Antioxidants in Functional Foods: What Role in Disease Prevention?

This discussion will focus on a vital topic of nutrition: the importance of functional foods in preventing disease. My goal as a nutritionist and dietician is to give you valuable insight into the ways these compounds may help improve your health. Expect to find out about how antioxidants can be incorporated into your daily diet. You will also learn examples of foods that are rich in antioxidants and tips on disease prevention.

Why Antioxidants are Important in the Prevention of Disease

Free radicals are unstable molecules produced by the body in response to external and internal pressures. Antioxidants can slow or prevent cell damage caused by these molecules. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and are linked to decreased risks of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

According to a 2013 Biochemical Pharmacology study , antioxidants may play a crucial role in fighting neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a link between eating a healthy diet and having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It's also important to remember that antioxidants can have both positive and negative effects on health, so it is essential to eat a healthy diet.

Antioxidants: How to Get Started

Include antioxidant-rich foods into your diet to reap the benefits. Many fruits, vegetables and nuts are rich in these compounds. Moreover, some types of fish, poultry and meat are rich in antioxidants. The European Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a wide variety of food is important because antioxidants work differently in each part of the body. This results in a more complete protection from disease.

Antioxidant Foods Examples

Other Tips to Prevent Disease

For optimal health, you should also include antioxidant-rich food in your diet. You must also maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly. American Heart Association suggests at least 75 minutes or 150 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic exercise. Limiting the consumption of alcohol and processed food can also help prevent disease.


Antioxidants in functional food play an important role in the prevention of disease by fighting harmful free radicals within our bodies. We can reap the benefits of these functional foods by including them in our daily diet. While antioxidants can be beneficial, a healthy lifestyle and a balance diet are equally as important to prevent disease.