You may already know that colorful fruits and vegetables are the sources of antioxidant. But recently researchers have found sources of antioxidant in other food, which was unexpected.
When scientists first discovered the power of antioxidants that can destroy free radicals cells, many people started hunt foods that contain antioxidants. Because antioxidants can prevent cancer (check chemo side effects), heart disease and other chronic diseases. Getting antioxidant intake from various sources as much as possible might be more useful than just getting antioxidants from some famous food as sources of antioxidant.
“Do not just eat blueberries or tomatoes every day and think that you have earned your intake of antioxidants. When the menu has diverse dietary antioxidants, you will get all the benefits of antioxidants widely,” says Joe Vinson, PhD, an analytical chemist at the University of Scranton.
The 8 sources of antioxidant from unexpected foods are:
1. Whole grain pasta
Research at the University of Scranton found that, whole wheat pasta is one of the unexpected sources of antioxidant. It has three times more antioxidants than the pasta with additional ingredients or enriched pasta.
“Many epidemiological studies showing that consumption of whole grains may reduce risk of heart disease. We used to think that this is because the fiber sweep cholesterol. But it seems it is more due to the positive effect of polyphenols on blood pressure,” he said.
“The concentration of antioxidants in wheat flour that use to make pasta is comparable to those found in fruits and vegetables, “said Vinston.
Eggs are not generally regarded as a rich sources of antioxidant lutein. This is because eggs has a low concentration of the lutein. Lutein may protect eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Spinach is a major source of lutein.
However, scientists from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that, lutein in egg yolk can be absorbed more effectively than from spinach. This is possible because the yolk can help the body to process antioxidants so much better. So even if an egg is only contain about 5 percent of lutein found in 1/4 cup of spinach, but the body can absorb lutein from eggs three times more effective. Spinach and other green vegetables is still the best source, but eggs are an easy way to get more lutein.
4. Canned beans
Canned bean is also one of the sources of antioxidant. A 2004 study conducted by the USDA found that certain types of dry beans contain high levels of antioxidants. But Americans generally consume more canned beans. The scientists found all canned beans contain antioxidants, but the small red beans have the highest levels, followed by dark red kidney beans and black beans.
Even the dark canned beans has 3 times more phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds in plants that can remove free radicals to protect cells from damage and repair DNA.
As one sources of antioxidant, only about 1 cup low-fat yogurt can provide at least 25 percent of daily intake for riboflavin equivalent to 1 cup of boiled spinach. Although not an antioxidant, riboflavin (vitamin B) is very important in helping the antioxidant activity.
Without riboflavin, the antioxidant glutathione in the cells can not destroy free radicals. So it can lead to increased risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions. Because riboflavin is water soluble, it just being in the body several hours and must be replenished daily.
6. Canola oil
Canola oil is heart-healthy and is rich in antioxidants alphatocopherol, according to March Traber, PhD, of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Another plus value, canola oil is cheaper and has a milder flavor than olive oil.
As one sources of antioxidant, only one tablespoon of canola oil contains 16 percent of your daily value. Alphatocopherol is one of eight antioxidants in vitamin E, which prevents bad cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing and forming free radicals. LDL potentially leading to heart disease and other chronic diseases.
7. Organic milk
Organic milk is also one of the source of antioxidants. “By switching from regular milk to organic milk, it will get more powerful levels of antioxidants, including vitamin E and carotenoids, beta carotene, and lutein,” said Gillian Butler, PhD, a researcher from the UK.
The results showed that the antioxidants in the milk of cows which raised on organic diet or just eating grass, around 40-50 per cent more concentrated than cow’s milk taken from the conventional cow. “Cows that eat only grass without any additional supplements, would produce more milk rich in antioxidants,” added Butler.
8. Natural sweetener
American society on average consume 130 g of refined sugar every day. If reducing your intake of sugar and use a natural sweetener such as molasses, honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup, you can actually get more antioxidants. This is because the researchers at Virginia Tech University founds that natural sweeteners is also the sources of antioxidant.
The researchers found that, molasses has the highest antioxidant levels, especially the kind of dark and blackstrap. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The result also suggest that honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup also contain significant levels of antioxidants. Previous studies have measured the antioxidant in a variety of honey and found that, the darker the honey tend to have higher amount of polyphenols.
For example, buckwheat has antioxidant levels 8 times higher than that of clover, which is also on par with sunflower and Tupelo honey.
All You Need To Know About Antioxidants