Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Nature's Protectors against Heart Disease, Cancer and Ageing

Antioxidant-rich foods with particular reference to plant-based fruit and vegetables that are available to us in abundance have not only some amazing healing powers but they are also nature's protectors against heart disease, cancer, ageing as well as many other degenerative diseases.

There are hundreds of natural food compounds that act as antioxidants in your body. And the best thing about them is that you never have to run out of them because you can simply eat more. We are going to focus on the three most important ones and they are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene. There's no doubt that these three antioxidants play a crucial role in our well being.

Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin occurs widely in fruits and vegetables. While some warm-blooded animals can synthesize it, we humans have lost the ability and now depend on getting Vitamin C from the food we eat.


Carrots, Broccoli, Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

Vitamin C Value of Fruit ranging from Excellent to Very Poor

Excellent

Cantaloupe Melon

Guava

Kiwi

Black Currants

Very Good

Grapefruit

Oranges

Passion Fruit

Raspberries

Strawberries

Lychees

Papaya

Peaches

Nectarines

Clementines

Tangerines

Good

Apples

Bananas

Cherries

Blackberries

Gooseberries

Mandarins

Mango

Honeydew Melon

Pineapple

Watermelon

Poor

Grapes

Pears

Plums

Apricots

Antioxidant-Rich Foods - Passion Fruit

Vitamin C Value of Vegetables ranging from Excellent to Very Poor

Excellent

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Raw green Cabbage

Raw Cauliflower

Spring Greens

Curly Kale

Mangetout

Red Bell Peppers

Watercress

Very Good

French beans

Runner Beans

Cooked Green Cabbage

Cooked Cauliflower

Raw Courgette

Okra

Spring Onions

Fresh Peas

Raw Baby Spinach

Sweet Potato

Potatoes done with their skins

Good

Asparagus

Broad Beans

Raw Celery

Raw Parsnip

Plantain

Roast Potatoes

Cooked Spinach

Cooked Turnip

Poor

Beetroot

Carrots

Cooked Celery

Chicory

Corn on the Cob

Raw Fennel

Hummus

Lentils

Lettuce

Petits Pois

Pumpkin

Yam

Very Poor

Aubergine

Chickpeas

Cucumber

Iceberg Lettuce

Mushrooms

Sweet Corn

Tofu

While I've listed all the fruits and vegetables I know ranging from excellent to very poor in terms of their vitamin C content, the ones appearing at the bottom of the scale are by no means bad food choices. They are all nutritional plant-based foods containing other vital vitamins and minerals needed to supply optimum health. So keep on eating as much fresh fruit and vegetables as you can. Your good health will thank you for it, especially later in life.


Antioxidant-Rich Foods - Brussels Sprouts

Vitamin E Value of Food ranging from Excellent to Very Poor

Excellent

Almonds

Hazelnuts

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Seeds

Safflower Oil

Wheatgerm

Wheatgerm Oil

Very Good

Corn Oil

Raw Peanuts

Peanut Oil

Soya Oil

Good

Brazil Nuts

Peanuts and Raisins

Peanut Butter

Pine Nuts

Sweet Potatoes

Olive Oil

Poor

Avocado

Blackberries

Cashew Nuts

Chestnuts

Coconut

Olives

Walnuts

Sesame Seeds

Very Poor

Blackcurrants

Mango

Meat

Fish

Anti-oxidant-Rich Foods - Hazelnuts

Antioxidant-Rich Foods - Beta Carotene

Beta Carotene from plants turns into vitamin A by your body (also known as pro-vitamin A) is important in strengthening your immunity as well as preventing night-blindness. This important nutrient also forms part of most anti-cancer and anti-ageing regimes. As a biological antioxidant, it's vital for many of your body functions and it's also an excellent internal protector against sunburn. Plant-based foods that contain beta carotene do not pose any toxicity problems because your body only converts the carotene it needs into vitamin A and readily disposes of the excess.

Carotenes are water-soluble and rapidly disperse from your body. They need to ingested regularly to ensure a good blood level of active vitamin A. Excessive amounts of beta carotene in your diet, which can only be achieved by artificially supplementing with pure beta carotene, will lead to the colouration of your body fat and give your skin a yellow-brown tint. This can be a popular supplement should you want to tan without actually going into the sun.

While beta carotene is the best nutritional form of pro-vitamin A, there are over 600 substances known as carotenoids, all of which are potential biological antioxidants. Carotenoids that have significant antioxidant power are found in foods such as carrots (alpha-carotene), oranges and tangerines (beta-cryptoxanthin), tomatoes (lycopene), spinach and broccoli (lutein and zeaxanthin) and they are widely distributed in nature (canthaxanthin).

Some of the vegetables that contain vitamin A as carotene are carrots (young and old), peppers, spinach, kale, tomatoes, spring onions, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, turnips, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and radish. These are just a few of a vast range of vegetables containing beta carotene. There are many other vegetables too.

Some of the fruits that contain vitamin A as carotene are mango, cantaloupe melons, apricots, plums, papaya, guava, clementines, peaches, nectarines, kiwi fruit, oranges, bananas, pears, pineapple, grapefruit, watermelon and strawberries to name but a few. Again, there are many more fruits that contain vitamin A as carotene.

You will also find vitamin A as carotene in some herbs and spices too such as fresh parsley, dried sage, dried rosemary, dried thyme, paprika and chilli powder.


Antioxidant-Rich Foods - Clementines

Love Travel Eat Right - Disclaimer

Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.  

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