Who will win your battle? Free Radical Havoc Players or Antioxidant Quencher Players? Free radicals are essential to health. We need them for energy production in the mitochondria and and to help kill germs in the lysosomes. However, excessive amounts of free radicals significantly contribute to chronic disease and inflammation. Antioxidants are designed to counter oxidative stress from free radicals. Oxidative stress develops when assaults from free radicals in a cell, or tissue, or an organ is greater than the antioxidant capacity to destroy them.
Eat Colorful Fruits and Vegetables!
These contain antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals which prevent free radical damage. Artichokes and russet potatoes top the vegetable list; green, leafy vegetables are especially loaded with anti-oxidants. Spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes, in particular, contain alpha-lipoic acid which helps to reduce free radical damage to the brain cells. The carotenoids are a family of several hundred fat-soluble pigments found in yellow-orange and red fruits and vegetables, as well as green-leafy vegetables, which exert antioxidant activity.
Green Foods Boost Your Antioxidant Capacity!
Many green foods boost your glutathione naturally! Glutathione is our body’s most powerful antioxidant and the primary detoxifying agent in the body. It is a key antioxidant found in every cell in our body. Deficiency of glutathione contributes to oxidative stress which plays a major role in several lifestyle diseases. The bacteria in the gut help to regulate glutathione. Asparagus, avocado, the cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, collards, cress, kale) are good sources for glutathione.
Best Fruits for Antioxidant
Berries, apples, plums, and cherries scored the highest antioxidant content among fruits, with wild blueberries being unsurpassed. Since many antioxidant phytochemicals work in synergy, it is generally better to get them from whole foods as opposed to supplements. Sometimes frozen fruits have more more antioxidant compounds than fresh produce. For example, freezing actually improves the concentration of a class of anthocyanins found in berries and red grapes. 1. While freshly made juice is rich in certain antioxidant vitamins, many phytochemicals can be lost during the juicing process unless one includes the peels in the juice. 2
Replace Refined and Processed Grains with Whole Grains.
Whole grains are valuable sources of antioxidants; they also provide necessary minerals, fiber, and protein. “Wheat flour” is not generally whole grain flour. So read labels carefully.
Substitute Legumes for Meat.
Small red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans contain even more antioxidants than cultivated blueberries.
Eat an Ounce of Nuts Daily.
Nuts, especially walnuts, not only provide vitamin E, but also have phytochemicals that exert antioxidant activity. Brazil nuts are rich in the trace mineral antioxidant selenium. 3.
Use Antioxidant-Rich Seasonings.
Such as oregano, ginger, garlic, dill, thyme, rosemary, mint and onions. Curcumin in turmeric has been shown to exhibit both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. 4. Be sure to keep your herbs in dark containers, as exposure to light can destroy some of their healing phytochemicals.
Drink a Cup of Tea Daily.
While we cannot recommend black or green tea because of its caffeine content, certain herbal teas are helpful. Rooibos (red bush) boosts the antioxidant defenses in the blood.
Use Honey Instead of Sugar.
While sugar consumption depletes antioxidants and encourages inflammation, natural, unprocessed honey contains antioxidants and combats inflammation. In fact, it has over 100 antioxidant compounds! Since honey is a concentrated food, use it judiciously. 5.
Getting optimal amounts of antioxidants are essential for health. Certain conditions as chronic diseases, a compromised liver, smoking, deficient exposure to sunlight. and air pollution overwhelms the body’s antioxidant conditions. Obesity decreases the bioavailability and causes decreased levels of circulating levels of vitamin D and E. 6
Antioxidants work together in synergy. It is not generally wise to supplement one antioxidant to the exclusion of other antioxidants. Always take antioxidants with food.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is helpful and is educational. It is not the author’s or authors’ or Wildwood Health Institute’s intent to substitute the blog article for diagnosis, counseling, or treatment by a qualified health professional.
Copyright through December 2023. All rights reserved by Wildwood Sanitarium, Inc.
Antioxidants; Oregano Ranks Highest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2013, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020108075158.htm
Rubio L, Recent advances in biologically active compounds in herbs and spices: a review of the most effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory active principles. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(9):943-53.
Shobana S, Naidu KA. Antioxidant activity of selected Indian spices. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000 Feb; 62(2):107-10.
- South Dakota State University. “Freezing blueberries improves antioxidant availability.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2014. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140722124810.htm
- Pyo YH. Comparison of the effects of blending and juicing on the phytochemicals contents and antioxidant capacity of typical korean kernel fruit juices. Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2014;19(2):108-114. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103735/
- Vinson, JA, et al., Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits. Food Funct. 2012 Feb;3(2):134-40. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22187094/
- Aggarwal BB, Curcumin: the Indian solid gold. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007; 595:1-75. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17569205/
- Omotayo O, et al., Honey – A Novel Antidiabetic Agent. International Journal of Biological Sciences, 2012; 8(6):913-934. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399220/
- Oregon State University. “Obese people need more vitamin E, but actually get less.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2015 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102163718.htm.