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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics


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  • Antioxidant Overview
  • Antioxidant-Rich Foods
  • Antioxidant-Rich Beverages
  • Antioxidant Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)
  • Antioxidant Foods & Supplements
  • Antioxidant Index Listing & Information


    Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals.

    Many experts believe this damage plays a part in a number of chronic diseases, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), cancer, and arthritis. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system. So, fighting off damage with antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong, making you better able to ward off colds, flu, and other infections.

    Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize the cellular-damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are produced naturally in your body, but when you exercise hard, your body pumps out more free radicals. Environmental factors such as pollution, the sun, cigarette smoke, and herbicides can also spawn free radicals. The danger is that free-radical damage may lead to cancer. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage that free radicals otherwise might cause. As an active person, more antioxidants may help you slow the aging process, ward off cancer and stress, and promote good health.



    One of the best ways to keep your immune system strong and prevent colds and flu is to shop your supermarket's produce aisle. Experts say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you ward off infections like colds and flu. That is because these super foods contain immune-boosting antioxidants.

    Antioxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods, including nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish. Adding more fruit and vegetables of any kind to your diet will improve your health. But some foods are higher in antioxidants than others. The three major antioxidant vitamins are Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. You will find them in colorful fruits and vegetables - especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. To get the biggest benefits of antioxidants, eat these foods raw or lightly steamed; do not overcook or boil.


    Vitamins are not the only antioxidants in food. Other antioxidants that may help boost immnity inlcude Selenium and Zinc. The list below describes food sources of common antioxidants.

    BETA CAROTENE: Beta Carotenes are found in many foods that are orange in color, including apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, legumes, mangos, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.

    LUTEIN: Best known for its association with healthy eyes, lutein is abundant in green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach and kale.

    LYCOPENE: A potent antioxidant found in apicots, blood oranges, guava, papaya, pink grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon, and other foods. Estimates suggest that 85-percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products.

    SELENIUM: Selenium is actually a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient, but it is a component of antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods such as rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. However, in the United States, animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle. In the United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium. Other foods include tuna, beef, poultry, fortified breads and other grain products.

    VITAMIN A: Vitamin A is found in three main forms: vitamin A-1, vitamin A-2 and vitamin A-3. Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese.

    VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. Vitamin C can be found in high abundance in many fruits (citrus), different vegetables (green peppers), and is also found in cereals, beef, poultry and fish. Berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papaya, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries and tomatoes are all high in Vitamin C.

    VITAMIN E: Vitamin E is also known as alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is found in almonds; in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils; and is also found in broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangos, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds as well as many other foods.

    ZINC: Zinc is found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products.

    Other super foods that are rich in antioxidants include: Alfalfa sprouts, all berries, apples, bananas, dried beans, eggplant, onions, plums, prunes, raisins, and red grapes.


    Where do Americans typically get their antioxidants? Coffee is number one on the list. Other popular sources include Black Tea, Green Tea, Red Wine, Beer, and Cocoa. Many recent studies emphasize the health benefits of red wine and tea, known to be high in antioxidants, but researchers at Cornell University have shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants per cup than a similar serving of red wine or tea. Their study, done in 2003, compared the total antioxidant content of these three popular beverages. To gain a better understanding of how these beverages compare in terms of antioxidants, the researchers tested all three beverages using similar serving sizes and conditions. The beverages tested included a cup of hot water containing 2 tablespoons of pure cocoa powder, close to the amount of cocoa in a normal-size packet of instant hot chocolate, a cup of water containing one bag of green tea, a cup of black tea, and 5 ounces of red wine (California merlot).

    Using special analytical techniques to evaluate the total antioxidant content in each beverage, the researchers showed the antioxidant concentration in cocoa was the highest among those tested. The hot chocolate was almost two times stronger in antioxidants than red wine, two to three times stronger than green tea, and four to five times stronger than that of black tea.

    Antioxidant-rich cocoa is also found in many different products including desserts, sauces, liqueurs, and candy bars, which differ widely in their cocoa content, and many companies are advertising their chocolate to contain antioxidants while emphasizing the natural qualities of the chocolate. Keep in mind, a normal 40-gram bar of chocolate contains about 8 grams of saturated fat, compared to only 0.3 grams in an average cup of hot cocoa.

    Color your plate with green, orange, red, yellow and brown. The more color from fruits and veggies you have, the more likely you are going for natural sources of antioxidants - and throw in a cup of hot chocolate once in a while.



