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An Apple Plus a Brazil Nut a Day Keeps the Doctors Away: Antioxidant Capacity of Foods and their Health Benefits

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Antioxidant-rich foods scavenge free radicals and other reactive species, decreasing the risk of different non-communicable chronic diseases. The objective of this study was to review the content of total antioxidant capacity of commonly foods comparing with experimental data and to explore the health benefits due to foods with moderate to high TAC. The TAC was analytically measured using the "Total Antioxidant Capacity" (NX2332) test from Randox® (UK) by spectrometry at 600 nm. Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), “guaraná” (Paullinia cupana Kunth) powder, ready to drink boiled coffee (Coffea arabica L.), and milk chocolate (made from seeds of Theobroma cacao) had the highest TAC values, followed by collard greens (Brassica oleracea L.), beets (Beta vulgaris L.), apples (Malus domestica Borkh.), bananas (Musa paradisiaca), common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), oranges (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck), onions (Allium cepa L.), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Other foods also showed antioxidant capacity. The binomial antioxidant capacity of foods and health was extensively discussed according to science literature. Based on the high TAC content of Brazil nuts, guaraná, coffee, chocolate, collard greens, apples, beets, beans, oranges, onions and other foods, their regular dietary intake is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases.

Keywords: Antioxidant capacity; cancer; cardiovascular diseases; cerebrovascular diseases

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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