Single antioxidants, like Vitamin E or beta carotene, have never lived up to hype that they halt heart disease, cure cancer, eradicate eye disease or prevent Alzheimer's disease.
That shouldn't be suprising. The notion that antioxidants are good for you comes from studies showing that people who eat food rich in antioxidants have better long-term health. Trials, of single supplements, usually taken in pill form, have yeilded disappointing result.
Antioxidants stabilise harmful by products of the body's energy-making machinery. These by product, known as free radicals, can damage DNA, make LDL (bad cholesterol) even worse, and wreak havoc elsewhere in the body.
It's possible that single antioxidants haven't panned out because it takes a network of antioxidants - like those that exist in foods, to neutralize free radicals. If that's the case, then it would be helpful to determine the antioxidant of various foods.
An international team of researchers, did just that for more than a 1 000 foods. Topping the list were, blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries and ground cloves.
The researchers were careful not to claim that eating the top of the list will keep you healty. Instead, they believe that rating the antioxidant potential of different foods could help test whether antioxidants really do prevent disease.
In the meantime, the list toppers are healthy foods, so don't hesitate to dig in.
Source from : Havard Heart Letter/Premium Health News Service