Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.
Factors that increase the production of free radicals in the body can be :
- Internal : inflammation,
- External : pollution, UV exposure, and cigarette smoke.
Antioxidant food sources:
- Vitamin A: Dairy produce, eggs, and liver
- Vitamin C: Most fruits and vegetables, especially berries, oranges, and bell peppers
- Vitamin E: Nuts and seeds, sunflower and other vegetable oils, and green, leafy vegetables
- Beta-carotene: Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas, spinach, and mangoes
- Lycopene: Pink and red fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes and watermelon
- Lutein: Green, leafy vegetables, corn, papaya, and oranges
- Selenium: Rice, corn, wheat, and other whole grains, as well as nuts, eggs, cheese, and legumes
Antioxidant helps to :
- Lower the risk of Cardiovascular diseases
- Reduce Carcinogenesis
- Slow down aging process
- Reduce inflammation at joint
- Lobo, A. Patil, A. Phatak, N. Chandra. Free radical, antioxidants and functional foods:Impact on human health. Pharmacogn Rev.2010.July-Dec 4(8):118-126.
- Elaine Magee. 10 Nutrient –Rich Super Foods. www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods#1
- Megan Ware. How can antioxidant benefits our health? www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301506.php
Siti Salwa Zaruddin (Nutritionist)