Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Antioxidants?

A diet packed with antioxidants can help you fend off disease. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about antioxidants and get the facts about how they keep you healthy.

Antioxidants, Bowl of assorted berriesphoto credit: shutterstock

Think you can ace this antioxidants quiz? It’s time to find out!


1. What is the best way to prepare vegetables to retain the most antioxidant activity?

(a) Serve raw
(b) Steam lightly
(c) Boil
(d) Microwave
(e) It depends

2. Which of the following can neutralize ‘bad’ cholesterol so it doesn’t damage your arteries?

(a) Papaya
(b) Sweet potato
(c) Nuts
(d) None of the above
(e) All of the above

3. For preventative regimens, experts recommend getting antioxidants from food as well as relying on supplements because:

(a) Supplements mostly contain therapeutic levels of antioxidants, whereas foods contain maintenance amounts.
(b) Supplements do not contain the variety of phytochemicals that fruits and vegetables do.
(c) Many people can’t remember to take pills.
(d) Supplements must be taken in megadoses to have an effect.

4. Which drink bestows the most heart-healthy antioxidant power?

(a) Red wine
(b) Green tea
(c) Pomegranate juice
(d) Cranberry juice
(e) Orange juice

5. A free radical is:

(a) A cell that promotes health throughout the body.
(b) A naturally or artificially occurring substance that causes disease if left unchecked.
(c) A vitamin that is distributed at no charge at health food stores and natural-medicine clinics.
(d) A nutrient that works to correct any imbalance in your body.

6. Which action causes free radicals to form, potentially putting you at greater risk of heart disease?

(a) Eating pie à la mode
(b) Breathing
(c) Taking high amounts of a single antioxidant
(d) Exercise
(e) All of the above
(f) None of the above

Here are 7 common myths about women and heart disease.

7. Which of the following statements is true as it relates to your genes and free radical activity in your body?

(a) Free radicals promote gene and cell division.
(b) Your DNA is unaffected by free radicals.
(c) Free radicals can cause genetic mutations.
(d) Free radicals cause cancer.
(e) Two of the above.

8. Which statement is false?

(a) In general, more colour in fruits and veggies indicates greater antioxidant activity.
(b) Consuming different coloured fruits and veggies in a meal will usually ensure a wider variety of nutrients.
(c) You should shoot for three servings of fruits and veggies a day.
(d) Eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies will also fill you up, preventing you from overeating.

These are the 10 healthiest Canadian fruits and veggies.

9. Which of the following does not contain antioxidants?

(a) Pizza
(b) Whole grains
(c) Nuts
(d) Chocolate
(e) Coffee
(f) None of the above
(g) All of the above

10. Under special circumstances, free radicals can be a good thing for your body because:

(a) They can give you a boost of energy at the end of a long distance workout.
(b) They are the weaponry your body uses to fight off viruses and bacteria.
(c) They can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
(d) They cause mutations in our genetic code, and without that our species wouldn’t evolve.

11. The following environmental toxin causes harmful amounts of free radicals to accumulate in the body:

(a) Sunlight, UV and solar radiation
(b) Cellphone- tower radiation
(c) ‘Background’ radiation
(d) Industrial smog
(e) They all do

12. Which of the following medical investigation techniques does not cause free radical accumulation in the body?

(a) Medical x- rays
(b) CAT scans
(c) Mammography
(d) Ultrasound

13. Which of the following will cause the most free radical accumulation in your body?

(a) Spending four hours in a smoke-laden bar
(b) An intense two-hour workout
(c) Drinking five beers
(d) Eating two combos at McDonald’s
(e) Listening to an hour-long lecture from your boss
(f) All of the above except b
(g) All of the above are approximately equal

This is the truth about how antioxidants affect your skin.

