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antioxidants; Types and Sources


In the previous article, “Natural ways to Heal our body” was discussed where it was mentioned that Antioxidants are very important for prevention of free radical production in the body.

Hope that you have gone through the article, if not I recommend you to read that first for better understanding of this article where types and sources of the antioxidants are described.

Antioxidants are of two types. They are Enzymatic and Non-enzymatic.

Let us discuss them one by one.

To begin with, Enzymatic Antioxidants:

They work by breaking down and removing free radicals. Copper, Zinc, Manganese and

Selenium are enzymatic antioxidants.

Copper: Copper helps our body in the metabolism of fat. Good sources of copper include nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, seafood and dark chocolates.

Moreover, We even get copper from drinking water which flows through copper pipes or water stored in copper containers.

Zinc: Having the right amount of zinc makes us feel better as it also helps us in maintaining our immune system. We get zinc from foods that include legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, seafood, dairy products and eggs.

Manganese: Manganese is an activator of enzymes, involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and cholesterol. Good food sources of manganese are whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and leafy green vegetables.

Selenium: Selenium is needed for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Good food sources of selenium include seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds and grains.

Non-enzymatic Antioxidants:

It terminates free radical chain reactions. They are also called chain breaker antioxidants. They are Vitamin A,C,E, coenzyme Q10, phytochemicals like lycopene in tomatoes and anthocyanin in berries.

Vitamin A: It is a fat soluble vitamin which is an essential component of Rhodopsin.

  1. Retinol: Found in animal based foods like fish, eggs and dairy products.
  2. Beta Carotin: Plant based foods like fruits and vegetables, specially plants that have yellow-orange pigments like carrots contain Beta-carotin.

Vitamin A relies on fats in the diet for proper absorption. People who follow a strict low fat diet put themselves at the risk of this fat soluble vitamin deficiency.

Vitamin C: It is crucial for the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It also supports our immune system.

For example, variety of fruits and vegetables which are taste in sour contain vitamin C.. Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C.

Vitamin E: It is an antioxidant that protects our cell membranes .Vitamin E is capable of donating electrons to the free radicals that calms them down and stops their destruction through our body.

For example, natural food sources such as nuts, seeds and plant oil, leafy green vegetables, spinach (all types of cruciferous vegetables) contain vitamin E.

Coenzyme Q10: It is neither a vitamin, mineral nor amino acids, yet it is vital to our health. This enzyme protect our body from destructive free radicals and enhances our immune system.

For example, Fatty fish, meat, soybeans such as tofu, soy milk and soy yoghurt, vegetables such as broccoli, nuts and seeds contain coenzyme Q10

Important Note: Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity.

To conclude both the articles on this topic, let me summarize them below:

Dietary intake of antioxidants is essential for optimal health but more is not always better. The best strategy is to follow a diet which is rich in various vegetables and fruits, follow healthy habits and lifestyle.

While free radicals and antioxidants are part of our body’s natural and healthy functioning, oxidative stress occurs when free radicals and antioxidants are not in a balanced state.

In addition, Oxidative stress can cause damage to our tissues, which can lead to several diseases over a period of time.

While we can’t completely avoid exposure to free radicals, we can make lifestyle choices regarding diet, exercise and environment to keep our body in balance and prevent damage and diseases.

I hope that these articles have explained the “Natural ways to heal our body” and you find it useful.

If you liked these articles, leave your feedback and share it with your family and friends so that they too can get benefits from it.

Do stay tuned with us for more such interesting updates.

Dr.Hetal Patel


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