“Antioxidants fuel a defensive system that removes toxic cellular metabolites that age us,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Here he tells us why antioxidants are an important cornerstone of good health. Take a look:
Cancer may be promoted by toxic compounds, but we have cellular machinery, fueled by phytochemicals, to detoxify and remove noxious agents and to repair any damage done. Our body is self-healing and self-repairing when given sufficient nutrient support to maximize efficiency of protective cellular machinery. But, only when we consume large amounts of green vegetables and a diversity of natural plant foods can we maximize phytochemical delivery to our tissues.
Now, it seems tropical fruits are a major source of antioxidants. Emily Sohn of The Los Angeles Times tells us all about mangosteens, açaí, noni, pomegranates, and goji berries
. Check it out:
There are many thousands of plant-based antioxidants, called phytochemicals, and these compounds appear in various combinations in different types of produce. Blueberries, red wine and açaí, for example, are high in anthocyanins. Tea has lots of catechins. Mangosteens are rich in xanthones. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids.
Plenty of studies now show that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and might even help us live longer. So, companies that market superfruits often tout the high antioxidant concentrations of their star ingredients. Their findings are sometimes at odds with each other.
In several studies published or presented at meetings, for example, Pom Wonderful (which has poured $23 million into researching the 'Wonderful' variety of pomegranates that the company grows on orchards in Central California's San Joaquin Valley), found that its 100% pomegranate juice had more antioxidant activity than more than a dozen other beverages, including blueberry, grape, açaí and orange juices. The next nearest competitor, red wine, had 17% fewer polyphenol antioxidants and neutralized 54 fewer free radicals than the juice did.
Okay, this is all well and good, but, we shouldn’t consider one or two exotic fruits as miracle cures. Dr. Fuhrman talks about it:
Juices and extracts of exotic fruits and vegetables such as mangosteen, gogi berries, Chinese lycium, acia, Siberian pineapple, cili, noni, guarana, and black currant are touted as wondrous super foods with a myriad of health claims. Certainly, eating exotic fruits from all over the globe can add valuable phytochemical compounds with the potential for beneficial effects. I see no reason why these fruits and their juices should not be used as part of a varied diet with a wide assortment of phytonutrients. Broadening our variety of health-supporting nutrients from exotic foods has value in building a strong immune defense against cancer.
The confusion arises when marketers claim that the juices can cure cancer or kill cancer cells on the basis of studies that show that some component in the juice or other part of the plant has been shown to kill cancer cells. Just because a concentrated chemical derived from a food can kill cancer cells in a test tube does not make that food a cure for cancer.
For more on this, be sure to brush up on Ineffective Anti-Cancer Remedies: Exotic Tropical Fruit Juices