David Christopher M.H.

The plant kingdom produces anti-oxidants to counter the oxygen and probable oxidative damage which is created in its production of carbon from CO2. Scientists have observed that people, who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants, are less likely to develop cardio vascular disease and cancer than those eating less of those foods. It has also been noted that Green Tea, which is unprocessed, is extremely high in anti-oxidants where black tea which is the same plant, but processed, is high in hydrogen peroxide which is reactive oxygen.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have shown that one of the causes of heart disease is the free radical oxygen damage to LDLs, lipid and protein substances that deliver fatty acids to cells. Free radical oxygen also plays a role in diseases as diverse as diabetes, dementia and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Even though supplements neutralize free radical oxygen in test tubes it hasn’t translated to usefulness in the body. Unfortunately, supplements of anti-oxidants have proven worthless if not harmful. The best example of this failure is beta-carotene. It was observed in the 1970’s that people who ate a lot of carrots, which are high in beta-carotenes, had protection against cancer. In 1992 researchers at the National Cancer Institute recruited 18,000 participants who were at high risk of developing cancer because of smoking or asbestos exposure. Half were given beta-carotene and half a placebo. The trial was supposed to last for six years but was halted two years early after discovering that those taking the supplement were developing cancer 28% more than the controls who were receiving a placebo.

The famed nurses’ study that tracked the health of 87,000 female nurses showed a 47% decrease, in cancer rates, for those consuming vitamin E rich foods. However Vitamin E supplements have not shown similar positive results. For positive results, we should get our anti-oxidants from foods, not supplements. Fresh Juicing of fruits and vegetables is natures’ way of supplementation.

Here is a list of anti-oxidant foods:

Blue and red berries and grapes

All nuts especially walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts

Beans especially pinto and red beans

Cherries, plums and apples

David Christopher┬áis a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer.