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The ABCs of Antioxidants

Although scientists speculate that many antioxidants are as yet undiscovered, others are increasingly well known. Here are antioxidants you may have read about; they're categorized by family of associated compounds and listed with some of their most common food sources.


  • Beta-carotene: Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables (carrots, cantaloupe); dark leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Lycopene: Red-fleshed fruits and vegetables (watermelon, tomato)
  • Lutein/Zeaxanthin: Romaine lettuce, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, corn, egg yolks


  • Anthocyanidins: Berries, grapes, wine
  • Catechins: Tea, cocoa
  • Flavonols: Tea, cocoa, coffee, berries, grapes, apples, wine
  • Flavonones: Citrus fruits
  • Isoflavones/Phytoestrogens (daidzein, equol, enterolactone, genistein): Soybeans, whole wheat, flaxseed
  • Quercetin: Apples, tea, capers, citrus fruits

Organosulfurs: Cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower

Selenium: Brazil nuts, red meat, tuna

Sulfides: Onions, garlic, leeks, chives

Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, kiwifruit

Vitamin E (tocopherols): Wheat germ, mono-unsaturated oils (sunflower oil, safflower oil), tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts), peanuts