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
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
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.