Antioxidants in food – natural protection

What are antioxidants? 

Antioxidants (or antioxidants) are designed to fight free oxygen radicals. Free radicals are a very active form of oxygen that often reacts with the cell’s DNA causing damage to it. As a result, the body is aging faster and is exposed to the development of civilization diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis or type II diabetes. 

Free radicals are created in food as a result of, for example, frying, smoking, long storage. They can also form in the human body under the influence of stress, smog or UV radiation. 


Here you can find antioxidants – CLICK


The strongest antioxidants are hidden in the human body and are some of them enzymes. However, in the modern world, internal protection is often not enough, so it is worth completing it by introducing sources of natural food antioxidants into the diet. 

Antioxidants in food 

Natural antioxidants for foods can be vitamins, minerals, dyes and other compounds found primarily in products of plant origin. Antioxidants fight excess free radicals, which is the cause of oxidative stress. This phenomenon is conducive to cancer, inflammation and aging. 

It has been proven that some antioxidants from foods (eg flavonoids) can inhibit the sticking of platelets, which leads to the formation of so-called atherosclerotic plaque. 

You can include natural antioxidants from food 

vitamin C (pepper, parsley, currant, citrus), 

Vitamin E (sunflower oil, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ), 

vitamin A (egg yolk, milk, tuna), 

selenium (Brazil nuts, legumes, herrings), 

manganese (bran, wheat germ, walnuts, dried plums). 

The strong antioxidants are also compounds that give intense color to vegetables and fruits. It is a form of protection against sun rays and insects. The dyes that are antioxidants include, among others 

polyphenols (including, above all, flavonoids – blueberry, blackcurrant, chokeberry, red wine), 

chlorophyll (green leafy vegetables), 

beta-carotene (apricots, carrots), 

lycopene (tomatoes, watermelon). 

Other compounds with antioxidant features are 

glutathione (avocado, asparagus, broccoli), 

catechins (green tea). 

If you want to increase the antioxidant capacity of your body, eat more vegetables and fruit. Take advantage of seasonal ones, but in the autumn and winter, frozen foods will perform equally well. Cooking slightly affects the content of antioxidants, and in some cases even improves their absorption. This happens with lycopene, which is better absorbed from tomato sauce than from raw tomatoes. Strong antioxidants are also found in legumes available throughout the year. 

Fresh herbs and spices

Not only that they smell insanely and create a taste of dishes, they are also a source of important antioxidants. According to the ORAC index, which assesses the antioxidant capacity of foods, the strongest natural antioxidants are fresh herbs and spices. 

Dietary supplements with antioxidants? 

It turns out that when antioxidants are isolated from food, they can lose their positive properties. Studies have shown that in some cases, antioxidants from dietary supplements can even work to the detriment of others. 

One of the famous studies showed that beta-carotene administered as a single compound instead of reducing the risk of cancer in smokers significantly increased it! 

Therefore, remember to focus primarily on natural sources of antioxidants! 

TOP 10 natural antioxidants 

See which products have the most natural antioxidants! 



Dried oregano 







Pecan nuts 


You can read also: Antioxidants and training adaptation


Chili pepper can reduce the risk of death?

Spices and herbs, due to their diversity, have been used for centuries to prepare meals to give them a unique flavor, aroma or color. They gained fame, not only because of their technological properties, but also because of their healing effects on the body. Even Hippocrates and Galen believed that the use of spices and herbs could restore the body’s balance.

Many researchers have proven the benefits of spices and bioactive compounds found in them. In the previous works on the properties of spicy spices, in particular chilli pepper, its effect has been presented – the increase of lipid catabolism in various organs and tissues, reduced risk of obesity or hypercholesterolemia, and consequently a possible effect on the reduction of hypertension, type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, as well as metabolic syndrome. Antimicrobial activity of selected spices and herbs was also checked based on the ability to modify the intestinal microflora.

A prospective cohort study that took place in China, presented a reverse relationship between the consumption of spicy spices, including chili peppers and mortality due to cancers, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases.

Mustafa Chopan and Benjamin Litenberg in their work published this year in “PLOSone. TENTH ANNIVERSARY “, based on population data of Americans from NHANES III (Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), presented a different view on the valuable properties of chilli pepper. The study group had nearly 16 thousand. adult participants.

They proved that the consumption of hot chili pepper was associated with a reduction in the risk of death by about 13% – in particular because of heart disease and stroke.

The mechanism by which chili pepper can reduce the risk of death is not fully understood. It is believed that Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) is one of the primary receptors for compounds derived from acute substances such as capsaicin. Type 1 TRP activation is likely to stimulate cellular mechanisms associated with obesity, by altering the mediators of lipid catabolism and thermogenesis. As it is known, the prevention of obesity leads to a reduction in the risk of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, motor system, etc. Capsicin can additionally protect against cardiovascular diseases by modulating the TRP receptor mediating the coronary flow.

In addition to the unique properties of capsaicin in chili peppers, it also contains many other valuable nutrients, in particular B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A. provitamin.

Warning! However, it should be remembered that compounds contained in sharp spices may irritate the mucous membrane of the stomach, which may affect the exacerbation of gastric ulcer symptoms. In the above case, you should use an easily digestible diet with limitation or even exclusion of such spices.

To sum up, unless we suffer from ulcers and our state of health, it allows us to introduce a bit of spiciness to our body so that we use the precious ingredients contained in inconspicuous chili. Especially that, as it turns out, a pinch of sweetness can provide us with longevity, and who would not want to live forever;)