Antioxidants Are The Strongest Antioxidants In Foods

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Video: Antioxidants Are The Strongest Antioxidants In Foods

Video: Antioxidants Are The Strongest Antioxidants In Foods
Video: WANT MORE ANTIOXIDANTS? (5 easy ways to boost your antioxidant intake) 🍎 2023, March
Antioxidants Are The Strongest Antioxidants In Foods
Antioxidants Are The Strongest Antioxidants In Foods



Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals. When it comes to antioxidants, it is most often understood as antioxidants of organic compounds. The group of antioxidants includes minerals, carotenoids and vitamins.

Free radicals are molecules that are deprived of one or more electrons at once. Every day, the internal organs of a person, consisting of billions of cells, suffer from multiple attacks with such defective connections. There may be up to 10,000 such attacks per day. Once in the human body, free radicals begin to "search" for the electrons they lack, and when they find them, they take them away from healthy and full-fledged molecules. As a result, human health suffers, since its cells become unable to work normally and perform their functions. The body experiences what is known as oxidative stress.

The person himself does not produce free radicals, they get inside the body from the outside under the influence of the following negative factors:

  • Radiation and ultraviolet radiation;
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug use;
  • Work in hazardous industries;
  • Living in ecologically unfavorable areas;
  • Eating poor quality food.

The higher the dose of free radicals penetrated into the body, the more terrible the consequences of their destructive effects.

Among the possible violations that can be triggered by free radicals:

  • Oncological diseases.
  • Atherosclerosis of the vessels.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Inflammation of the joints.
  • Bronchial asthma.
  • Cataract.
  • Depression.

The listed diseases are far from all the negative consequences of exposure to free radicals. They have the ability to interfere with the normal structure of DNA and provoke changes in hereditary information. In addition, all systems of the body are affected: immune, bone, nervous. The process of aging and cell death is accelerated.

Modern medicine is unable to prevent the penetration of free radicals into the body with the help of any drugs. But antioxidants can reduce their damaging effects. It is thanks to them that a person gets sick less, less often and more easily.

Antioxidants have the opposite effect of free radicals. They "find" damaged cells in the body and give them their electrons, protecting them from damage. Moreover, antioxidants themselves do not lose stability after they donate their own electron.

Thanks to this support, the cells of the human body are renewed, cleansed, and rejuvenated. Antioxidants can be compared to strategic troops, which are always on duty and ready to fight for human health.


  • How do antioxidants slow down aging?
  • Antioxidant vitamins
  • Antioxidant Minerals
  • Antioxidants in foods

    • Antioxidant capacity of foods
    • 15 best antioxidant foods
  • Antioxidants from fresh juices
  • The most powerful antioxidants in nature

    • Astaxanthin
    • Glutathione
    • Coenzyme Q10
    • Pycnogenol
    • Ginkgo biloba
    • Resveratrol
    • Lycopene

How do antioxidants slow down aging?

Antioxidants slow down aging
Antioxidants slow down aging

Doctors are increasingly convinced that it is antioxidants that slow the aging of the human body. American scientists are convinced that the higher the content of antioxidants in the body, the longer life expectancy. Observation of mice, in whose body the production of antioxidant enzymes took place at an accelerated rate, made it possible to reveal that their life expectancy increased by 20%. In addition, rodents were less likely to suffer from cardiovascular pathologies and age-related diseases.

If we transfer these indicators to a person, then the life expectancy of such people should be from 100 years or more. After all, American scientists from the University of Washington confirm the hypothesis that free radicals provoke increased aging of the body. It is with them that cardiovascular, oncological and other diseases are associated that affect the life expectancy of a person.

The joint experiment of Peter Rabinovich and his colleagues on mice made it possible to establish that the influence of free radicals on the aging process is great. So, in laboratory conditions, they bred mice, in whose body they artificially caused an increase in the production of the enzyme catalase. This enzyme works as an antioxidant and promotes the elimination of hydrogen peroxide. It, in turn, is a source of free radicals and arises in the process of their metabolism.

Free radicals disrupt the normal course of chemical processes inside cells and provoke the appearance of new free radicals. As a result, the pathological process repeats itself over and over again. Antioxidants help break this vicious cycle.

