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Unexpected sources of antioxidants

12 March 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Berries in bowlAntioxidants are the best that foods can offer, helping you stay young and reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases. A huge source of antioxidants is found in wine and blueberries, but there are other food sources, some of them quite unexpected.

Canola oil is rich in the antioxidant alphacopherol, which prevents the formation of free radicals that can lead to cardiovascular diseases and other chronic conditions. One tablespoon of canola oil contains 16% of the daily value of alphacopherol.

Eggs contain lutein, a powerful antioxidant which protects the eyes from cataracts and muscular degeneration. Although they contain only a low concentration of lutein compared to spinach, it’s absorbed three times more effectively, making eggs an efficient and easy way to get more lutein.

Natural sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup contain significant levels of antioxidants. Also the darker type of honey has higher polyphenol counts than other types of honey.

Organic milk provides almost 50% more antioxidants than normal milk and it’s also a rich source of lutein, vitamin E and beta –carotene.  Also the butter and cheese from grass-fed cows provide more antioxidants than the conventional varieties.

Popcorn contains 4 times more pholyphenols than the average amount found in fruits.

Whole-grain pasta has 3 times more antioxidants then other types of pasta and the concentration of antioxidants in it is comparable to the one found in vegetables and fruits. Whole grains, as many studies have shown, reduce the risk of heart diseases and the polyphenols content reduces cholesterol and has a positive effect on blood pressure.

Yogurt provides in just one cup of low-fat yogurt 25% of the daily recommended amount of riboflavin which has a critical role in promoting antioxidant activity. In the absence of riboflavin, the antioxidant glutathione is unable to destroy the free radicals leading to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.  Riboflavin must be replenished daily because it remains in the body only a few hours.

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