Our bodies generate a lot of free radicals as they break down and metabolize food. Free radicals are believed to "trigger" many chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, eye and skin diseases, as well as reduce brain function as we age.

"We're learning that antioxidants should be consumed at every meal."Ronald Prior, USDA, Agricultural Research Service." And if you routinely skip antioxidants in your diet, over time, the excess number of free radicals being produced may begin damaging cellular components, ultimately leading to atherosclerosis (fat build-up in arteries), cancer, and other diseases," says Prior. (To read more of this article online, go to: www.nps.ars.usda.gov)

What is an Antioxidant?

Antioxidants are substances in food that protect cells from free radicals. These include:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Lycopene
  • Vitamins A,C, E
  • Selenium
  • Lutein
  • Carotenoids
  • Polyphenols (such as: resveratrol, flavonoids, antho cyanins, and proanthocyanins)
  • Xanthophylls (such as: lutein and zeaxanthin)

Why more fruits and vegetables?

Evidence supporting a diet of foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants is overwhelming, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains web sites whose sole objective is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables Americans eat. Visit this web site to learn how to control and prevent disease by eating more fruits and vegetables: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

People who eat the most fruits and vegetables are half as likely to develop cancer as those eating the lowest quantities! Cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes all can be nutrition related. Some fruits are real antioxidant "Superstars" with high levels. Blueberries have over 2 1/2 times more total polyphenolic content than oranges, and you can grow blueberries in most of North America! Fruit featured on the following pages are excellent sources of antioxidants and:

  1. require minimal sprays for control of insects and diseases, or
  2. in most cases, require No Sprays to control insects or disease!

Peaches taste great and are good for you, but in most of the U.S., they don't fit into a low-spray gardening philosophy. The fruit varieties we offer are among the very best antioxidant sources, and are the easiest to grow. These fruits have Nutrient Ratings from A+ to C, depending on their antioxidant levels, but all are excellent sources of healthful antioxidants and other nutrients. Enjoy them all!



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