Features

July 2013 Issue

Beyond the Antioxidant Buzz

Antioxidants are all the rage. Yet the health properties of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, go beyond mere antioxidant status.

Antioxidants are all the rage. Yet the health properties of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, go beyond mere antioxidant status. The buzzword today is “antioxidants.” You can find the term plastered on food labels and dietary supplements, all over the media, and even in smart phone apps, which can help you identify the antioxidant values of hundreds of foods as you shop. While surveys show that most people recognize “antioxidants” as a good thing, most do not fully understand how they work. And, ironically, scientists are in the same boat—they simply do not know enough about how these plant compounds work in the human body. In fact, the benefits of eating whole plant foods—rich in thousands of different compounds and nutrients—may be due to many factors beyond antioxidants.

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