Femtalk USA - Cancer Section
Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or
slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they
naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage.
Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and hence prevent and repair
damage done by these free radicals. Health problems such as cancer, heart disease,
macular degeneration, diabetes, are
all contributed by oxidative damage. A recent study conducted by
researchers from London found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also enhance
immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.
Antioxidants are found abundant in beans, grain products, fruits and
vegetables. Look for fruits with bright color - lutein in some of the yellow
pigments found in corn; orange in cantaloupe, butternut squash and mango;
red from lycopene in tomatoes and watermelon, and purple and blue in
berries. So enjoy eating a variety of these products. It is best to obtain
these antioxidants from foods instead of supplements. In addition, minimize
the exposure of oxidative stress such as smoking and sunburn.
Which natural foods are rich in antioxidants?
Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other
foods including nuts, grains and some meats, poultry and fish. The list
below describes food sources of common antioxidants.
• Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in color,
including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin,
and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables including collard greens, spinach,
and kale are also rich in beta-carotene.
• Lutein, best known for its association with healthy eyes, is abundant
in green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale.
is a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya,
apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods.
85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and
Cancer cures and advice Index
• Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is a
component of antioxidant enzymes. Natural plant foods like rice and wheat are
the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The amount of
selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium
in the foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains or plants grown in
selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle. In the
United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium. Fish and shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken and garlic.
• Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1),
3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods
rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks
and mozzarella cheese.
Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes,
kale, collards, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots.
• Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in high
abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, beef,
poultry, fish, citrus fruits like oranges and lime etc, green peppers, broccoli, green
leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes.
• Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many
oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and also found
in mangos, nuts, broccoli and other foods. Nuts & seeds, whole grains,
green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil and liver oil
• Flavonoids / polyphenols
Soy, Red wine, Purple grapes, Pomegranate, Cranberries, Tea
Tomato and tomato products, Pink grapefruit, Watermelon
Dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, kiwi, brussels
sprout and spinach
preparation and use
Flax seed, Oatmeal, Barley, Rye
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration. The products and information contained herein are not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases
or medical problems. This is not intended to replace your
doctor's recommendations. The information is provided for educational
purposes only. Nutritional benefits may vary from one person to another.