Antioxidant Rich Foods


What is an Antioxidant? What do they do? What foods contain Antioxidants

Antioxidants An antioxidant is a molecule that stops or limits oxidation (damage caused by oxygen) to other molecules.

This process of oxidation will result in the production of free radicals which can in turn damage cells and tissues and accelerate ageing . Oxidative damage is  implicated in many of the chronic illnesses we see today.

At any one time there are millions of chemical reactions occurring in the body and each process, whether it be  an enzyme reaction or reaction within the mitochondria  (energy producing parts of the cells) will  result in the production of  free radicals. however if we have enough antioxidants then the damage to surrounding tissues will be minimal.

Humans derive the majority of their antioxidants from food.

With the extra stresses upon us from toxicity, electromagnetic pollution, chemicals and even excess exercise etc, the requirement for them is increased, therefore the more  foods  Rich  in Antioxidants  we  can eat  makes a huge difference to our overall health and how we are ageing.

It is often helpful to supplement with a good quality antioxidant to help bridge the gap between our body requirements and what we can get from our diet.

Foods Rich  in Antioxidant

The antioxidant level of a food can be measured by a test which determines its “oxygen radical absorbance capacity” or ORAC scale.

Foods that score highly on the  OR AC scale have higher levels of antioxidants compared to those who score low on the ORAC  Scale

A minimum of 3500 OR units a day is what we need for general health, however 5000 to 6000 will give far more health benefits and help to protect against accelerated ageing.

The following is a chart showing the ORAC scale of a range of fruits and vegetables

To give you an idea of different values so you can make the best choices for yourselves and

Your families

Antioxidant  Levels in Foods

Per 100grams           ORAC units                      Per item/serving            ORAC

Blueberries                  2234                                    ½ cup                             1620

Prunes                          5770                                   1 pitted prune                462

Kale                              1770                                    ½ cup cooked                 1150

Strawberries               1536                                    ½ cup                               1144

Spinach (raw)              1210                                   1 cup                                678

Spinach (steamed)       909                                     ½ cup cooked                1089

Plums                             949                                     1 plum                             626

Alfalfa sprouts              931                                     1 cup                               307

Broccoli                         888                                      ½ cup cooked                817

Sweet Potatoes           301                                       ½ cup cooked                301

Onion                            449                                        ½ cup chopped             360

Corn                              402                                        ½ cup cooked               330

Red Pepper                  731                                       1 medium pepper        540

Peas frozen                  364                                       ½ cup cooked               291

Potatoes                       313                                        ½ cup cooked               301

Cabbage                        298                                         ½ cup raw                     105

String Beans                201                                         ½ cup cooked                125

Apple                           218                                          medium                         300

Carrots                        207                                          ½ cup raw  115  cooked 160

Tomato                       189                                          1 medium                        233

Orange                        750                                          1 orange                          982

Celery                         61                                           ½ cup diced                        60

Super Antioxidants

You can’t talk about antioxidants without mentioning one truly amazing  nutrient with such profound Health benefits  Tumeric  really is a super food.

TUMERIC

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Is a member of the ginger family and is grown mainly in India, China and Asia. Turmeric has been used extensively in cooking for both its amazing yellow colour and also its flavour. It is Turmeric which gives curry its colour.

Turmeric has also been used as a medicine in both traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayuvedic Medicine for thousands of years.Turmeric has been used extensively, traditionally, for the treatment of inflammation Colic, pain, and menstrual difficulties. It has also been used as a poultice for pain and inflammation.

Currently there is a lot of research going on with Turmeric, in areas such as cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant qualities and even protective effects with the cardiovascular system, liver and digestion.

Turmeric has been found to have a protective effect on the Liver in a similar way to the herb Milk Thistle which is traditionally used to support the Liver.

Turmeric has been shown to protect the liver from the toxic effect of substances such as paracetamol, and may have a positive influence on conditions such as fatty liver and gallstones.

Turmeric has profound anti inflammatory benefits comparable to many medications but without side effects.

Turmeric s role in cancer prevention and treatment is particularly exciting.Tumeric appears to have an effect on tumour growth, migration, and also has a regulating effect on gene expression..

Turmeric also has strong anti microbial activity against a variety of bacteria, fungi and parasites.

Many studies have also shown the ability of this herb to influence cholesterol. The benefits include decreasing LDL cholesterol (the damaging cholesterol)  and triglycerides (the circulating fat in the bloodstream)  and also inhibiting platelet clumping.

This amazing  Antioxidant  also has huge benefits for the Gastrointestinal Tract including reducing spasm, increasing enzyme activity and inhibiting the formation of gastric ulcers