ANTIAGING NUTRITION - ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants help prevent heart disease, cancer and
even Alzheimer's. Antioxidant foods contain vitamins
C and E, trace elements like selenium
and many less familiar compounds. They work by protecting
us from the effects of chemicals known as
free radicals. The only way to counteract the effects
radicals is to destroy them, and that's where antioxidants
Fight Free Radical Damage
Antioxidants act as scavengers and interrupt the electronic
chain building process that causes free radicals to
be produced. This helps to prevent cell and tissue damage
that could lead to cellular
damage and disease.
It has been estimated that up to 30 percent of Americans
are taking some form of antioxidant supplement.
Antioxidant Food Sources
Sources of Antioxidants: grape seed,
blueberries, red wine and brightly coloured fruits which
are high in Vitamin C.
These vitamins cannot be manufactured in the body,
so must be supplied through 5-8 servings of vegetables
and fruits such as dark green leafy vegetables, oranges,
red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots.
Raw or Cooked Food
It was previously thought that eating raw fruits and
vegetables rather than cooked provided the highest concentration
and best absorption of antioxidants.
Studies now show, that in some cases, such as tomatoes,
the bioavailability of antioxidants is increased through
With fast foods, and depleted soils common today,
it is often not possible to get sufficient vitamins
from fruits and vegetables, so nutritional supplements
Walnuts – contain an omega-3
called ALA, which lowers your cholesterol, blood pressure,
and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. This alone can
reduce joint pain and help prevent heart disease. Walnuts
also have a flavonoid called ellagic acid. This powerful
nutrient is in several types of berries and inhibits
the growth of cancer cells. high in arginine. Arginine
helps make more nitric oxide (NO). This helps your blood
vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow. This
is great for your heart [and has the same effect as
Viagra in men]. As the oils in the nuts can oxidize,
store them in a cool dry place. This will keep them
fresh for about six months. Up to a year if you put
them in the freezer.
Wine and Grape juice - Red wine contains
the antioxidant resveratrol, which raises the level
of beneficial HDL
cholesterol. Purple grape juice may do almost as
Fruits and vegetables, in particular:
- Spinach, red pepper and other vegetables
– contain lutein which blocks plaque formation,
preventing heart attacks. It also contains zeaxanthin,
a related antioxidant.
- Tomatoes - ripe, red tomatoes are loaded
lutein and lycopene, an extremely potent antioxidant.
- Oregano - has up to 30 times the radical-fighting
power of potatoes and 40 times that of apples.
Antioxidant Beverages: Tea [particularly
green tea], Coffee and Beer. Tea is rich in a family
of antioxidants called polyphenols. Studies suggest
that two or more cups of tea each day lower risk of
dying from any disease by 44 percent over the next four
People over 65 whose diets are high in
vitamin E in foods have only about one third as
much chance of developing Alzheimer's.
WARNING: Scientists at the University of Washington
found that smokers who took beta
carotene and vitamin
A had more risk of developing lung cancer
than those who did not.
Predominantly found in tomatoes, lycopene predominantly
prevents prostate cancer and some other forms of cancer.
Lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, prostate
gland, colon and skin. Its oncentration in body tissues
tends to be higher than all other carotenoids.
To really kick your free radical fighting defences
into gear, there are a number of power antioxidant supplements
Mild Antioxidant Properties
- L-Cysteine - a sulphur-containing
amino acid that acts as a free-radical scavenger.
- Zinc - a free-radical scavenger
and contributes to immune support.
- Manganese and copper act as mild
antioxidants, which metabolize the superoxide free
More Powerful Antioxidants
- producing energy in cells and also acts
as a powerful antioxidant. More
on Coenzyme Q-10
- Pycogenols - found in pine bark
extract and grape seed extract. More
- Green Tea - helps to lower blood
pressure and cholesterol and is thought to have antimutagenic
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) - ALA
is the only antioxidant that is both fat and water
Supports Antioxidant Function
- Beta Carotene
- Vitamin E [d-alpha tocopherol]
The nutritional supplements mentioned on this
page are available on our Antiaging
on Antioxidant Supplements