Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Antioxidants and Cancer


antioxidantsNature didn’t make us helpless in the fight against the big C word. We are helped by antioxidant, a big word in our fight against cancer.

What exactly is an antioxidant? Oxidation happens in nature in the form of rust forming on the iron. In human body when we process food for energy oxidation happens as a result of which free radicals form. Free radicals are incomplete electron shells, highly reactive in nature and are always hungry for an extra electron. Desperate for that missing electron they steal it from the stable healthy cells and in that process damage its DNA too. This can be the starting point for cancer. Other than processing food for energy, smoking, pollution in the environment, radiation are other factors that speed up the build up of free radicals.

Enter antioxidants which have the ability to neutralize free radicals. Antioxidants do no treat or cure cancer, but they do help in in preventing cancer. Cancer is a condition where the bad cells start imitating the good cells and convert them into bad cells. Again forming malignant tumors throughout the body. There are several different types of cancer and almost all the organs in the body are susceptible to cancer.
The biggest and the best property of an antioxidant is that it immediately starts neutralizing the damage caused to the cells with the help of its phytochemcials. This property helps to avoid cancer to a large extent. Also, anti oxidants immediately remove all the free radicals in the body so that they do not remain there and develop into cancer a few months later. Several habits like alcohol and smoking can create free radicals in the body.
There are so many types of foods that are rich in anti oxidants like citrus fruits, avocados, broccoli, sprouts, carrots, figs, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and several more. Almost every kind of vegetable or fruit has some level of anti oxidant present in them. By consuming fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, one can easily avoid harmful and fatal diseases like cancer.
The most common antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A and beta carotene.

What’s the antioxidant content in these?

ORAC– Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities of different foods. Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture developed it.

Antioxidants per 100 gms, in descending order
o Dark Chocolate – ORAC 13,120
o Milk Chocolate – ORAC 6,740
o Prunes – 5,770
o Raisins – 2,830
o Blueberries- 2,400
o Blackberries- 2,036
o Kale -1,770
o Strawberries – 1,540
o Spinach 1,290
o Raspberries – 1,220
o Brussels Sprouts – 980
o Plums – 949
o Alfalfa Sprouts- 930
o Broccoli Florets- 890
o Beets- 840
o Oranges – 750
o Red Bell Peppers – 710
o Red Grapes – 739
o Cherries – 670
o Onion – 450
o Corn – 400
o Eggplant – 390


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Category: Defeat Cancer
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