The Dr. Oz Show has featured what Dr. Oz called his “three most important cancer fighting All Star Antioxidants”. He said antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can be our body’s weapon against cancer. Together with guest, Dr. William Li, MD Cancer Researcher, President of The Angiogenesis Foundation, they explained “what are antioxidants and why are they good for you?”
Dr. Li says antioxidants are natural protective molecules that mother nature has laced into a large number of foods that protect our DNA in our healthy cells from damage. That damage involves the formation of chemicals called Free Radicals, toxic byproducts of cell metabolism. Many antioxidants stop the free radicals from forming, thus stopping damage to our cells and reducing our risk of developing cancer. Many have anti-angiogenic properties which mean they can starve cancers by preventing the blood vessels which feed cancer tumors. No blood vessel, no cancer!
Dr. Oz had once explained that if you cut an apple in half it will turn brown because of the oxidation in the air. That browning represents the damage that goes on in our bodies through our oxidation processes. But if you dip the cut apple in orange juice, it doesn’t turn brown. The anti-oxidants in the food we eat protects the DNA in our cells like the orange juice protects the apple from browning.
Dr. Oz explained that when DNA reproduces itself it makes a perfect copy. If our DNA is damaged, it makes a perfect copy of our damaged DNA. It continues making copies of the damaged DNA until eventually they develop into rogue cancer cells. The chemical pollutants in our environment such as pesticides, cigarette smoke, and chemicals produced by fried foods, do damage to our DNA and the antioxidants in our foods is what mother nature gave us to help protect our cells from that damage.
Dr. Oz said his top three were carotenoids, isothiocyanates, flavonoids but as Dr. Li said there are literally thousands of different types of antioxidants, several of which have been the subject of many Dr. Oz Show segments. The chart below presents a few.
Without having to remember or pronounce any of the names, take a look at the “Sources” and “Benefits” and you will see why Dr. Oz keeps saying over and over again “eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day and eat a rainbow variety of colors.
The USDA has a list of foods reported to contain the highest amounts of antioxidants. TheRightTrak.com has that list by Food Group and a list by Highest Content.
As a nutrient calculator The RightTrak.com can also calculate your BMI and your Recommended Daily Allowances(RDA) for over 30 nutrients. You can select a variety of foods and The RightTrak will add up the nutrient values of your selected foods such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, beta carotene…and more. The RightTrak will turn Green if those allowances are met or Red if those allowances are not met.
|beta-carotene – red and yellow plants||carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe||stops formation of free radicals which damage cells. May prevent lung and kidney cancer.|
|lycopene – red flesh foods||cooked tomatoes and tomato sauces, red/pink grapefruit, guavas||reduced risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, lung cancer cervical, cancer bladder cancer, cancer and prostate cancer|
|lutein||collards, spinach, kale||promotes healthy vision. helps prevents macular degeneration and cataracts.|
|anthocyanins – purple/red pigmented foods||blueberries, purple grapes, red cabbage, black beans, kidney beans, purple potatoes,||helps cellular antioxidant defenses which contributes to cancer prevention, promotes healthy brain function|
|flavanones – citrus foods||lemons, grapefruit, oranges||neutralize damaging free radicals
aiding in cancer prevention
|flavonols||yellow onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries, teas||neutralize damaging free radicals
aiding in cancer prevention
|Isothiocyanates – cruciferous vegetables. Don’t boil but sautee or steam.||broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, caulifower, kale, Swiss chard, parsley||detoxifies harmful chemicals, intercept and destroy free radicals, reduces risk of ovarian and breast cancers|
|Diallyl sulfide, Allyl methyl trisulfide||onions, scallions, leeks, garlic||helps detoxify body of harmful chemicals. Promotes healthy immune and heart function and aids in cancer prevention.|
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