February 06, 2014

Anti - Oxidants

Many common foods are good sources of antioxidants.
In the list of foods given below, "rich in antioxidants" usually means at least an ORAC rating of 1000 per 100g (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity - ORAC is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in foods).  Antioxidants are thought to be helpful because they can neutralize free radicals, which are toxic by-products of natural cell metabolism. Free radicals can also be introduced into the body by exposure to certain substances, such as cigarette smoke, sunlight or pesticides.
Our bodies also naturally produce antioxidants and are quite effective at neutralizing free radicals. The minerals copper, manganese, selenium and zinc are important players in this process. But the effectiveness declines with age.Foods appear to be a better choice as they contain an unmatchable array of antioxidant substances.



Diet

  • When it comes to antioxidant intake, no one food or food group should be your sole focus. It's best to include a wide variety of foods as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some of the better sources of antioxidants include:
  • Berries — Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top sources of antioxidants.
  • Beans — Small red beans and kidney, pinto and black beans are all choices rich in antioxidants.
  • Fruits — Apple varieties (with peel) are high in antioxidants, as are avocados, cherries, green and red pears, fresh or dried plums, pineapple, kiwi and others.
  • Vegetables — Those with the highest antioxidant content include artichokes, spinach, red cabbage, avocado, beetroot , spinach, red and white potatoes (with peel), sweet potatoes and broccoli. Although the effect of cooking on antioxidant levels varies by cooking method and vegetable, one study showed that cooking generally increased levels among select vegetables.
  •  legumes – Foods that are naturally rich in vitamin E are also rich in antioxidants. Legumes and beans including lentils, soybeans, split peas, and pinto beans contain beneficial amounts of both compounds.
  • Beverages — Green tea may come to mind as a good source of antioxidants, but other beverages have high levels, too, including coffee, red wine and many fruit juices such as pomegranate.
  • Nuts — Walnuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and almonds are some of the top nuts for antioxidant content.
  • Grains — In general, oat-based products and Sorghum bran are higher in antioxidants than are those derived from other grain sources.Other whole grains sources include whole wheat and multigrain bread, flour, pasta and other products. barley, millet, oats and corn.
  • Cocoa – dark chocolate ranks as high as or higher than most fruits and vegetables in terms of antioxidant content.
  • Spices and herbs – Typical spices high in antioxidants are clove, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander, onion and cardamom. Typical herbs are sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savoury, basil and dill weed.
  • Dried fruits – They are a good source of antioxidants by weight/serving size as the water has been removed making the ratio of antioxidants higher. Typical dried fruits are pears, apples, plums, peaches, raisins, figs and dates. Dried raisins are high in polyphenol count.
  • Red wine – It is high in total polyphenol count which supplies antioxidant quality which is unlikely to be conserved following digestion.
  • Green Tea – One serving of green tea has a greater amount of antioxidants. Green tea is a particularly good choice for people trying to lose weight and cut extra calories from their diets.
  • Flavonoids and other polyphenols may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • Vitamin A (retinol), also synthesized by the body from beta-carotene, protects dark green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits from solar radiation damage, and is thought to play a similar role in the human body.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble compound that fulfills several roles in living systems.
  • Vitamin E, including tocotrienol and tocopherol, is fat soluble and protects lipids.
  • Uric acid, in humans, accounts for roughly half the antioxidant capacity of plasma. Fructose, which is found abundantly in fruits, significantly elevates uric acid levels in humansand thus indirectly increases antioxidant capacity. High levels of uric acid may be a protective factor against Parkinson's disease and possibly other diseases related to oxidative stress.
  • Allium sulphur compounds: Leeks, onions, garlic
  • Anthocyanins: Eggplant, grapes, berries
  • Beta carotene: Pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach, parsley
  • Alpha-carotene : Carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, green beans, cilantro, Swiss chard
  • Catechins: Red wine, tea
  • Copper: Seafood, lean meat, milk, nuts, legumes
  • Cryptoxanthins: Red peppers, pumpkin, mangoes
  • Flavonoids: Tea, green tea, red wine, citrus fruits, onion, apples
  • Indoles: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
  • Lignans: Sesame seeds, bran, whole grains, vegetables
  • Lutein: Corn, leafy greens (such as spinach)
  • Lycopene: Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon
  • Manganese: Seafood, lean meat, milk, nutsPolyphenols: Thyme, oregano
  • Selenium: Seafood, offal, lean meat, whole grains
  • Vitamin C: Oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, peppers
  • Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, seeds, whole grains
  • Zinc: Seafood, lean meat, milk, nuts
  • Zoochemicals: Red meat, offal, fish
  • Astaxanthin - Red algae and crustacean shells and salmon flesh/roe.
  • Lutein - Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet and mustard greens, endive, red pepper and okra
  • Lycopene - Cooked red tomato products like canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice and garden cocktails, gauva and watermelons
  • Zeaxanthin - Kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard and beet greens, corn, and broccoli
  • Polyphenol antioxidant
  • Chicoric acid - another caffeic acid derivative, is found only in the popular medicinal herb Echinacea purpurea.
  • Chlorogenic acid - found in high concentration in coffee (more concentrated in robusta than arabica beans), blueberries and tomatoes. Produced from esterification of caffeic acid.
  • Cinnamic acid and its derivatives, such as ferulic acid - found in seeds of plants such as in brown rice, whole wheat and oats, as well as in coffee, apple, artichoke, peanut, orange and pineapple.
  • Ellagic acid - found in high concentration in raspberry and strawberry, and in ester form in red wine tannins.
  • Ellagitannins - hydrolyzable tannin polymer formed when ellagic acid, a polyphenol monomer, esterifies and binds with the hydroxyl group of a polyol carbohydrate such as glucose.
  • Gallic acid - found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and many other plants.
  • Gallotannins - hydrolyzable tannin polymer formed when gallic acid, a polyphenol monomer, esterifies and binds with the hydroxyl group of a polyol carbohydrate such as glucose.
  • Rosmarinic acid - found in high concentration in rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, sage, and marjoram.
  • Polyphenol antioxidant
  •   Vitamins
  •  Vitamin cofactors and minerals
  •  Coenzyme Q10
  • Manganese, particularly when in its +2 valence state as part of the enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • Iodide
  • Hormones
  •  Melatonin
  • Carotenoid terpenoids
  • Carotenoid 
  • Natural phenol.
  • Natural phenols are a class of molecules found in abundance in plants.
  • Flavonoids -Flavonoids, a subset of polyphenol antioxidants, are present in many foods.
  • Capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers
  • Bilirubin, a breakdown product of blood, has been identified as a possible antioxidant.[15]
  • Citric acid, oxalic acid, and phytic acid
  • N-Acetylcysteine, water soluble
  • R-α-Lipoic acid, fat and water solubl

