As mentioned above, a-tocopherol is well recognized and accepted as nature's most effective antioxidant, lipid-soluble and chain-breaking, since it protects cell membranes from attack by peroxyl lipid radicals. Vitamin E prevents the spread of lipid peroxylic radicals in cell membranes. Moskowitz widely praises the benefits of vitamin E. Vitamin E can also help the immune system, he says, noting that vegetable oils, such as sunflower and safflower oils, nuts and seeds, are the best sources of this important vitamin.
Smith also recommends including almonds and avocados for more vitamin E. Quercetin is a source of one of the most abundant flavonoids in the diet. She says it can also be used for hay fever, asthma, gout and chronic fatigue syndrome under the recommendation and supervision of a doctor. Quercetin is a plant pigment and flavonoid found naturally in fruits, vegetables and plants.
It can be taken orally as a supplement and applied topically through skin care products for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This trace element plays an important role in immune system function, DNA synthesis, metabolism, and may also help thyroid health, Moskowitz says. A Brazil nut can provide you with all the selenium you need for the day. Otherwise, most animal proteins, such as chicken, beef, and fish, also provide a great source of selenium.
Catechins are types of flavanols that have strong antioxidant properties. One of the best-studied catechins is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is found naturally in teas, such as green, black and white. Both Smith and Moskowitz say that EGCG has a profound impact on inflammation and oxidative stress. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants that belongs to the carotenoid family.
In fact, researchers found that it loses ten times more free radical scavenging activity than the carotenoids commonly supplemented with beta-carotene and lutein. A study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science evaluated the effects of different cooking methods on the antioxidant content of red peppers to determine which methods can help minimize the loss of antioxidants. Many foods that provide these nutrients also provide antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, known as eye vitamins, found in brightly colored foods, such as fruits and vegetables, especially leafy vegetables and types that are deep orange or yellow.
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