At each meal fill half your plate with produce that contains protective, inflammation stopping phytonutrients. Berries are rich in flavonoids, powerful antioxidants; zucchini contains salicylates, an aspirin-like compound; and red grapes are ripe with quercetin, which inhibits the flow of histamines, the chemicals that cause tissue to become inflamed.
Antioxidants help your body repair cells damaged by free radicals. The most common antioxidants are beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamins A, C and E. Antioxidants can also be found in fruits, vegetables and teas. Most experts believe that getting antioxidants from food is the most healthful way to obtain them but they may also be taken as supplements.
2 AnswersFruits with the highest antioxidant activity are the berry fruits -- such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, boysenberries, blackberries and cranberries. The high-antioxidant vegetables include spinach and artichokes. Nuts also contain beneficial fatty acids, polyphenols and vitamin E. With walnuts, you not only get vitamin E but also combinations of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, plant sterols and omega-3 fatty acids -- the “good” fats -- as well as the beneficial polyphenols. The same is true for avocados.
Of this small category of antioxidants with potential chemo-protective benefits, luteolin and apigenin (found in celery and parsley) are the most common. Citrus peels also contain powerful flavones, such as tangeretin, nobiletin and sinensetin.
A study at Case Western Reserve University found that apigenin may be effective in slowing prostate tumor growth, and a 2008 Taiwanese study has shown that luteolin has the same potential. Apigenin has also shown promise in helping to reduce the risk of breast, colon, skin and thyroid cancers.
Isoflavones, another small group of antioxidant polyphenols, are sometimes referred to as phytoestrogens because of their similar structure to human estrogen. Scientists speculate that isoflavones may play a role in the balancing of hormones, but that has yet to be proven. They do, however, act as antioxidants, and a number of studies have shown that the isoflavone genistein can protect human cells from oxidative stress.
Researchers have had mixed results in studying the link between soy isoflavones and various cancers, particularly of the breast and prostate. While the evidence is not conclusive, a 2001 Chinese study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention did find a correlation between soy intake early in life and the lower risk of breast cancer in adulthood. At the same time, a 2007 analysis of data from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study, which looked at 30,454 women, ages 40 to 79, found that the consumption of soy-containing foods (tofu, boiled soybeans and miso soup) has no protective effects against breast cancer. In addition, there’s currently concern that postmenopausal exposure to isoflavones may pose a risk to estrogen-sensitive breast-cancer patients and women at high risk of developing breast cancer.
Soy isoflavones show more promise when it comes to prostate cancer. Dietary isoflavones significantly decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Soy protein and soy isoflavone supplements decrease the markers of cancer development and progression -- including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) -- in the prostate cells of men with prostate cancer or at high risk for it. But a study in the Journal of Urology found that soy intake has no impact on blood levels of PSA in healthy middle-aged men -- which indicates that the consumption of soy protein and isoflavones may have protective benefits only for men who already have or are at high risk for prostate cancer.
1 AnswerFlavanols give teas and cocoa their off-the-charts antioxidant power. The flavanols in baking chocolate, for example, weigh in with the very impressive ORAC value (antioxidant power) of 1,039 per gram. Compare this with wild blueberries’ ORAC score of 92 per gram. One particular flavanol called epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG) is considered the most powerful of them all and is believed to be 20 to 100 times more powerful than vitamins C or E. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that flavanol-rich chocolate raised the antioxidant activity of circulating blood within two hours of consumption. The same study noted a reduction in markers for free-radical damage.
It’s not just the antioxidant properties of cocoa flavanols that contribute to cardiovascular health. Flavanols also promote healthy blood flow by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, a naturally produced body chemical that dilates blood vessels. Additionally, flavanols may reduce blood clotting by moderating platelet function.
In a 2006 Japanese study, those who drank two cups of green tea per day were 50 percent less likely to experience age-related cognitive decline. The authors did not study the effects of white tea, but there are in fact more milligrams of polyphenols in white tea than in green. Black tea contains less due to its additional processing.
Green tea has been found to protect against a wide variety of cancers, including leukemia, lung, breast and prostate cancers. Asian men have a low incidence of prostate cancer in their native countries; but when living in the West, their cancer rates rise. Initially scientists blamed this on the bad Western diet (red meat, saturated fat, etc.), but eventually they began to suspect that it wasn’t what had been added to the men’s diet, but rather what had been omitted that was most significant. Chinese men drink large amounts of green tea in their native diets. Its importance to them is summed up in this Chinese proverb: “Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one.”
Green tea may help boost metabolism. Swiss research indicates that three cups per day can stimulate metabolism enough to spur fat oxidation. Other researchers have noted that black and green tea drinkers have better hip to waist ratios. Among other green tea benefits are lowered blood pressure, increased immunity and improved dental health.
2 AnswersStacy Wiegman, PharmD , Pharmacy, answeredPronyl-lysine is a substance that forms in the crust of bread as it bakes. Pronyl-lysine is thought to be an antioxidant; antioxidants neutralize free radicals, substances that damage healthy cells through a process called oxidation. Oxidation is thought to be a factor in the development of cancer and other health problems.
Animal studies suggest that pronyl-lysine may lower the risk of colon cancer, but more research is needed to confirm this benefit. Whole-grain bread seems to have a higher concentration of pronyl-lysine in its crust than does white bread.
1 AnswerMediGuard answeredBefore adding any medication or herbal supplement to your medication regimen, you should discuss it with your physician. He or she has your complete medical history and can best recommend for or against the additional supplementation. The US FDA does not regulate herbal supplements, so controlled studies have not been done to establish safety or effectiveness in many of them. There are no reported drug interactions between hesperadin and prescription medications in our drug interaction database. However, the use of hesperadin with prescription drugs is not well studied and it is unknown if hesperadin affects any prescription medications. With that said, there are reports of low blood pressure while taking hesperadin. Since you are already taking prescription medication to lower your blood pressure, using hesperadin may put you at risk of lowering your blood pressure too much which could cause dizziness, fainting, and heart problems. Please talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
2 AnswersChris Kilham , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
1 AnswerBen Kaminsky , Dermatology, answeredAnthocyanins (from two Greek words meaning “plant” and “blue”) are the universal, water-soluble colorants responsible for the red, purple and blue hues in many fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
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1 AnswerDr. Grant Cooper, MD , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answeredVegetables have antioxidant power, particularly artichoke hearts and leafy greens. Artichoke hearts are excellent, as is spinach, which appears to have an especially high bioavailability and may be one of the more powerful sources of antioxidants. Other vegetables containing a large amount of antioxidants include Brussels sprouts, kale, asparagus, onions, red cabbage, broccoli, and eggplant. Beans, red beans in particular, are also excellent sources of antioxidants. In fact, there are twice as many antioxidants in a cup of small red beans as there are in a cup of wild blueberries.