxidative stress and thus help in protecting number of diseases. Lycopene, Lutein and vitamins like A, C and E are examples of antioxidants.
Sources of Antioxidants: Our body can generate its own antioxidants such as the cellular antioxidant glutathione.Plants and animal have their own mechanism to generate antioxidants to fight with oxidative stress and cell damage, therefore, whole foods of plant and animal origin contain antioxidants however plant based whole foods are best source of antioxidants. Animal product like meat and fish also contain antioxidants but less than fruits and vegetables.
Below is a listof important antioxidants along with their main sources:
1. Vitamin A, Main sources: Dairy products, Eggs and liver
2. Vitamin C, Main sources: Most fruits and Vegetables
3. Vitamin E, Main Sources: Nuts and seeds, Sun flower and vegetable oils, Green and leafy vegetables,
4. Beta carotene, Main sources: Fruits and vegetables like Carrots, Peach, Apricots, Mangoes, Peas and Spinach.
5. Zeaxanthin, Main sources: Green and leafy vegetables, Fruits like Apricots and Peach, Egg yolk,
6. Lutein, Main sources: Green and leafy vegetables, Corn, Papaya, Oranges and other fruits and vegetables
7. Lycopene, Main Source: Pink and red fruits and vegetables like Watermelon and Tomatoes.
8. Selenium, Main sources: Rice, Corn, Wheat and other whole grains, Nuts, Eggs, Cheese and Legumes.
9. Manganes ,Main sources: Nuts, Beans and Legumes, Whole grain cereals and breads, Leafy green vegetables, Fruits like pineapple, Dark chocolate.
10. Flavonoids, Main sources: Tea, Citrus fruits, Berries, Apples and Legumes.
11. Polyphenoles, Main sources: Tea, Chocolate, Berries, Many other fruits like Apples and Apricots, Number of vegetables and Legumes,
12. Phytoestrogens, Main sources: Soybeans and soy products, Flex seeds, Sesame seeds, Oats, Barley, Legumes and Green leafy vegetables.


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