Types of antioxidants

Chicoric acid -  Caffeic acid derivative, is found only in the popular medicinal herb Echinacea purpurea.

Chlorogenic acid -  Found in high concentration in coffee (more concentrated in robusta than arabica beans), 
 blueberries  and tomatoes. Produced from esterification of caffeic acid.

Cinnamic acid –  Cinnamic acid and its derivatives, such as ferulic acid - found in seeds of plants such as in brown rice, whole  wheat and oats, as well as in coffee, apple, artichoke, peanut, orange and pineapple.
Ellagic acid -  Raspberry and strawberry, and in ester form in red wine tannins.
Ellagitannins - Hydrolyzable tannin polymer formed when ellagic acid, a polyphenol monomer, esterifies and binds with the  hydroxyl  group of a polyol carbohydrate such as glucose.
Gallic acid - Gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and many other plants.
Gallotannins - Hydrolyzable tannin polymer formed when gallic acid, a polyphenol monomer, esterifies and binds with the hydroxyl group of a polyol carbohydrate such as glucose.
Rosmarinic acid - Rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, sage, and marjoram.

Salicylic acid - Found in most vegetables, fruits, and herbs; but most abundantly in the bark of willow trees, from where it was extracted for use in the early manufacture of aspirin.
Alpha-carotene - found in carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, green beans, cilantro, Swiss chard
Astaxanthin - found naturally in red algae and animals higher in the marine food chain. It is a red pigment familiarly recognized crustacean shells and salmon flesh/roe.
Beta-carotene - found in high concentrations in butternut squash, carrots, orange bell peppers, pumpkins, kale, peaches, apricots, mango, turnip greens, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes, Canthaxanthin.
Lutein - found in high concentration in spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet and mustard greens, endive, red  pepper and okra
Lycopene - found in high concentration in cooked red tomato products like canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice and  garden cocktails, gauva and watermelons.
Zeaxanthin - best sources are kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard and beet greens,  corn, and broccoli.

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