All about anti-oxidants
The lowdown on antioxidants
Well, naturally occurring antioxidants are everywhere – and they’re found in fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, vegetable juice and cereals. Basically, antioxidants protect the cells of the body from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are like the bad guys in your body – thought to trigger the initial phase of several diseases by damaging cells and occur naturally, but can be increased by things like smoking. Naturally occurring antioxidants destroy free radicals and therefore can reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
- Catechins: black and green tea
- Lycopene: tomatoes, tomato products, watermelon, ruby grapefruit
- Flavonoids: apples, grapes, wine, tea, most fruit & vegetables in small amounts
- Ellagic acid: strawberries, raspberries, apples
- Anthocyanins: blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes
antioxidants at work (they never have a sick day!)
Despite all the good press about antioxidants – most people couldn’t tell you what they actually do . . . so next time your at a trivia night and you land that often quoted question about ‘What can stop bananas from going brown?” – you’ll have it in the bag. Lemon juice on a banana (or apple) will stop it going brown. Why? This works because lemon juice contains vitamin C, an antioxidant which protects the banana from free radical damage caused by the oxygen in the air.