Antioxidants are compounds found in plant-based foods that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules that can damage cells — and may play a role in preventing heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
Health benefits Antioxidant substances include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium and vitamins A, C and E. These compounds found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is recommended to gain maximum benefits from antioxidants. Canada’s Food Guide offers guidelines for eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants.
Food or supplements? Research shows eating foods that contain antioxidants is more effective than taking supplements. Before taking antioxidant vitamin supplements, consult with a doctor.
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