”Fruits are packed full of antioxidants’’ is a commonly heard statement whenever somebody espouses the benefits of fruit, but what are antioxidants?
First of all, free radicals are highly volatile molecules that can damage other important molecules in the body like protein, fat and even DNA structures! Conversely, antioxidants work as a defence mechanism by ‘cleaning up’ the free radicals and reducing the amount of damage they can cause. The damage to important molecules in the body occurs when the production of free radicals exceeds the body’s antioxidant defence system and this is why it’s important to make sure some high antioxidant foods are present in your diet!
There are two types of antioxidants – endogenous and exogenous. While endogenous antioxidants are naturally-present in the body, the exogenous kind come from dietary sources, which is good for us because this means we can pack our body full of these fantastic little things! Common examples of exogenous antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and ALA. All of these can be taken in supplement form but they are also naturally present in some of our foods.
In no particular order, here is a list of some foods that boast higher concentrations of antioxidants:
Why Care About Antioxidants?
The benefits of antioxidants are so bountiful that if you are interested in health and nutrition, you simply cannot afford not to care about antioxidants. Antioxidant supplementation may reduce the risk of heart disease1 and aid in cataract prevention2 among many other benefits. If you enjoy staying active, you will be interested to know that inadequate antioxidant defences have been shown to impair performance and recovery.3
If all that was a bit complicated for you then don’t worry, all you need to know is that fruit are good for you! As an office fruit-delivery service, we would love to help your workplace become more productive! The Fruit People offer free delivery to offices nationwide and you can even claim a free trial of one of our fruit boxes right HERE.
- Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA & Willett WC (1993) Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Med, 328, 1450-1456.
- Jacques PF & Chylack LT (1991) Epidemiologic evidence of a role for the antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids in cataract prevention. Am J Clin Nutr, 53, 352S-355S.
- Fogarty MC, Devito G, Hughes CM, Burke G, Brown JC, McEneny J, Brown D, McClean C & Davison GW (2013) Effects of α-lipoic acid on mtDNA damage after isolated muscle contractions. Med Sci Sports Exer, 45 (8), 1469-1477.