Antioxidant vitamins

Antioxidant vitamins
Antioxidant vitamins

Antioxidant vitamins that are able to absorb the maximum amount of free radicals are vitamins E, C, A. They are found in various foods that a person eats, however, due to the poor environmental situation in the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to replenish the deficiency of vitamins from natural sources. Vitamin complexes and biological additives that have a beneficial effect on the human body can help in such a situation.

Antioxidant vitamins play the following role in the body:

  • Tocopherol or vitamin E helps to inhibit peroxidation, prevents free radicals from destroying healthy cells. It is embedded in cell membranes and repels attacks from the inside. Vitamin E has a beneficial effect on the skin, prevents its aging, helps to increase the body's immune forces, and is a prophylactic agent against cataracts. Thanks to tocopherol, oxygen is better absorbed by the cells.

  • Retinol or vitamin A helps to reduce the harmful effects on the body of electromagnetic and radioactive radiation, increases natural stress resistance. Retinol has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin and mucous membranes of internal organs, protecting them from destruction. Due to the regular intake of beta-carotene into the body, from which vitamin A is synthesized, human immunity fights viruses and bacteria more effectively. Another invaluable benefit of vitamin A for the human body is to lower blood cholesterol levels, which, in turn, is the prevention of strokes and heart attacks, as well as other cardiovascular diseases. It has been established that with an insufficient content of vitamin A in the body, the skin and vision are the first to suffer.
  • Vitamin C. This vitamin fights free radicals, preventing them from destroying brain cells, while simultaneously stimulating its work. Due to the regular intake of vitamin C in the body, the production of interferon is enhanced, which provides human immune protection.

Starting to take vitamins, it should be borne in mind that it will be possible to achieve maximum antioxidant activity only with a competent combination of vitamins with minerals.

Find out more: Properties and sources of vitamins

Antioxidant Minerals

Antioxidant minerals
Antioxidant minerals

Antioxidant minerals are macro- and microcompounds that not only enhance the positive effect of antioxidant vitamins, but also help reduce the number of allergic reactions, stimulate the immune system, and act as anti-cancer components. Thanks to their intake, you can get a vasodilating and antibacterial effect.

Antioxidant minerals include:

  • Selenium. This mineral is part of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. Selenium has a beneficial effect on the liver, heart and lungs, allows the immune system to more actively fight infectious diseases, enhances the protective properties of the outer membrane of cells. The mineral prevents the redox reactions of metals. If there is not enough selenium in the body, then the benefits of other antioxidants are reduced to zero. Moreover, they begin to support the destructive processes that are carried out due to the action of free radicals. (read also: Selenium is an anti-cancer mineral!).

  • Copper. This mineral is an element of the superoxide dismutase enzyme, which actively fights harmful oxidants. Copper is directly involved in cellular metabolism. If there is a lack of this mineral in the body, then the work of the immune system suffers first of all, which leads to more frequent infectious diseases.
  • Manganese promotes the absorption of antioxidant vitamins, and also allows cell membranes to resist free radical attacks.
  • Zinc. This antioxidant helps repair damage and breaks in the DNA structure, allows for better absorption of vitamin A and helps maintain its normal levels in the body.
  • Chromium takes part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, increases the efficiency of the body, accelerates the transformation of glucose into glycogen.

Although nature gives a person a huge amount of the most powerful antioxidant products, he still does not receive them in the required amount. It would seem that it is enough to have in your diet such foods as grapes, green tea, blueberries, ginseng and some mushrooms, as the problem will be solved. However, regular stress, poor environmental conditions, poor soil, nutritional errors - all this does not allow antioxidants to fully fight free radicals. According to scientists from the Research Institute of Food Hygiene, more than 50% of people suffer from a lack of vitamin A, and more than 85% of the population are deficient in vitamin C. And one smoked cigarette destroys the daily intake of vitamin C.

For the body to be able to withstand the negative effects of free radicals, it needs an additional source of antioxidants. Allow to cover this shortage of dietary supplements. The antioxidants contained in them are not inferior in their effectiveness to antioxidants obtained from food. They also successfully fight cancer, prevent aging of the body, and strengthen the immune system.

Antioxidants in foods

Antioxidants in foods
Antioxidants in foods

The antioxidants in foods are essential for the human body as they keep it healthy. The strongest antioxidants of natural origin are anthocyanins and flavonoids, they are found in the composition of plants and are responsible for their color.

