Grandma's Antioxidant List

Even though there are naturally many food antioxidants Grandma's antioxidant list shows a variety of herbal antioxidants, vitamin and mineral antioxidants, along with exactly what each antioxidant is for.

Click here to read about the benefits of antioxidants .

Click here to read about the good, bad and ugly free radicals .

Antioxidant List
Herbs, Minerals and Vitamins from A thru G

Antioxidant List A thru G


Alpha-Lipoic-Acid helps to neutralize the effects of free radicals on the body by enhancing the antioxidant functions of vitamin C , vitamin E , and glutathione . An additional benefit of this nutrient is that it assures the proper functioning of two key enzymes that convert food into energy.


The herb bilberry is a strong antioxidant that keeps the capillary walls strong and flexible. It also helps to maintain the flexibility of the walls of red blood cells and allows them to pass through the capillaries better. In addition, this herb supports and strengthens collagen structures, inhibits the growth of bacteria, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and has anti-aging and anticarcinogenic effects.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant similar to vitamin E . It also plays a crucial role in the generation of cellular energy, is a significant immunologic stimulant, increases circulation, has anti-aging effects, and is beneficial for the cardiovascular system.


This sulfur-containing amino acid is needed to produce the free radical fighter glutathione , it is used by the liver and the lymphocytes to detoxify chemicals and other poisons. Cysteine is a powerful detoxifier of alcohol tobacco smoke, and environmental pollutants, all of which are immune suppressers. Taking supplemental L-cysteine can boost the levels of protective enzymes in the body, thus slowing some of the cellular damage that is characteristic of aging.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a powerful antioxidant herb that is best known for its ability to enhance circulation. It has the ability to squeeze through even the narrowest blood vessels to increase the supply of oxygen to the heart, brain, and all other body parts. This aids in mental functioning (ginkgo biloba is known as the "smart herb") and helps to relieve muscle pain. Ginkgo biloba also lowers blood pressure, inhibits blood clotting, and has anti-aging properties.


Glutathione is a protein that is produced in the liver from the amino acids cysteine , glutamic acid , and glycine . It is a powerful antioxidant that inhibits that formation of, and protects against cellular damage from, free radicals . It helps to defend the body against damage from cigarette smoking, exposure to radiation, cancer chemotherapy, and toxins such as alcohol. As a detoxifier of heavy metals and drugs, it aids in the treatment of blood and liver disorders.

Glutathione protects cells in several ways. It neutralizes oxygen molecules before they can harm cells. Together with selenium , it forms the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which neutralizes hydrogen peroxide. It is also a component of another antioxidant enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase, which is a broad-spectrum liver-detoxifying enzyme. Glutathione protects not only individual cells but also the tissues of the arteries, brain, heart, immune cells, kidneys, lenses of the eyes, liver, lungs and skin against oxidant anti-aging effect. Glutathione can be taken in supplement form. The production of glutathione by the body can be boosted by taking supplemental N-acetylcysteine or L-cysteine plus L-methionine . Studies suggest that this may be a better way of raising glutathione levels than taking glutathione itself.

Grape Seed Extract

See under Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins in the section below.

Green Tea

Green tea contains numerous compounds, including the flavonoid catechin, that have antioxidant and health-enhancing properties. It protects against cancer, lowers cholesterol levels, and reduces the clotting tendency of the blood. It also shows promise as a weight-loss aid that can promoter the burning of fat and help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Black tea is not effective for these purposes because valuable compounds are destroyed in processing.

photo of a sprig of broccoli on the antioxidant list photo of a bowel of cooked Brussels sprouts on the antioxidant list photo of a head of raw cabbage on the antioxidant list

Grandma's Antioxidant List
Herbs, Vitamins and Minerals M thru Z

Antioxidant List M thru Z


Among the newest antioxidants to be discovered, the hormone may also be the most efficient free radical scavenger that has thus far been identified. While most antioxidants work only in certain parts of certain cells, melatonin can permeate any cell in any part of the body. In animal experiments, it has been shown to protect tissues from an amazing array of assaults. Within the cells, melatonin provides special protection for the nucleus - the central structure that contains the DNA. Thus, it protects the structure that enables a damaged cell to repair itself. Melatonin also stimulates the enzyme glutathione peroxidase , another antioxidant.

Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins

Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) are naturally occurring substances present in a variety of food and botanical sources. They are unique flavonols that have powerful antioxidant capabilities and excellent bioavailability. Clinical tests suggest that OPCs ay be as much as fifty times more potent than vitamin E and twenty times more potent than vitamin C in terms of bioavailable antioxidants activity. In addition to their antioxidant activity, they strengthen and repair connective tissue, including that of the cardiovascular system, and they moderate allergic and inflammatory responses by reducing histamine production.

OPCs are found throughout plant life, however, the two are pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) and grape seed extract. Pycnogenol was the first source of OPCs discovered, the process for extracting it was patented in the 1950s. As a result, even though Pycnogenol is a trademarked name for pine bark extract, the term is often used informally to refer to other OPC sources as well, most notable grape seed extract.


See under Oligomeric Proanthocyanindins in this section.


A partner and synergist with vitamin E , selenium is also an essential component of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (each molecule of this enzyme contains four atoms of selenium). This enzyme targets harmful hydrogen peroxide in the body and converts it into water. It is particularly important guardian of blood cells and of the heart, liver, and lungs. Selenium also stimulates increased antibody response to infection.

Superoxide Dismutase

Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme. SOD revitalizes cells and reduces the rate of cell destruction. It neutralizes the most common, and possibly the most dangerous, free radical - superoxide. It also aids in the body's utilization of zinc , copper , and manganese . SOD levels tend to decline with age, while free radical production increases. Its potential as an anti-aging treatment is currently being explored.

There are two types of SOD: copper/zinc SOD (CU / ZU SOD) and manganese SOD (Mn SOD). Each of these enzymes works to protect a particular part of the cell. Cu / Zn SOD protects the cytoplasm, where free radicals are produced as a result of various metabolic activities. Mn SOD is active in protecting the mitochondria of the cells, which contain the cells' genetic information and act as the site of cellular energy production.

SOD occurs naturally in barley grass, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants. It is also available in supplement form. SOD supplements in pill form must be enteric coated - that is, coated with a protective substance that allows the pill to pass intact through the stomach acid into the small intestines to be absorbed. Cell Guard from Biotec Food Corporation is a good source of SOD.

Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene

Vitamin A and its precursor, beta-carotene , are powerful free radical scavengers. Vitamin A also is necessary for healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invading miroorganisms and toxins, and promotes the immune response. Beta-carotene and vitamin A destroy carcinogens (cancer-causing substances), guard against heart disease and stroke, and lower cholesterol levels.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that also protects other antioxidants, such as vitamin E . The cells of the brain and spinal cord, which frequently incur free radical damage, can be protected by significant amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as a more potent free radical scavenger in the presence of a bioflavonoid called hesperidin.

In addition to its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C detoxifies many harmful substances and plays a key role in immunity. It increases the synthesis of interferon, a natural antiviral substance produced by the body, and stimulates the activity of certain immune cells.


In addition to having antioxidant properties on its own, zinc is a constituent of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismultase (SOD). It is also needed for proper maintenance of vitamin E levels in the blood and aids in the absorption of vitamin A. Other important functions of this mineral include the promotion of glandular and reproductive health and proper functioning of the immune system .

This antioxidant list has many of the most important antioxidants but it isn't complete. There are many more herbal antioxidants, vitamin antioxidants and mineral antioxidants along with a long antioxidant list of many natural antioxidants that are in our foods, teas and juices.


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