Dr Oz: How Do You Know If You Are Getting Enough Antioxidants?

How do we know we are getting enough antioxidants?Dr. Mehmet Oz in his concern that we understand the importance of eating healthy and cancer prevention, featured a segment in which he had his studio audience on The Dr. Oz Show tested for carotenoids levels in their skin.  As he explained, carotenoids are an important group of antioxidants by which regular dietary consumption may help prevent cancer and other diseases.  They are considered anti-angiogenic which means they starve cancer cells.  As the audience may represent a general cross section of Americans, how did we do?  Is it possible that perhaps diet may be the cause of the health crisis in America today?

Using a revolutionary non-invasive device such as  The BioPhotonic Scanner, on a scale of 10,000 being the worst to 50,000+ , here are the results:

  • 50,000 or more –    Dr. Oz was 75,000!
  • 40,000 to 49,000 – only 6% was this level and above
  • 30,000 to 39,000
  • 20,000 to 29,000 – 23,000 was the audience’s average
  • 10,000 to 19,000 –  40% was in this category!

Dr. Oz says that numbers like this show that Americans on average only eat about 2 to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and our risks of life threatening and/or life ending cancers are dramatically increased which is indicative of today’s health crisis.

So how do we know we are getting enough antioxidants to protect ourselves and our families from sickness and disease without the use of a revolutionary device?

Dr. Oz’s guest colleague Dr. William Li, MD and Cancer Researcher says you can get antioxidants in a pill form but the best way is in the foods that we eat. Scientists who conducted a major study of antioxidant activity published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry agree and said…

 “Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been considered as excellent sources of antioxidants. Vitamin C and E, polyphenols and carotenoids have been thought to be responsible for most of the antioxidant activity in foods. However, clinical trials using supplements of vitamin C, E, or carotenoids have provided inconsistent results. In terms of disease prevention, clinical trials with whole fruits and vegetables are more likely to give positive results…..”

Dr. Oz has recommended eating three to five servings of vegetables and two to four servings of fruit each day.  Let’s say I intend to eat the following menu tomorrow. Will I have enough antioxidants?

  • Breakfast. One cup plain low-fat yogurt, 3/4 cup blueberries, 1.5 oz walnuts, 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • Lunch. chicken breast, 4.2 oz spinach and 4.2 oz tomato salad, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Snack. 1.5 oz cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz Tortilla Chips plain
  • Dinner. 4.6 oz black beans,  4.2 oz  steamed broccoli, 4.2 oz steamed carrots, 1 tbsp olive oil.

You may want to use a free online nutrient calculator such as The RightTrak.com. The RightTrak.com has an Antioxidant Listing of Foods  and will also calculate your Recommended Daily Allowances(RDA) for over 30 nutrients while it is calculating your BMI. 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.

Spend some time on The RightTrak.com and do several food searches. You will quickly learn and understand what favorite foods are giving you the most “Nutrient Bang for Your Buck!   In this case….

1. The RightTrak shows that I have ample Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Betacarotene and Lutein. Those figures are “green”.
2. I seem to be short on Vitamin E and Lycopene. Those figures are in “red”.
If I remove the raw tomato and add salsa, a processed tomato product, I see that now I have met and exceeded my daily lycopene requirement.
*Note-the best sources of lycopene are cooked or processed tomato products and sauces. Cooking breaks down the tomato cell walls making the lycopene easier to absorb.
3. In The RightTrak, you can do a Nutrient Search for Vitamin K. You will see that if you add a serving of sauteed sweet red peppers, you will meet your antioxidant requirement for the day with 6 servings of fruits and vegetables.
You can also click to see if your list of foods meets your needs for calories, fiber, protein, omega fatty acids, B Vitamins, minerals etc.

TheRightTrak uses data the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, where they have analyzed more than 100 nutrients in over 7500 foods. It also

TheRightTrak.com - Nutrient Calculator

Resources:
The RightTrak – Nutrient Calculator
Dr Oz Show

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods in the United States.

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