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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Types of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are found in foods in the form of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and so on. It is easy to identify antioxidants by the colour of the foods – different coloured foods have different antioxidants so it is important to have a diet that is rich in all food colours to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of each antioxidant.

There are over 4000 compounds that have antioxidant properties. Some of the most commonly known include:

  • vitamin C – is found in citrus fruits, blackcurrants, capsicum, and berries
  • vitamin E – is found in vegetable oils, avocadoes, nuts, and wholegrains
  • beta carotene – is found in pumpkin, and carrots
  • selenium – is found in seafood, lean meat, and wholegrains
  • anthocyanins – are found in berries, eggplants, and grapes
  • catechins – are found in red wine and tea
  • flavenoids – are found in tea, citrus fruits, red wine, and apples
  • isoflavenoids – are found in soy products, lentils, and milk
  • lignans – are found in sesame seeds, bran, vegetables, and wholegrains
  • lutein – is found in leafy greens and corn
  • lycopene – is found in tomatoes and watermelon
  • manganese – is found in lean meat, seafood, milk, and nuts
  • polyphenols – are found in thyme and oregano

The foods associated with the antioxidants above are just examples of what foods the associated antioxidants can be found in. Some of the best overall sources of antioxidants are berries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pomegranates, and ginger. In fact, you could think of these as the “superfoods” of the antioxidant world.

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