What are Antioxidants?

cleanAntioxidants help fight oxidation which is a normal chemical process that takes place in the body every day. The best way to think about the oxidation process is what happens to a cut apple that is left on the counter. The longer the apple is exposed to oxygen, the browner it becomes. That process can also be accelerated by external factors like stress, smoking and drinking alcohol.

Essentially, antioxidants are scavengers of the damaging by-products of oxidation, also known as free radicals. These free radicals can damage cells and cause a multitude of health problems. Ultimately, antioxidant consumption can decrease inflammation in the body, improve immune function and decrease risk of infections. Furthermore, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer risk.

While you can find some antioxidant minerals, like selenium and manganese, in meats and seafood, the best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. One of the best ways to ensure getting a variety of antioxidants is to eat foods that represent all of the colors of the rainbow with each color providing its own unique antioxidants benefit. Foods with rich, vibrant colors often contain the most antioxidants. Studies have shown that certain foods lose a lot of their antioxidant activity during the cooking process, so make sure they don’t get overcooked or just eat them raw.

The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Vitamin C: Vitamin E:
Apricots
Asparagus
Beets,
Broccoli
Cantaloupe
Carrots
Corn
Green peppers
Kale
Mangoes
Turnip greens
Collard greens
Nectarines
Peaches
Pink grapefruit
Pumpkin
Squash
Spinach
Sweet potato
Tangerines
Tomatoes
Watermelon
Berries
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Grapefruit
Honeydew
Kale
Kiwi
Mango
Nectarine
Orange
Papaya
Snow peas
Sweet potato
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Broccoli
Avocado
Chard
Mustard and turnip greens
Mangoes
Nuts
Papaya
Pumpkin
Red peppers
Spinach
Sunflower seeds

At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, we try to incorporate local and regionally sourced produce whenever possible and we do a pretty good job at using a majority of the fruits and vegetables mentioned on this list. Try one of our gourmet, chef prepared menus now and save 10% off your first order with promo code BLOG10.

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