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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is a good source of antioxidants?

    Related Topic
    How can I add antioxidants to my diet?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Without over complicating it and focusing on specific “superfoods” as a source of antioxidants, I like to encourage my patients to consume a varied diet based on plenty of brightly colour fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and oily fish where much of the antioxidants are found. As Vicky mentioned above, antioxidants are found in all the foods she has listed. If you want to make sure you are getting enough, go for 2 fruit and at least 5 serves of vegetables everyday (make sure to mix up the colours, at least 3 in each meal), include a handful (around 20-30g) of your favourite mixed nuts (unsalted of course) each day (for vitamin E) and include oily fish (salmon or tuna) in your diet twice a week (for the omega-3's).

    I feel that in today's society there is so much emphasis on “superfoods” that many Australians are forgetting that by consuming a well-balanced vaired diet incorportating all food groups, you can still achieve the recommended amounts of nutrients needed for good health. Focusing on one particular food for a specific antioxiant will mean you will be missing out on other important nutrients needed for optimal health and vitality.

    For more expert advice consult an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). You can log onto www.daa.asn.au to find an APD near you

  • Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    Research supports that a diet high in antioxidants and phytochemicals (which also act as antioxidants) can help prevent many chronic diseases, especially cardiovasular disease as they neutralise free radicals that cause oxidation (damaging out body).

    As Chris has nicely summed it up - without over complicating your lifestyle to incorporate antioxidants into your diet try to consume a varied diet based on brightly coloured fruits and vegetables.

    The colour of the fruit or vegetable does provide a guide as to what kind of antioxidant is actually present in the food - but generally, the more colourful the more antioxidants that will generally be found.
    - red, orange, yellow and dark green often indicate the presence of the antioxidants lycopene, beta-carotene and related carotenoids
    - blues, purples, blacks and some reds often indicate the presence of anthocyanins (a class of flavanoids)

    For adults - aim for:
    1) At least 5 serves of vegetables everyday where:
    1 serve = 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or 1 cup of salad

    Eg. make up a salad of 2 cups consisting of baby spinach leaves (dark green), tomato (red), red onion (purple and white), cucumber (green), beetroot (purple) and a tinned fish (omega-3s).

    2) 2 serves of fruit everyday where:
    1 serve = 1 cup of diced fruit, 1 medium sized piece of fruit (eg. banana or apple), 2 Kiwi Fruit, 8 strawberries, 20 small grapes etc etc

    Eg. trade in your muesli bar as a snack for a punnet of fresh strawberries (red).


    Samantha Ling
    Rostant Nutrition
    (Find us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/RostantNutrition )

  • Denise Burbidge

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Denise is an Accredited Practising Dietitian working in private practice in Melbourne, and consulting to aged care facilities throughout Victoria. Denise has a particular interest … View Profile

    Antioxidants are designed to help prevent things like cancers and premature aging by helping to protect our DNA and prevent free radical damage. The food sources we find are some of our basic healthy foods. These foods can be the ones that sometimes get labeled as ‘super foods’, which can become a bit misleading.
    Common sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables, in particular yellow and red vegetables, such as carrots and leafy green vegetables. Some of the fruits that you might commonly hear about would be berries, citrus fruits, watermelon, grapes, and apples. Other products will include soy products and legumes; things like soy milk for example, seeds such as flax seeds and sesame and beverages such as wine- in particular red wine with the antioxidant coming from the grapes, green and black teas as well.

    For most people we find if you are including whole grain carbohydrates, 2 fruits and 5 veggies in your diet on a daily basis, then you will receive enough antioxidants. Some people who would benefit from an antioxidant supplements include athletes, people who smoke, or those who do not consume sufficient fruits and vegetables.

    www.thefoodclinic.com.au

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    In general I agree with what the clinical health professionals have written - eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is a good idea.

    However, I disagree with one thing that Denise wrote:

    “Some people who would benefit from **antioxidant supplements** include athletes, people who smoke, or those who do not consume sufficient fruits and vegetables”.

    The emphasis is mine.

    A Cochrane meta-analysis of 78 clinical trials with 
    296707 subjects concluded that antioxidant supplements are of no benefit and may have adverse mortality/morbidity outcomes.

    One-line summary: don't use antioxidant supplements.

    Source: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD007176/antioxidant-supplements-for-prevention-of-mortality-in-healthy-participants-and-patients-with-various-diseases=14px

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