By now we all know that antioxidants are beneficial to our health. But now, new research shows that consuming antioxidants during meals may result in additional health benefits, or more specifically, may reduce the negative impact of the foods consumed in the main meal.
The findings of the research, conducted by U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists based here, showed that the consumption of antioxidant rich foods along with meals reduces oxidative stress that results from foods high in carbohydrates, fat and protein.
The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, includes five clinical trials with six to 10 subjects per experiment. In the studies, subjects were given fruits rich in antioxidants with meals high in macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein) and blood samples were taken before and after the meals.
Overall, dried plums and dried plum juice had no effect on antioxidant levels, while the consumption of blueberries, mixed grape powder, kiwi fruit and cherries showed an increase in antioxidant levels.
Studies of a diet without antioxidant-rich sources of food and only sources of macronutrients resulted in a decrease in antioxidant capacity.