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Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Antioxidant substances include

  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Antioxidants are found in many foods. These include fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish cereal grains may reduce risk of coronary heart disease and cancer; may contribute to reduced risk of diabetes

Examples of Functional Components*

Class/Components Source*Potential Benefit Carotenoids
Beta-carotene carrots, various fruits neutralizes free radicals which may damage cells; bolsters cellular antioxidant defenses
Lutein, Zeaxan thinkale, collards, spinach, corn, eggs, citrus may contribute to maintenance of healthy vision Lycopene tomatoes and processed tomato products may contribute to maintenance of prostate health
Flavonoids

Anthocyanidins
berries, cherries, red grapes bolster cellular antioxidant defenses; may contribute to maintenance of brain functionFlavanols—Catechins, Epicatechins, Procyanidins tea, cocoa, chocolate, apples, grapes may contribute to maintenance of heart health Flavanones citrus foods neutralize free radicals which may damage cells; bolster cellular antioxidant defenses Flavonols onions, apples, tea, broccoli neutralize free radicals which may damage cells; bolster cellular antioxidant defenses Proanthocyanidins cranberries, cocoa, apples, strawberries, grapes, wine, peanuts, cinnamon may contribute to maintenance of urinary tract health and heart health
Isothiocyanates
Sulforaphane
cauliflower, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, kale, horseradish may enhance detoxification of undesirable compounds and bolster cellular antioxidant defenses
Phenols
Caffeic acid, Ferulic acid
apples, pears, citrus fruits, some vegetables may bolster cellular antioxidant defenses; may contribute to maintenance of healthy vision and heart health
Sulfides/Thiols

Diallyl sulfide, Allyl methyl trisulfide
garlic, onions, leeks, scallions
may enhance detoxification of undesirable compounds; may contribute to maintenance of heart health and healthy immune function Dithiolthiones cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, collards contribute to maintenance of healthy immune function
Whole Grains
Whole grains