Foods especially rich in antioxidants include:

  • Red, blue, black and orange vegetables
  • Sour and sweet and sour fruits;

  • All green vegetables and herbs (especially broccoli, parsley, dill, celery).

There are many antioxidants in small beans (red, black, variegated), in boiled artichoke, in some apples, in dried fruits, in plums. Berries are rich in these useful substances: raspberries, currants, strawberries, cranberries. Do not forget about nuts, among which walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans are considered the most useful.

The diet should also include foods such as:

  • Radishes, radishes, turnips, carrots, beets, onions, spinach, eggplants;
  • Aronia, blueberries, cherries, grapes (including raisins), blackberries;
  • Citrus fruits, pomegranates;
  • Unrefined vegetable oil;
  • Natural coffee and tea;
  • Spices: turmeric, cinnamon, oregano cloves;
  • Parsley, dill, celery (and any other greens);

The amount of antioxidants in different foods varies. In addition, not all products have been tested for the presence of these beneficial substances. Only one thing is known for certain - the richer the color of the product, the more antioxidants it contains. To get these or those antioxidants from food, you should pay attention to their color.

  • Lycopene is found in tomatoes and other red vegetables, berries and fruits.
  • Lutein can be found in corn and other yellow plants.
  • Carotene is found in orange vegetables and fruits.
  • Anthocyanins are found in black berries and dark blue vegetables.

To get the most antioxidants from foods, you need to cook them properly, and best of all, eat them raw. In some cases, steam heat treatment is suitable. If you cook, fry or bake vegetables and fruits for more than 15 minutes, then not only their nutritional value suffers, but also useful compounds are destroyed. In addition, the amount of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables decreases as they are stored.


Antioxidant capacity of foods

Names of the best antioxidant foods

Antioxidant capacity of the product per gram

Berries and fruits



Wild blueberry


Black plum


White plum


Cultivated blueberry







Hazelnut, hazelnut







Red beans


Green beans




Black beans





Ground cinnamon


Oregano leaf




Dried parsley


Scientists at Boston University point out that spices exhibit maximum antioxidant activity.

15 best antioxidant foods

Name of fruits and vegetables

The number of antioxidant units per 100 grams of product

















Brussels sprouts




Alfalfa sprouts


Broccoli (flowers)






Grapes red


Antioxidants from fresh juices

Antioxidants from fresh juices
Antioxidants from fresh juices

Antioxidants from fresh juices are the same antioxidants found in food, but at a much higher concentration. One glass of juice is enough to satisfy the body's daily need for various antioxidants. Such a volume cannot be obtained by eating raw vegetables and fruits, since a person simply cannot physically eat them in such quantities (meaning, it is in their raw form). In addition, most vitamins and minerals are destroyed during thermal processing of food, and freshly squeezed juices are not subjected to any thermal processing.

It is useful to drink almost any freshly pressed juices: berry, fruit and vegetable. Naturally, the higher the level of antioxidants in a fresh vegetable or fruit, the higher their concentration in fresh juice.

A record amount of antioxidants in dark berries. Among vegetables, beets are in the lead (which can only be drunk in combination with other juices, for example, with carrot).

Do not overuse fruit juices, as they greatly increase blood sugar levels and spur production of the hormone insulin!

The strongest antioxidants


Vitamin C is recognized by science as a powerful antioxidant. However, there is a substance that is 65 times superior. It is ranked # 2 in the ORAC's antioxidant rankings and is called Astaxanthin. Its antioxidant capacity is 2 822 200 per 1 g.

What is Astaxanthin? Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, but unlike beta-carotene, it is enriched with 2 oxygen atoms. The substance is found in foods such as: trout, shrimp, salmon. It is this that gives them a pinkish tint.

This red pigment has the ability to absorb ultraviolet light, protecting algae and plants from damaging sunlight. In living organisms, it performs a similar function: it acts as a protector for cell membranes, preventing their oxidation. Thanks to the work of this unique carotenoid, the functioning of the brain, visual apparatus, and nervous system improves.

Astaxanthin is a real boon for athletes. There are studies showing its ability to reduce muscle soreness after exercise. This is possible due to the fact that the antioxidant reduces the amount of lactic acid secreted from muscle fibers torn during training.

