Dietary antioxidants are widely distributed in various types of our food. They are strongly associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and Alzheimer's diseases. They include vitamins such as vitamins A, E, C, and carotenoids. Also, some minerals like; zinc, manganese, copper, iron, and selenium are essential for the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Furthermore, dietary polyphenols and flavonoids are considered as potent antioxidant compounds. Vegetables, fruits, and edible herbs are the richest sources of such antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress, either directly by reducing reactive species or indirectly by enhancing the body antioxidant defense mechanisms in different ways. These may include upregulating gene expression of some antioxidant enzymes via a nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor2 pathway. Administration of a mixture of antioxidants is beneficial since they act synergistically in various phases. The aims of this review are to summarize the different antioxidants from dietary sources and their role in the prevention of different diseases.
Keywords: Nrf2; dietary antioxidants; diseases; herbs; oxidative stress.