supplement


Delicious sources of antioxidants for healthy summer eating

Forget the hype about single antioxidants, like vitamin E or beta carotene. They’ve never lived up to the promise that they can halt heart disease, cure cancer, eradicate eye disease, or prevent Alzheimer’s.

But that doesn’t mean antioxidants aren’t important to your health. The notion that antioxidants are good for you comes from studies showing that people who eat foods rich in a variety of antioxidants have better long-term health. Trials of single supplements, usually taken in pill form, have yielded disappointing results.

Antioxidants stabilize harmful by-products of the body’s energy-making machinery. These by-products, 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 know the antioxidant content of various foods.

An international team of researchers did just that for more than a thousand foods that Americans commonly eat. Topping the list for antioxidant content were blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries, and ground cloves (see “Antioxidant-rich foods”).

Antioxidant-rich foods

Here are the three dozen foods with the highest per-serving content of antioxidants.

Product

Antioxidants (mmol/serving)

Blackberries

5.746

Walnuts

3.721

Strawberries

3.584

Artichokes, prepared

3.559

Cranberries

3.125

Coffee

2.959

Raspberries

2.870

Pecans

2.741

Blueberries

2.680

Cloves, ground

2.637

Grape juice

2.557

Chocolate, baking, unsweetened

2.516

Cranberry juice

2.474

Cherries, sour

2.205

Wine, red

2.199

Power Bar, chocolate flavor

1.875

Pineapple juice

1.859

Guava nectar

1.858

Juice drinks, 10% juice, blueberry or strawberry flavor, vitamin C enriched

1.821

Cranapple juice

1.790

Prunes

1.715

Chocolate, dark, sugar-free

1.675

Cabbage, red, cooked

1.614

Orange juice

1.510

Apple juice, with added vitamin C

1.462

Mango nectar

1.281

Pineapples

1.276

Oranges

1.261

Bran Flakes breakfast cereal

1.244

Plums, black

1.205

Pinto beans, dried

1.137

Canned chili with meat and beans

1.049

Canned chili with meat, no beans

1.045

Spinach, frozen

1.040

Whole Grain Total breakfast cereal

1.024

Chocolate, sugar-free

1.001

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006

Cooking appears to increase the antioxidant potential of most foods, with the exception of grains such as rice, pasta, and corn grits, which show lower levels after cooking.

The researchers were careful not to claim that eating foods at the top of the list will keep you healthy. 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.

For more information on antioxidant-rich foods, order our Special Health Report, The Benefits and Risks of Vitamins and Minerals, at www.health.harvard.edu/VM.

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Healthy tea boost
– Mar 15, 2007
The Business Times

WITH so many varieties of teas out on the market today, here’s a guide to some TCM-inspired ones said to have medicinal values that are especially beneficial for women. Five-flower tea
COMPRISING five different types of medicinal flowers – honeysuckle, frangipani, chrysanthemum, cotton and pagoda tree – this tea helps the body to detoxify and reduce inflammation. In TCM, any condition that shows redness, pain and swelling is a symptom of excess heat. This tea removes excess heat and helps to alleviate conditions like painful acne and skin eruptions.
American wild ginseng tea
AMERICAN ginseng helps rejuvenate the body and boost physical and vital energy. It reduces heat in the body and relieves stress and stress-related problems such as insomnia. It is especially ideal for the modern working woman.
Chinese rose tea
CHINESE rose tea is said to be able to stimulate appetite, ease abdominal cramps and relieve menstrual pains.

Rooibos tea
ROOIBOS tea is caffeine-free and rich in minerals and anti-oxidants. This tea is suitable for the young and the elderly and can be drunk hot or cold. It is a good source of supplements.

Mini Tuo Tea
TUO tea or tuocha is prepared from Yunnan’s superior green tea. It is known to help eliminate fats, reduce weight, stimulate metabolism, and regulate the level of cholesterol in the body.

Green tea
USED as a medicine in China for thousands of years, green tea lowers total cholesterol levels as well as improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. What’s more, clinical tests have shown that green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

Source : http://health.asiaone.com.sg/alternativemedicine/20070315_002.html