The substance is good for the skin as it slows down the aging process by eliminating toxins. It is possible that Astaxanthin prevents the appearance of new wrinkles, as it has the ability to protect the dermis from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Why is Astaxanthin exceptional? An antioxidant has not 1, but 2 oxygen atoms, therefore, having spent one of them to neutralize the radical, it does not die, but continues to act. Therefore, it is not surprising that England national football players, Swiss skiers, American triathletes accept it. Astaxanthin, unlike Mildronate, has been approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

How to use? To get the desired effect, the antioxidant must be taken regularly, for at least 14 consecutive days. Astaxanthin from Wellness and Oriflame is taken with meals, preferably with breakfast. In order for him to show himself in full force, he needs fats, so the capsule is not drunk on an empty stomach.

Sources of Astaxanthin. 5-7 mg of the substance is enough per day so that the body does not feel the need for antioxidants. Astaxanthin is found in foods such as salmon, shrimp, crustaceans, trout and other marine life. Its daily requirement is found in a standard serving of salmon. However, for maximum benefits, you need to consume it every day.

Supplement manufacturers extract the antioxidant from algae. Its content in capsules will be indicated by the inscription Haematococcus pluvialis. If such a record exists, then the purchased supplement is natural.

Antioxidant effect on the body:

  • Protection of the dermis from ultraviolet radiation.
  • Increased immunity.
  • Prevention of skin diseases.
  • Decrease in blood pressure.
  • Improving the appearance of the skin.
  • Reducing the risk of developing cataracts.
  • Increasing the energy potential of cells.
  • Relief of inflammation.

Because of its ability to lower blood pressure, astaxanthin is not recommended for pregnant women. If there is any doubt about the possibility of taking an antioxidant drug, it is best to consult a specialist.



Glutathione is a tripeptide that has powerful antioxidant properties. This antioxidant protects the cells of the body from the harmful effects of free radicals and toxic substances. Glutathione is able to bind heavy metals and toxins, removing them from the body.

Glutathione is synthesized from L-glutamic acid, L-cysteine and glycine. Glutathione is able to bind to liver enzymes with the subsequent removal of toxic substances in the bile. He participates in the synthesis of DNA, prostaglandins, proteins. Glutathione is essential for the normal functioning of the immune and respiratory system, liver and gastrointestinal tract in general.

Glutathione is produced by the body on its own, but in order to help it in this process, it is necessary to include in the menu poultry meat, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables (carrots, asparagus, broccoli, peppers, oranges, apples, horseradish, rutabaga, colored and Brussels sprouts cabbage, etc.). Spices, especially cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, are useful for restoring normal Glutathione levels in the body. It has been found that selenium promotes the production of the cysteine molecule, which, in turn, promotes the production of Glutathione.

Glutathione deficiency leads to the following problems:

  • The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, kidney and liver diseases increases.
  • The immune system suffers as cytokine production decreases.
  • The physical and mental well-being of a person as a whole worsens.
  • The condition of the skin deteriorates.

Glutathione is not only available from food. There are special supplements that contain this antioxidant. They can be taken orally, by inhalation, or by injection. However, most often they are prescribed for very serious diseases, for example, with atherosclerosis, HIV infection, Parkinson's disease, etc.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that can be synthesized on its own. It helps to restore the antioxidant activity of vitamin E. The maximum concentration of coenzyme Q10 is found in the heart muscle.

Scientists suggest that aging of the human body is directly related to a decrease in the level of coenzyme Q10. So, in people over the age of 60, the content of this antioxidant in the myocardium is 40-60% lower than in young people. The maximum values of coenzyme Q10 in the myocardium are found at the age of 20, after which a gradual drop in this indicator begins.

The reasons why the concentration of coenzyme Q10 in the body decreases are varied, among them various diseases, for example, atherosclerosis, hyperthyroidism, bronchial asthma, hepatitis, Parkinson's disease, etc.

You can increase the level of this antioxidant in the body by using the following foods to include in the menu:

  • Red palm oil;
  • Herring, rainbow trout;
  • Beef;
  • Sesame seeds, peanuts, pistachios;
  • Cauliflower, broccoli;
  • Chicken eggs.

