The term “antioxidant” is used for biochemicals found in foods and body tissue which are said to have beneficial health effects. An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions.
It’s important to note that antioxidant dietary supplements do not improve health nor are they effective in preventing diseases. This includes supplements of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E having no effect on mortality rate or cancer risk. Supplementation with selenium or vitamin E does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The effect of antioxidants was only associated with obtaining them from foods, not supplements.
Make Your Superpower Antioxidant Mix
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 1.5oz of nuts per day for an adult (or 42 grams, or roughly 1/3 cup, or a small handful). This Superpower Antioxidant Mix contains 3 different kinds of nuts totalling 300g of nuts (7-day supply) – 300g : 7 days = 43g/day; sundried tomatoes and goji berries
- Almonds – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 14g or 0.5oz per day (8 shelled nuts)
- Cashews – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 14g or 0.5oz per day (5 nuts)
- Brazil Nuts – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 3-4 nuts per day (1 Brazil nut = 5g)
- Sundried Tomatoes – 454g (1lb) – 7-day supply, 70g per day (2.5oz)
- Goji Berries – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 1 tablespoon (or 14g, or 0.5oz) per day
See what nutrients this Superpower Antioxidant Mix is good for:
Percent Daily Value (%DV) per 30g (or about 1 ounce)
- Vitamin A: Provitamin A (beta-carotene) is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It takes part in many metabolic reactions throughout the body that help maintain good vision, gene transcription, embryonic development and reproduction, bone metabolism, skin and cellular health, and mucous membrane conditions. Vitamin A is important for strengthening the immune system because it functions as antioxidant. Many studies indicate that vitamin A has been linked to reduced rates of cancer and heart disease. Vitamin A deficiency is “the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness,” according to UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund). Goji berries are not rich in provitamin A; they are superrich, having 536% of its Daily Value.
- Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
- Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that acts as a free radical scavenger. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals. It has significant anti-inflammatory effects that result in the reduction of symptoms in asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, help decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women going through menopause, and help reduce the development of diabetic complications. Vitamin E can potentially reduce the risk of colon and breast cancers, strengthens immune system, helps prevent mental decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Selenium is a core-component of the antioxidant enzymes that activate many processes of free radicals fighting. It reduces the risk of certain cancers, increases testosterone and sperm production, libido and sperm motility. Ahsan U, Kamran Z, Raza I, et al. in the paper “Role of selenium in male reproduction – a review” (2014) has shown that selenium and various selenoproteins improve male reproductive performance and protect against oxidative damage to spermatozoa. It’s important to note that this effect was only associated with selenium obtained from foods, not supplements. Deviation from the optimal content of dietary selenium, both above or below may cause multiple health abnormalities.
Science-based health benefits of foods included in this mix
- Vitamin E: Almonds have phenomenal contents of vitamin E – 26mg/100g, 175%DV or 9mg/oz, 58%DV!
- Selenium: Brazil nuts are the richest dietary source of selenium – a one-ounce serving of 6 nuts supplies 774%DV! Due to this fact, Brazil nuts are great for thyroid gland health and the thyroid hormones production; may reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast, lung, colon and prostate cancers; increase testosterone production and libido, improve male reproductive performance, and protect against oxidative damage to spermatozoa; reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (also thanks to the high content of vitamin E); increase serotonin, a hormone of happiness,
- Vitamin E: 9mg/oz, 58%DV!
- Super rich in vitamin C – 102mg (169% DV) – as rich in vitamin C as oranges!
- Excellent in vitamin A – 38% DV
Useful Tip: Eating sundried tomatoes with healthy fats increases the absorption rate of provitamin A because it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Dried Goji Berries
- Mega-super rich in vitamin A – 536% DV – a powerful antioxidant, immunity booster, eye-health promoter, and anti-aging agent; goji berries are not rich in provitamin A, they are superrich – comparable with beef liver and more than chicken liver!
- Excellent in vitamin C – 48mg (81% DV) – a powerful antioxidant, immunity booster, and anti-aging agent
Useful Tip: Eating dried goji berries with healthy fats increases the absorption rate of provitamin A.
**Values and percentages are approximate based on the USDA Nutrient Database
**Percent Daily Value (%DV) is a guide to the nutrients in one serving of food. For example, 40% for protein means that one serving provides 40% of the protein you need each day. It helps you make informed food choices. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults.