To understand antioxidants we must know that oxygen also necessary for many disease-carrying organisms to live and to carry on their work. Certain foods, mainly fruits and vegetables and whole grains, have chemicals that control this oxidation process in our bodies and in the meantime make us healthier. An example of this process is to see how apple slices turn brown when left exposed to the air. Sprinkle with lemon juice as a preventative.
Citrus fruits are antioxidant, as are most fruits, but the studies for more knowledge is ongoing. The latest foods to join the antioxidant group, according to a Scranton, Pennsylvania, study by Joe Vinson, a chemist, are whole grains. Add to that raisins and cocoa and cinnamon and you have a heaping helping of antioxidants for breakfast. This CBS Article also said that while grains are antioxidant, they are different from thosefound in fruits and vegetables. For best results, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and grains.
Reading an antioxidant chart online that shows the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) of fruits, acai packs the most punch. It is the newest antioxidant fad and only time and further study will show whether it is only comparable to blueberries and other berries or far superior.
The next good source, according to the absorptive quality chart, are prunes, pomegranates, raisins and dark grapes, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and in fact all fruits. Apricots, pears and peaches are near the bottom.
Reading this ORAC score alerts to the possibility of some food being too costly to be of much value. It still is the best policy to buy and eat fruits and vegetables, but please don’t take the latest superfood hype too seriously. The body needs all these foods and buy what is economically healthy as well as biologically healthy. Studies that are legitimate and most are we hope, but we should also understand the results could lead to out of the ordinary promotions and business stimulating gimmicks.
It is a known fact that dark fruits are better antioxidants than are light-colored fruits. Thus dark grapes would be a better choice than a green grape unless the price is prohibitive. Possibly strawberries when plentiful would be more reasonable. On the vegetable list kale tops the chart. Following close are spinach and all the other dark-green vegetables.
Vitamins and supplements
Vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene are antioxidants and are to be used when a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables are not available. A complete vitamin supplement as opposed to separate vitamins – unless prescribed by a physician – is the second-best way to get antioxidants. If you are yet unconvinced about the health effects of a good, well-rounded diet where at least five servings of fruits and vegetables are eaten try eating healthy with for several days and see how much more energy and viality you have.
By healthy I mean plain cereal with no sugar added and one percent, not whole, milk. Add fruit to the cereal for sweetening. Eat your fruit raw. A slice of apple pie is not healthy; a raw apple is. Buy fresh broccoli, cabbage, kale, carrots and steam them or microwave frozen vegetables. These are delicious foods and are quite tasty. If the food is of a good source, they are flavorful enough without rich sauces. Leave off carbonated sweet drinks, and learn to drink plain filtered water. It is cheaper and it is healthier.