Antioxidants are both in food and produced within the body. The most known antioxidant nutrients are:

q       Vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene (the yellow, orange, and red pigment found mainly in fruit and vegetables). Beta carotene is a pro-vitamin which means it is turned into vitamin A in the body

q       Vitamin C found in fruit and vegetables. The best source is citrus fruit

q       Vitamin E found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and products made from them

q       Selenium, zinco, copper, and manganese

q       Folate, flavonoids, phitates, phytoestrogens, plant phenols and indoles

Beta carotene, other carotenes and vitamin C are found in combination in most orange fruit and dark green vegetables (the colour is masked by the stronger green chlorophyll colouring).

The antioxidants produced in the human body are:

q       Antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and SOD (superoxide dismutase). They are made from minerals such as selenium, copper, manganese and zinco

q       Antioxidant coenzymes such as NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), coenzyme Q10, and alpha-lipolic acid

q       Caffeic and ferrulic acid

q       Uric acid

Dietary antioxidants may play a role in the prevention of cancer and coronary artery disease by inhibiting free radical-induced lipid peroxidation.

Good sources of antioxidants nutrients


Yellow and orange fruits: carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, melons, apricots, mangoes, peaches, pumpkin, prunes, watercress

Vitamin C

Fruit and vegetables: citrus fruit, blackcurrants, kiwi, strawberries, gooseberries, green leafy vegetables, peppers, potatoes, swede, parsnips

Vitamin A

Liver, kidney, dairy products, oily fish, fortified margarine

Vitamin E

Vegetable oils: sunfluwer seed oils, almonds, hazelnuts, brazils, wholegrain breackfast cereal, wholemeal bread, dark green vegetables, wheatgerm. Fruit and vegetables are not very good sources, but the best are: apples, bananas, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, paes, spinach, blackcurrants, tomatoes, lettuce


Meat, milk and milk products, bread, ceral, cereal products


Wholegrain cereals,, nuts, tea


Cereals, fish, liver, pork, cheese, eggs, walnuts, brazil nuts


Wholegrain cereals, meat, vegetables



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