KHQ MD: What's so Great About Anti-Oxidants? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ MD: What's so Great About Anti-Oxidants?

Posted: Updated:

What's so great about Anti-oxidants?

Sandy Zobell is a registered dietetic technician who has worked at Deaconess Medical Center for 18 years. She is a nutrition educator who is part of a team of nutrition professionals responsible for the clinical nutrition care of patients. Q: You hear a lot these days about free radicals and anti-oxidants. What are they and how do they help fight heart disease?

Sandy: Free radicals are toxic side products that are produced when your body uses oxygen or is exposed to environmental contaminants such as cigarettes, sunlight and pollution that harm the body. In excess, they can damage healthy cells.  Antioxidants are the nutrients in our foods that act as free radical "hunters" and repair damage done by the free radicals.

These powerful substances may play an active role in limiting the start and progression of heart disease by helping to protect the lining of your heart.

Q: What foods are rich in anti-oxidants and how many servings should you try to eat in a day?

Sandy: Fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains are the best place to get antioxidants. Think colorful!  Some of the better sources include: berries, cherries, red grapes, plums, avocado, tomatoes, red and black beans, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potatoes, walnuts, almonds and pistachios.  Many spices and herbs are amazing sources such as: cinnamon, cloves, oregano, and turmeric. Green tea, red wine and fruit juices such as grape, berry and pomegranate count too.

No one food or food group should be your sole focus.  It's best to include a wide variety of foods as part of a healthy well balanced diet.   Shoot for five to ten servings of a combination of fruits and vegetables daily.

Q: Is there a way to tell if a food is rich in anti-oxidants?

Bottom line = eat a variety of foods to include fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains.

Beware, "rich in antioxidants" is currently a marketing buzzword. A food that is labeled "high in antioxidants" can be misleading and a common marketing scheme.  To carry this label, a food only has to contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, or selenium.

Q: Red wine has been in the media lately as a source of anti-oxidants- what is your take on that?

It is those powerful antioxidants – in particular, resveratrol – in the red wine that studies have shown could potentially help the heart.  The dryer red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Syrah have the higher antioxidant "boost". 

BUT, don't forget, these antioxidants are also found in colorful fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains… PLUS you get the fiber too!

The American Heart Association and National Heart, Blood, Lung Institute recommend that alcohol use be an item of discussion between the physician and patient.  There is no justification for non-drinkers to start consuming wine as a preventive measure considering that several well-proven therapies exist:  exercise, eating healthfully, maintaining a healthy body weight, smoking cessation, blood pressure control and cholesterol lowering management.

In a nutshell, this quote from the American Heart Association Journal Circulation puts this topic in perspective and that is: "patients are not advised to drink FOR their health, but rather to drink - moderately – TO their health".

  • Success by 6More>>

  • Michael Anderson Elementary Wins Book Drive School Challenge

    Michael Anderson Elementary Wins Book Drive School Challenge

    Tuesday, August 20 2013 1:08 PM EDT2013-08-20 17:08:44 GMT
    Michael Anderson Elementary on the Fairchild Air Force Base took the Challenge- so did Windsor Elementary in the Cheney School District. Their mission -to collect books for the Success By 6 Book Bank.>>
    Michael Anderson Elementary on the Fairchild Air Force Base took the Challenge- so did Windsor Elementary in the Cheney School District. Their mission -to collect books for the Success By 6 Book Bank.>>
  • Got A Pre-schooler? Pick Up a Kindergarten Readiness Calendar

    Got A Pre-schooler? Pick Up a Kindergarten Readiness Calendar

    Tuesday, August 7 2012 7:48 PM EDT2012-08-07 23:48:39 GMT
    Got a Pre-schooler? Pick up the Kindergarten Readiness Calendar at any local library! Getting ready for Kindergarten starts long before your child sets foot in their Kindergarten classroom! That's>>
    Got a Pre-schooler? Pick up the Kindergarten Readiness Calendar at any local library! Getting ready for Kindergarten starts long before your child sets foot in their Kindergarten classroom! >>
  • Young Children Learn from Everyday Life

    Young Children Learn from Everyday Life

    Wednesday, August 10 2011 12:26 PM EDT2011-08-10 16:26:51 GMT
    They say kids don't come with an instruction manual, yet parents, especially new parents are bombarded with all kinds of advice from friends and family. There are books and websites offering endless lists, tips and tricks for parenting.  Jill Johnson, Communications Specialist for Family Resources at Community-Minded Enterprises and Success by 6 Board Member says you can teach your children with simple, everyday activities.>>
  • Want Your Child to Love Learning? Let Them Play!

    Want Your Child to Love Learning? Let Them Play!

    Wednesday, February 9 2011 2:08 PM EST2011-02-09 19:08:57 GMT
    Want your Preschooler to Love Learning? Let them play! Gwendolyn Haley, Spokane County Library District Youth Services Manager, and Success By 6 Board Member, says playtime is the most important part of a preschooler's day.>>
  • Your Baby: 2 Months

    Your Baby: 2 Months

    Tuesday, March 13 2012 5:59 PM EDT2012-03-13 21:59:50 GMT
    Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, host of our "Your Baby" series discusses the finer points of living with a 2 month old baby. >>
  • Your Baby: 4 Months

    Your Baby: 4 Months

    Tuesday, March 13 2012 6:19 PM EDT2012-03-13 22:19:00 GMT
    Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, gives parents an idea of what they can expect of their 4 month old baby.>>
  • Your Baby: Six Months

    Your Baby: Six Months

    Tuesday, March 13 2012 6:46 PM EDT2012-03-13 22:46:36 GMT
    Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, says child proofing the house is a priority in a house with a six month old baby.>>
  • What Book is just right for your New Reader?

    What Book is just right for your New Reader?

    Thursday, July 21 2011 4:31 PM EDT2011-07-21 20:31:53 GMT
    What book is just right for your new reader? Mary Ellen Braks, a Youth Services Manager with  the Spokane County Library District says it's an exciting time when your child is starting to learn how to read.>>
  • Local Community ConnectionMore>>

  • For Women Only

    For Women Only

    A collection of news, health information, fashion tips and more all in one place and for women of all ages.>>
    A collection of news, health information, fashion tips and more - all in one place and for women of all ages.>>
  • Success by 6

    Success by 6

    United Way Success By 6® is the nation's largest network of early childhood coalitions, focused on improving school readiness through community change.>>
    Success By 6® is focused on improving school-readiness through community change.>>
  • KHQMD

    KHQMD

    KHQMD - presented by Rockwood Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center - Your Health, Right Now>>
    KHQMD - presented by Rockwood Clinic and Deaconess Medical Center - Your Health, Right Now>>