Compounds that protect DNA from mutation and break down, preventing arthritis, nerve disorder, heart disease and cancers. They fight pesticides, chemicals, artificial compounds in foods, chemicals in water, radiation, tobacco and air pollution.
Are all antioxidants the same? No. Hundreds, possibly thousands of substances can act as antioxidants. Well-known ones include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, selenium, zinc and manganese. Lesser known ones include glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols and phytoestrogens.
They can be found in fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs. But artificial antioxidants can be used as food supplements or to preserve and improve the shelf life of food. Studies on artificial antioxidants show they don’t have any major benefits.
What to eat
For beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Apricots, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, melons, carrots, corn, capsicum, mangoes, turnips and leafy vegetables, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, sweet potato, tomatoes and papaya.
For vitamin C: Berries, broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, orange, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers and amla.
For vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds.