What Are Antioxidants?

Sunday 5 February 2023

are good for us because they help combat free radicals in our body (which are produced during oxidation reactions). 

Some examples of oxidation include:

  • A peeled apple that is exposed to the air turning brown.
  • For humans, factors that increase free radicals in our body include air pollution, contaminants, alcohol, tobacco and high blood sugar levels. Free radicals lead to hardening of the arteries, cancer, ageing and suppression of immune system.
A balance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body is crucial to prevent oxidative stress and maintain our health. It is important to know that antioxidants are not a group of similar substances. Each antioxidant has different mechanisms of action, serves different physiological functions and has unique chemical behaviours and biological properties. Hence, they are not inter-changeable.

Some of the most important antioxidants

1) Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

It is water-soluble and helps in the absorption of iron.
Essential for formation of collagen and maintenance of capillaries, muscles and teeth.
Sources: guava, mango, papaya, cabbage, mustard leaves and spinach.

2) Vitamin E

It is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Prevents clots from forming in heart arteries and enhances immune function.
Sources: vege oils, seeds, nuts and cereal grains.

3) Selenium

Plays a key role in the function of various proteins.
Sources: walnuts, grains and seeds, tuna, cod, red snapper, organ meat, poultry, eggs, milk and shellfish.

4) Carotenoids (beta carotene)

Reduces risk of cancer and eye diseases, and boosts immune system.
Sources: carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kailan, spinach, mango, papaya and watermelon.

5) Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)

A vitamin-like compound which is soluble in both water and fat.
Lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
Sources: red meat, liver, spinach and broccoli.

6) Others

Glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols, phytoestrogens etc.

Food or supplements?

Food. Consuming antioxidants derived from whole foods are more beneficial:

- Because a variety of different antioxidants can be obtained.
- Antioxidants tend to work better in combination with other nutrients in foods.

Supplements. If you are unable to have a healthy diet, then supplements is needed.

Some tips to increase your antioxidant intake

a) Consume at least 5 servings of a variety of colourful fruits and veges everyday.

b) Include nuts, seeds and dried fruits as your snack choice.

c) Spice up your recipes with herbs and spices eg turmeric, cumin, oregano, ginger, clove and cinnamon.

d) Choose tea or coffee, instead of sugary drinks.

(Source: What are antioxidants, Starhealth, 5 Sep 2021)

What if you are Unable to adopt these 4 tips everyday?
What is an alternative quality source of antioxidants?

Bee Pollen. Because if you know how to choose a quality source, each grain would contain practically all the above anti-oxidants, which makes it very convenient to take.

Check out this link on Yung Kien Pollen. It is natural, safe, free from artificial chemicals, additives and preservatives. 

Yung Kien Pollen is not available in pharmacies and supermarkets.
Click on this link to register and then you can proceed with your order.

Email me at askfuiping@gmail.com if you need help.