Health Style – What are Antioxidants?

Jody Hollis

/ Fitness

Shades of Gray on Orange, by Dr. Catherine Gray

WHAT we need to know about Anti-oxidants, Vitamin C, and Beta-carotene and WHY we need to incorporate orange raw vegetables and fruit in our diets!

Anti-oxidants – an antioxidant is a substance that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules; it protects the body from free radicals. Free radicals damage cells through oxidation. Eventually, the damage caused by free radicals can cause several chronic illnesses. Many feel anti-oxidants hold the key to inhibit the aging process, reduce cancer risk and lessen heart disease. They are also thought to boost the immune system so many people take large doses of Vit C to ward off colds despite pretty weak evidence it makes much difference.

Two examples found in orange fruit – Beta-Carotene and Carrots:

Vitamin A (retinol)

OK, carrots were actually purple until the 17th century when it is thought the Dutch genetically modified the color to politically support the Duke Of Orange. But still, Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment found in carrots that give them their distinctive orange colour. The human body converts Beta-carotene into Vitamin A (retinol).  We need Vit A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. Beta-carotene is also found in abundance in broccoli, asparagus and apricots, to name a few.  Vit A recommended daily dose is 600 micro grams

Vitamin C and Oranges

Vit C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water (as opposed to lipids-fats like Vitamins A, D, E and K) so leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you really can’t take “too much” Vit C, unlike fat-soluble vitamins that can be toxic at high levels. The body does not make its own Vit C so we must take it in through our diet. This is what is meant by an “essential” Vitamin or mineral. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in Vit C such as cantaloupe, citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit, kiwifruit, mango, broccoli, brussels-sprouts, cauliflower, green and red peppers, spinach and cabbage. Vit C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to form an important protein and to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It also used to heal wounds and form scar tissue. Vit C  recommended daily dose is 75 mg

Cooking vitamin-rich foods or storing them for a long period of time can reduce the vitamin content. Microwaving and steaming Vit C rich foods may reduce cooking losses. The best food sources of vitamins are uncooked or raw fruits and vegetable

Check out these yummy recipes I found that will make getting your orange vitamins a synch!


  • 1 Lemon, peeled
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger, peeled
  • 10 – 12 carrots, ends trimmed

Optional Extras

  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper (to really wake you up!)
  • 2 handfuls Kale (the colour won’t be pretty but you’ll feel amazing)


  1. Push all ingredients through a juicer.
  2. Pour into glasses and enjoy!