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What Are Antioxidants | Antioxidant Benefits

Benefits Of Antioxidants | What Are Antioxidants

by Trisha on August 23, 2009

Antioxidants! What Are Antioxdants and what are the best Antioxidant foods

Antioxidant nutritition is all over the main stream media today and I’m sure people must wonder what they are and what can they do for me?

There are antioxidant drinks for those who are not into eating their 5 a day fruit portions, antioxdant supplements which can benefit a healthy lifestyle change. Green tea antioxidants which are full polyphenols, there are oodles of wonderful antioxidant teas available. Antioxidant vitamins are everywhere, but be careful what your buying… the old saying is very true, read the fine print (ingredients) and you only get what you pay for.

Natural Antioxidants

What are they? They are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body.

What can antioxidant health benefits do for me?

They may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. I know this sounds all too technical. However, by understanding the basic concepts of antioxidants, you will be prepared to choose antioxidant nutrition and antioxidant dietary supplements that offer the benefits you want.

It is a very wide topic and can cover a lot of issues with ones health. Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. They may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.

Antioxidants-How they work

When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce the nasty free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. You can’t avoid free radicals, their always there, if your breathing your taking free radicals into your body.

Antioxidants And Free Radicals

Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. Health problems such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer etc are all contributed by oxidative damage…here is one we all like Antioxidants, Antiaging.


Phytochemicals are natural plant compounds found in vegetables and fruit. There you go! high antioxidant foods are fruits and veggies. These Antioxidants vitamins and other compounds that protect our cells from damage. Whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and some nuts are also rich in these bioactive compounds (polyphenols). Many of these compounds (such as lutein and flavonoids) may help reduce the risk of cancer (antioxidants).

Antioxidant Sources

There are so many reasons why we need antioxidants, and we do not get enough in our daily diets on a regular basis. No one food or food compound can protect you from cancer, but a combination of foods from a diet rich in vegetables and fruit can.

Foods With Antioxidants

Chooses foods high in antioxidants rather than take supplements. Experts say that the health benefits may come from the interaction of the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants in food. Antioxidant supplements come in a variety of ways. Eating antioxidant foods are the number 1 way, but when our daily dose of antioxidant fruits and veggies does not provide us with enough antioxidant nutrition, we need the vitamins, antioxidants can provide.

Orac Antioxidants

Listed below is an Orac Scale. The USDA discovered this rating scale to measure the antioxidant content of various plant foods. Here you will find the value of blueberries antioxidants
They discovered that a small group of “super foods” have up to twenty times the Antioxidant Power of other foods. It is recommended that we eat antioxidant foods containing at least 3,000 orac units a day.

If you look at the top of the Orac Scale you will see that Cocoa and Acai berry are right up there waving at you…And I have news about that too…(Acai and Healthy Chocolate) but right now it is Antioxidant Health.

“Antioxidant Orac-The Top Ten Superfoods”

There are numerous scientific articles describing the health benefits of phenols and flavonoids which are potent antioxidants.

How do we know if we are getting enough to meet our needs?

There are several types of scientific tests available to measure the quantity of vitamins, antioxidants in a product.

The main tests are known as the Orac (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), the HORAC (hydrogen radical absorbance capacity), and the NORAC (nitrogen radical absorbance capacity).

Orac Rating Scale

These tests attempt to measure a given foods absorbance capacity in vitro (in the glass). The values determined by these tests help scientist rate different products based on their absorbance capacity.

However, like most scientific or medical tests, you have to put them into perspective based on many variables. There are numerous factors that can influence and determine the effective value for a given food.

Antioxidant Research

The amount of water or fat present in the sample, the temperature, how thick it is, when the fruit was harvested, how they were processed, and how they were stored, etc. In a scientific study all these variables are controlled.

In the real world we cannot control the variables, so looking at specific numbers makes no sense in comparing one product to another. It is not the specific number that is important, it is the range of values for a antioxidant food.

Antioxidant Chocolate

Dark chocolate is excellent in terms of ORAC, NORAC, HORAC, total phenols, and epicatechins. The FDA has recommended that we digest a minimum of 4000-5000 Antioxidant ORAC a day.

There is no maximum amount, but it is important to remember that each is different and works at different sites in the body and at different times. A wide variety is needed to meet your body needs. Cocoa can provide an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to meet the daily needs of your body.

Darker is better. Dark cocoa has a bitter taste because it is very high in antioxidants. Blueberries and acai berries also have a very high ORAC value.

Incorporate these antioxidant foods into your diet to boost your systems ability to counter oxidative stress and the many illnesses that can be associated with that stress.

Importance Of Antioxidants

It has been estimated that less than 1% of Americans get enough antioxidants a day to meet their needs.

The consumption of fruits and vegetables is very low in our country. The oxidative stress we face daily needs to be countered with high-quality antioxidant foods.

Healthy Dark Chocolate is delicious and very effective.

Benefits Of Antioxidants-What Are Antioxidants – Weight Loss Diet Tips 4 Life!

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