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Definition of antioxidants


Antioxidants are elements that help to fight against the oxidation process of tissue (called stress
oxidative) promoted by aging, pollution, UV rays, poor diet, stress, tobacco, alcohol ...
Oxidative stress is linked to the formation of "free radicals", aggressive molecules on cells that impair their functioning and accelerate aging.

This process of tissue oxidation is involved in many diseases (cancer, accelerated aging, cataracts, retinal degeneration, degenerative neurological diseases, inflammatory rheumatism, cardiovascular diseases ...).

What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants involved in defense mechanisms against the attacks of free radicals and protect cell membranes.
Their deficiency may promote the formation of free radicals and disrupt the functioning of cells.
Effects of antioxidants in the body

• Some antioxidants scavenge free radicals.
• Other live fight against free radicals.
• Others have vascular protective effects by preventing the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) involved in the process of atherosclerosis.
• Different antioxidants work synergistically against the formation of free radicals.

The body does not manufacture antioxidants are found in food.

Antioxidants Tips

The main antioxidants and their food sources:

• Vitamin C: citrus fruits, red berries, guava, papaya, vegetables such as cruciferous (cabbage family), tomatoes, peppers, potatoes.
• Carotenoids (beta-carotene or provitamin A, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin): fruits yellow, orange and red, broccoli, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables.
• Vitamin A: butter, liver, eggs.
• Vitamin B9 especially leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach, cabbage) and some fruits (melon, chestnut).
• Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, oilseeds, wheat germ, papaya, avocado, sweet potato.
• Selenium: whole grains, poultry, Brazil nuts, beans, wheat germ, wheat bran, oat bran, fish, shellfish, eggs.
• Zinc: Seafood, bread, vegetables, meats like chicken, pork.
• Magnesium: chocolate, legumes, whole grains, prunes, walnuts.
• Copper and manganese: dried fruit, nuts.
• Polyphenols (tannins, flavonoids, anthocyanins, phenolic acids): green tea, coffee, red wine, red fruits and vegetables (black grape, red cabbage) or yellow (onions, potatoes), red berries (blueberries, raspberries, cranberries ...).
• Indoles: cabbage family.
• Glutathione: made ​​by the body from foods (cabbage, broccoli, onion, avocado, zucchini, tomato, melon, grapefruit, strawberry).

The food alone enough to cover the needs in antioxidants?

A varied and balanced diet contains sufficient antioxidants.
To ensure a good supply of antioxidants, recommend eating five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day, as part of a diet low in fats and sugars.

If possible eat fresh and raw, focusing on leafy greens or red oranges, fresh juices and fruits very colorful and varying products to promote the combination of antioxidants.

What should I be wary?

Some cooking, preparation and preservation of foods can affect their antioxidant content.
Peeling some fruits (such as apples) affects their antioxidant potential. Cooking reduces the antioxidant content of many vegetables, except potatoes and tomatoes (lycopene which acquires its antioxidant due to heat).
Antioxidants do not survive more than two days in the fridge. Avoid storing fruit, including vitamin C decreases with time.

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