Antioxidants are natural compounds found in plant foods including fruit and vegetables (and their juices), cocoa and chocolate, tea, coffee, red wine, grains and legumes (such as soy).
They can help protect the body from free radical damage. Think of antioxidants as one of the body’s defence mechanisms – protection against life’s ‘stresses’.
There are many different types of antioxidants. These include vitamins A, C and E, and the plant antioxidants; polyphenols (flavonoids and isoflavones), and carotenoids. Our body can also produce its own antioxidants from amino acids and minerals such as selenium and zinc.
Getting a variety of antioxidants from different sources is recommended. Try to include different types and colours of fruits and vegetables, (cooked or raw), each day from dark green leafy vegetables, to orange and yellow vegetables, through to citrus fruits, apples, pears and stone fruits. Fruit and vegetable juices can be an excellent source of antioxidants, as is soymilk.