Rather than living on a diet overloaded with antioxidants and vitamins, it seems more socially useful to find an economically realistic way of optimising the presence of antioxidants and vitamins in the blood of all people (optimum nutrition and poverty). This raises several questions that might need further research.
1. How much of a quality fruit/veg do you need for healthy levels of a) antioxidants; b) vitamins; c) minerals in your blood?
2. How long do the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants remain in your blood before they need boosting?
3. Food for free or to grow yourself. The best berry that grows in the UK for antioxidants is the blackberry. Few people seem to bother to pick them nowadays, but they are top of the league for antioxidants, and freeze very easily, without losing nutrition or texture. The non-advertised apple has many health benefits - most people know it contains vitamin C, but there are many other nutrients in apples:
Eat your apple peel video
1. The human body manufactures antioxidants, but not enough to completely protect us from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Examples of antioxidants:Vitamins: vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene.
Trace elements that are components of antioxidant enzymes, such as selenium, copper, zinc and manganese. Non-nutrients such as ubiquinone (coenzyme Q) and phenolic compounds, such as phytoestrogens, flavonoids, phenolic acids and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), which is used as a food preservative.
Tomatoes contain a pigment called lycopene that is responsible for their red colour but is also a powerful antioxidant.
Tomatoes in all their forms (especially cooked) are a major source of lycopene, including tomato products like canned tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato juice and even ketchup.
Oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes possess many natural substances that appear to be important in disease protection, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, terpenes, limonoids and coumarins.
Together these phytochemicals act more powerfully than if they were given separately.
If we avoid the cranky and self-serving deluge of 'information' on the internet about diet and supplements, we are left with probably the best general advice: In the UK, the NHS
Fat-soluble vitaminsFat-soluble vitamins are found mainly in fatty foods such as animal fats, including butter and lard, vegetable oils, dairy foods, liver and oily fish.
While your body needs these vitamins every day to work properly, you do not need to eat foods containing them every day.
This is because your body stores these vitamins in your liver and fatty tissues for future use. These stores can build up so they are there when you need them. However, if you have much more than you need, fat-soluble vitamins can be harmful.
Fat-soluble vitamins are: vitamin A vitamin D vitamin E vitamin K
Water-soluble vitaminsWater-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so you need to have them more frequently.
Water-soluble vitamins are found in fruit, vegetables and grains. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they can be destroyed by heat or by being exposed to the air. They can also be lost in water used for cooking.
This means that by cooking foods, especially boiling them, we lose many of these vitamins. "The best way to keep as many of the water-soluble vitamins as possible is to steam or grill foods, rather than boil them."
Added by yours truly:
The advice to steam or grill is useful for avoiding the loss of water soluble nutrients, but using the cooking water in white sauce, gravy or cooking with rice (that absorbs the water) are at least as effective, possibly better.
Grilling hardens fats due to the high temperature; steaming meat, skimming off the fat (when it has cooled) and keeping the stock preserves all minerals and vitamins without hardening the fats.
Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C, the B vitamins and folic acid.
The Truth about Vitamins video
Millions of people take vitamins everyday convinced of their power to help hem stay healthy. However, being in the habit of taking large doses of vitamins can cause different consequences.
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