Antioxidants work at different speeds!

12 October 2017  |  Editor

Antioxidants work at different speeds!

We are keen to encourage people to eat a ‘rainbow’ of different coloured fruits and vegetables each and every day because of the vast array of antioxidant compounds contained within the varying colours of produce.

Antioxidants are needed through eye care to anti-ageing

These antioxidants range from carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin found in yellow and green veggies which offer protection to the macula in the eye, to flavonoids like quercetin in onions and apples with their anti-histamine effects and polyphenols in green tea which offer anti-ageing benefits.

Minerals like zinc citrate and selenium also offer antioxidant benefits, protecting cells against toxin and free radical damage and enabling enzymes to work properly.

Multi-speed lettuce?

Recent research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown how antioxidant compounds in lettuce leaves work at different speeds in the body, offering cellular protection over various timescales.

The researchers used electron paramagnetic resonance to watch the kinetic actions of antioxidant compounds in 3 types of lettuce leaves – the red coloured ‘Oak leaf’, the green and red ‘Marvel of four seasons’ and the green ‘Batavia’.  They observed how the Batavia variety contained slow and intermediate paced antioxidants, whilst ‘Marvel of four seasons’ had fast, intermediate and slow moving compounds and the red leaved type and rapid and intermediate.

Studies like this highlight the importance of including a range of foods in the diet to provide antioxidants of all speeds and actions.  During times of stress or illness when our bodies require more antioxidant protection it can be helpful supplement with a broad spectrum antioxidant formula.