    For optimal health and immune functioning, you should eat the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the antioxidant vitamins and minerals. That is the amount of a vitamin or nutrient that you need to stay healthy and avoid a deficiency. If you have health issues requiring treatment or deficiencies, then the therapeutic dosages would be higher than given below. Here are the RDAs for some antioxidants:

    BETA CAROTENE: There is no RDA for beta-carotene. But the Institute of Medicine says that if you get 3 to 6 milligrams of beta-carotene daily, your body will have the levels that may lower risk of chronic diseases.

    SELENIUM: 55 micrograms for men or women.

    VITAMIN C: 90 milligrams for men, 75 milligrams for women; smokers should get extra vitamin C: 125 milligrams for men and 110 milligrams for women.

    VITAMIN E: 15 milligrams for men and women.

    ZINC: 11 milligrams for men, 8 milligrams for women; if you are a strict vegetarian, you may require as much as 50-percent more dietary zinc. Thatís because your body absorbs less zinc when you have a diet rich in plant-based foods.



    Brightly colored foods are usually powerful antioxidants. If you are eating plenty of them, you can get by without antioxidant supplementation. But even elite athletes are almost always are found to be deficient in some antioxidants. Whenever our bodies endure stress - whether it is from physical activity, sun damage, pollution, or day-to-day family and job stresses - we suffer cellular damage. It is unavoidable. Those damaged cells are known as free radicals. We want to minimize their impact and get them out of our system immediately. Antioxidants maintain order among your cells and slow the aging process. They are critical to your immediate and long-term health.

    You can get antioxidants from taking a vitamin or a supplement, but you may be missing out on other nutrients that could strengthen the immune system. Foods contain many different nutrients that work together to promote health. Many nutrients are still being discovered and their qualities and functions researched. Supplements are not meant to replace whole foods and a healthy diet - only to ":supplement" an established diet that may be deficient or to treat a known nutrient deficiency or health ailment. For example, researchers delving into the mysteries of fruits and vegetables and the complex antioxidants they contain have discovered benefits of:

    QUERCETIN: A plant-based chemical (phytochemical) found in apples, onions, teas, red wines, and other foods; it fights inflammation and may help reduce allergies.

    LUTEOLIN: A flavonoid found in abundance in celery and green peppers; it also fights inflammation, and one study showed it may help protect against inflammatory brain conditions like Alzheimer's.

    CATECHINS: a type of flavonoid found in tea; catechins in tea may help reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimerís disease.

    If you cannot get enough antioxidants in your diet by eating fresh produce, some experts recommend taking a multivitamin that contains minerals, too. But be cautious about taking individual immune system supplements to boost immunity. With antioxidants, as with most anything, moderation is key. Vitamins A and E, for example, are lipid-based stored in the body and eliminated slowly. Getting too much can be toxic. Vitamin C, however is water-based and excess will be eliminated daily, thus this nutrient must be replaced daily by eating Vitamin-C rich foods and taking a supplement, if needed.


    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Introduction
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Alpha-Carotene
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Alpha-Lipoic Acid
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Astaxanthin
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Bilberry
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Burdock
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Carotenoids (Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Catechin
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Cell Guard
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Coenzyme Q-10
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Combination Antioxidant Supplements
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Cryptoxanthin
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Curcumin (Turmeric)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Cysteine
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Flavonoids (Bioflavonoids)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Free Radicals
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Garlic
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Ginkgo Biloba
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Glutathione
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Grape Seed Extract
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Green Tea
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Hesperidin
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Inositol (IP-6)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Lutein
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Lycopene
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Melatonin
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acid Antioxidants - Methionine
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Oligomeric Proantocyanidins (OPCs)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Pycnogenol
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Selenium
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Silymarin (Milk Thistle)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Super Antioxidants
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Vitamin C
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Vitamin E
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Zeaxanthin
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants - Zinc

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    Health & Wellness Index


    Allspice Leaf Oil
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    Basil Oil
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    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
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    Chamomile (German) Oil
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    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
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    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
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    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
    Geranium Oil
    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
    Iris-Root Oil
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    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
    Neroli Oil
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    Nutmeg Oil
    Orange Oil
    Oregano Oil
    Palmarosa Oil
    Patchouli Oil
    Peppermint Oil
    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long Leaf Oil
    Pine-Needle Oil
    Pine-Swiss Oil
    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
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    Tangerine Oil
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    Vanilla Oil
    Verbena Oil
    Vetiver Oil
    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    Almond, Sweet Oil
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    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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