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Antioxidants: Sources, best foods, health benefits and supplements

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and enzymes that protect the body's cells and tissues from the damaging effects of toxic molecules called free radicals.

How do Antioxidants Work?

Antioxidants work by stabilizing free radicals. They stabilize free radicals by donating some of their components to the free radical.

Free radicals are damaged molecules that are produced as a result of the body's cells normal work. Free radicals are highly unstable and steal components from other cellular molecules and cause damage to them. Some of the cellular molecules they steal are fat, protein, or DNA.

When there are not enough antioxidants to stabilize the free radicals, the free radicals begin to attack and damage healthy cells. Damaged cells can lead to health problems.

Antioxidants in Food

Pomegranates are proving to be the most powerful antioxidant source available.

The health benefits of pomegranate fruit are extraordinary. Pomegranate juice has almost three times the antioxidant potency of an equal volume of green tea or red wine.

Other Food sources include:

Food
Folic Acid (mcg)

Vitamin C

(mg)

Vitamin E

(mg)

Vitamin A

(mg)

Almonds 3/4 cup
64
n/a
2.1
n/a
Broccoli
1 cup cooked
110
100
2.1
1.5
Cantaloupe
1 Cubed
27
68
.3
3.1
Carrot
2 medium
21
15
.6
25
Kale
1 Cup Cooked
19
60
8.3
6.3
Mango
1 medium
31
57
2.3
4.8
Orange
1 medium
34
70
n/a
12
Papaya
1 Cup
49
80
n/a
n/a
Pumpkin
1/2 Cup
15
5
1.1
10.5
Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Raw
8
95
.03
1.7
Spinach
1/2 Cup Cooked
131
9
2.0
4.4
Sweet Potato
1 medium cooked
26
28
5.5
14.9

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