Antioxidants – Useful information with practical application

All about antioxidants activity, details about different kind of antioxidants and the products with the greater amount of antioxidants – (Antioxidants are nutrients that protect against health-threatening “free radicals.” Antioxidants neutralize “free radicals” before they can attack healthy cells and cause damage.  There are over 50 degenerative diseases in which “free radicals” are implicated, including cancer and heart disease)

Fresh fruit and berry juices contain a large amount of antioxidant activity Strong antioxidants, like anthocyanins and flavonoids are present in garnet, grape and citric juices. Beside juices, a large amount of these antioxidants are present in citric plants mesocarp – a white stratum under the peel. A large amount of this substance is also present in chokeberry( The chokeberries (Aronia) are two species of deciduous shrubs in the family Rosaceae, native to eastern North America. They are most commonly found in wet woods and swamps) juice and winter apples juice.

In order to avoid the oxidation process, on producing juices in factories, there are added different types of oxidation preventives, especially ascorbic acid. But due to the use of preservatives and stabilizers the energy of juices becomes lower.

This is why our ancestors used in their meals a lot of garlic, anions, cabbage, beet, carrot. The Cruciferae like radishes and turnips have almost the same amount of antioxidants like garlic. They also have sulfur-containing glycosides, indole compounds, vitamins. All these plants are successfully used in preventing oncology diseases.

Besides anion and garlic, parsley and celery also contain a large amount of volatile oils, which have antiseptic, bactericidal and spasmolytic effect on man’s gastrointestinal tract.

Many active biological substances, like proteins, sugar, tannins, alkaloids, vitamins and volatile oils are present in tea. The tea is useful in cases of poisoning, weakening of heart and respiratory activity. It also helps to improve our digestion.

Antioxidant activity of the tea depends on the condition in which it is cultivated and on technology of leaf processing: degree of blending (granulated, small-leaved or large-leaved), on condition of drying, fermentation and storage. The quality of the tea is generally measured depending on flavonoids content, which represent unstable connections that loose their energy in the process of oxidation. The ratio of non-oxidized flavonoids and oxidized product in a normal tea represents 1:10, in bad tea – 1:20, and it is not conceivable to consume tea with 1:25 ratio.

The tea should be drawn for 3-5 minutes and then consumed instantly. If it kept for a longer period it grows brown, turbid, loose its taste and aroma, but more important, it looses its antioxidant energy.

The largest amount of antioxidants is present in high quality (elite) tea. This kind of tea contains Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – an antioxidant which prevents the development of cancerous tumors and carcinogen activation (substances which causes cancer).

In black tea the amount of GEGK is decreased by 10% as a result of leaves fermentation. The ability of the green tea to decrease the impact of radioactive substances on body organism is characterized by the chemical reaction between strontium 90 and catechines present in tealeaves.

Green tea has anti-microbial properties, it is recommended to be consumed in cases of colitis and dyspepsia. This kind of tea improves the organism’s thermoregulation, increases the work efficiency, decreases the pressure and the level of cholesterol in blood. As a prophylactic mean it has to be consumed 3 times a day with a quantity of 60-80 ml of infusion. The tea is prepared by using one spoon of infusion with ½ glass of boiled water.

Many sorts of ordinary dry or strong grape and berry wines, as well as cognacs have healing properties. In wine made of grapes there is a large amount of active biological substances like polyphenol and carbohydrates, organic acids, pectin, amino acids, mineral salts and vitamins.

Wine improves the functioning of the pancreas, gall bladder, and intestine, has bactericidal and anti-stress activity, decrease the level of cholesterol and widen the heart arteries, block the shortening of vessels as a reaction to spasms caused by the stress.

In order to feel the healing effect of the wine it is recommended to use it three times a day during your meals. The daily doze represents 150-200 ml. Besides the alimentary products and drinks we mentioned earlier, antioxidant activity also may be encountered in coffee and beer.

Must know about antioxidants!

Vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants

ORAC units per 100 grams (about 3½ ounces)
Fruits: Prunes – 5570 : Raisins – 2830 : Blueberries – 2400 : Blackberries – 2036 : Strawberries – 1540 : Raspberries – 1220 : Plums – 949 : Oranges – 750 : Red grapes — 739 : Cherries — 670 : Kiwi fruit — 602 : Grapefruit, pink — 483

Vegetables: Kale – 11770 : Spinach – 11260 : Brussels sprout – 1980 : Alfalfa sprouts – 1930 : Broccoli Flowers – 1890 : Beets – 1840 : Red bell pepper — 1710 : Onion – 1450 : Corn – 1400 : Eggplant – 1390

So what conditions do antioxidants benefit in the long term?

Well it’s quite likely that as well as slowing down the aging process of our bodies the following could also be slowed down, even avoided or eradicated…

Heart disease :  Variety of Cancers :  Alzheimer’s disease : Parkinson’s disease : Stroke, and other diseases of aging
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