14. Which of the following does not have antioxidant qualities?

(a) Vitamin E
(b) Vitamin K
(c) Calcium
(d) Omega-3 fatty acids
(e) All of the above

15. Which of the following drinks has the highest antioxidant activity?

(a) Black tea (no milk or sugar)
(b) Orange juice
(c) Milk
(d) Red wine
(e) Apple juice


1. The correct answer is (b): Steam lightly. Cooking vegetables over a long period of time or in large amounts of water can reduce vitamin C content, but cooking does make some antioxidants, such as lycopene in tomatoes and beta-carotene in carrots, more easily absorbed by the body. To minimize nutrient loss, steaming and stir- frying are good cooking methods. How you prepare vegetables, however, is less important than eating generous servings of a wide variety of them.

2. The correct answer is (e): All of the above. All three of these foods are rich in health- promoting antioxidants. In a health study that is still under way, researchers compared the diets of more than 73,000 nurses and found that a diet rich in vitamin E (found in nuts) reduced heart attack risk by 52 per cent, a diet rich in vitamin C (abundant in papaya) reduced risk by 43 per cent and a diet rich in beta-carotene (plentiful in sweet potatoes) reduced risk by 38 per cent. Nurses who regularly took in this trio of nutrients were 63 per cent less likely to have heart attacks than those who did not.

3. The correct answer is (b). Supplements do not contain the variety of phytochemicals that fruits and vegetables do. When you snack on a carrot, for instance, you get beta-carotene as well as the countless other carotenoids found in orange and yellow fruits and veggies. Such subtle arrays of phytochemicals can’t be replicated by supplements.

4. The correct answer is (c): Pomegranate juice. When it comes to antioxidant punch, pomegranate juice is off the charts. Studies show that a glass of this fruit juice packs more polyphenol antioxidants than any other drink.

5. The correct answer is (b). A naturally or artificially occurring substance that causes disease if left unchecked. Because free radicals are missing an electron, they are considered unstable. Antioxidant vitamins and minerals lend electrons to these free radicals, thus neutralizing their harmful effects and protecting against conditions such as heart disease, premature aging and cancer.

6. The correct answer is (e): All of the above. Believe it or not, all of these situations can cause the formation of free radicals. Don’t panic though: Everyone eats sweets from time to time, and exercise also bestows many health benefits. Breathing is a natural fact of life. The point is that if you follow a healthy diet that’s chock full of antioxidants, you can mop up the free radicals, vanquishing their harmful effects.

7. The correct answer is (e): Two of the above (c and d). Free radicals can cause base pairs, the building blocks of your DNA, to switch and mutate, which then can spark the initial stages of cancer.

8. The correct answer is (c). You should shoot for three servings of fruits and veggies a day. Three is not enough, though of course it’s better than nothing. Ideally, you should aim for five to nine servings of fruits and veggies daily to pack in the protection you need. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children ages two to six should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; children over age six, active women and teens should eat seven; and active teen boys and men should eat nine. Following a rainbow eating plan by reaching for lots of colourful produce is a powerful way to protect your heart.

9. The correct answer is (f). None of the above. All of these foods contain antioxidants that can help protect your ticker (in the case of pizza, tomatoes supply the powerful nutrients). However, be sure to enjoy these foods in moderation. Pizza and chocolate contain saturated fat; nuts, which contain heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat, are still high in fat and calories and can cause weight gain. Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease.

10. The correct answer is (b). They are the weaponry your body uses to fight off viruses and bacteria. Under special circumstances free radicals can be a good thing for your body because, ultimately, they are the weaponry your body uses to fight off viruses and bacteria.

11. The correct answer is (e): They all do.

12. The correct answer is (d): Ultrasound.

13. The correct answer is (g): All of them are roughly equal.

14. The correct answer is (c): Calcium.

15. The correct answer is (d): Red wine.

Excerpted from The Antioxidant Prescription by Dr. Bryce Wylde Copyright © 2008 by Dr. Bryce Wylde. Excerpted by permission of Random House Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.