In complex therapy, coenzyme Q10 is used for cardiovascular diseases (heart failure, atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, ischemic heart disease, heart rhythm disturbances, etc.). This antioxidant is also used in pediatrics to improve energy metabolism in cells, especially for the treatment of children who are often ill.

Doctors note that taking coenzyme Q10 preparations helps to improve sleep, reduce headaches, eliminate cardialgia in childhood, which is especially necessary when correcting vegetative-vascular dystonia. In people taking supplements with coenzyme Q10, physical endurance increases, the perception of intellectual stress improves. Also, coenzyme Q10 is used in the complex therapy of pyelonephritis and diseases of other etiology.



Pycnogenol is a powerful natural antioxidant. It actively destroys the structure of free radicals, helping the body in the fight for physical and mental health. Pycnogenol helps to strengthen blood vessels, has a positive effect on the work of the heart muscle, and is used to prevent joint diseases.

The main properties of Pycnogenol are as follows:

  • The flavonoids found in Pycnogenol effectively fight free radicals in the human body.
  • Pycnogenol has an analgesic effect. It is effectively used for headache and joint pain.
  • Taking Pycnogenol allows you to thin the blood, which is the prevention of hypertension, strokes and heart attacks.
  • The antioxidant has anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating effects.
  • Taking Pycnogenol helps to reduce blood sugar levels.
  • This natural antioxidant has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin, restores its elasticity, improves hydration and blood circulation.

Pycnogenol can be taken in complex therapy in the treatment of cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes. Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant, as it contains such useful flavonoids as catechins, procyanidins, taxifolin.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is considered a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent and treat vascular diseases (atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis), improves memory and concentration.

Taking Ginkgo biloba preparations helps to fight free radicals, improve microcirculation and blood circulation in tissues, and increase renal and cerebral blood flow.

Scientists claim that Ginkgo biloba has the strongest antioxidant effect, which is possible due to the presence of flavonoid glycosides in it. It helps to reduce the concentration of free radicals in the body, as it has the ability to bind with ions of manganese, copper, iron and other metals, neutralizing their pathogenic effects. In addition, taking Ginkgo biloba inhibits the destruction of adrenaline and ascorbic acid. The extract contains such antioxidant vitamins and minerals as potassium, selenium, copper and phosphorus. This only enhances the antioxidant effect of Ginkgo biloba.

It is possible to take Ginkgo biloba preparations with Raynaud's syndrome, with general malaise, with hypochromic anemia, with vascular atherosclerosis, with dementia against the background of Alzheimer's disease, etc. contraindications.

Read more: Useful properties and uses of ginkgo biloba extract



Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant that many times exceeds the biochemical activity of many vitamins. Resveratrol is secreted by some plants in response to adverse weather conditions or damage. You can find Resveratrol in grapes, nuts, red berries, and beans. Red wine (red grapes) is especially rich in Resveratrol, but in grape juice this useful substance is much less.

Resveratrol is available as a dietary supplement for diseases such as:

  • Cancer tumors.
  • Osteoporosis (for preventive purposes).
  • Liver pathology and intoxication.
  • Obesity.
  • Visual and memory impairment.
  • Skin diseases, prevention of premature skin aging.
  • Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, bronchial asthma.

There is a recommendation for regular intake of Resveratrol after the age of 30.



Lycopene is an antioxidant, which is a red pigment found in plants. Most lycopene is found in tomatoes.

Foods that are rich in lycopene protect the human body from the damaging effects of free radicals, so it is often used to prevent cancer. Such properties of lycopene as protection against prostate cancer and prevention of cardiovascular diseases are especially famous.

Other beneficial properties of lycopene:

  • Reducing blood cholesterol levels;
  • Improving digestion;
  • Prevention of atherosclerosis;
  • Obesity treatment;
  • Strengthening the vascular wall;
  • Normalization of liver function;
  • Skin rejuvenation, increasing its elasticity, etc.

In addition to tomatoes and tomato sauces, lycopene can be found in watermelons, red peppers, and pink grapefruits.

Read more: Lycopene


The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist

Education: Diploma of the Russian State Medical University named after NI Pirogov with a degree in General Medicine (2004). Residency at Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, diploma in Endocrinology (2006).

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