Where can I find antioxidants in Martinique?

Let's face it, Martinique's tropical climate gives it a wealth of fruit and vegetables that is the envy of many countries. The varieties are numerous, and all these fruits and vegetables contain vitamins that are essential for our health. In addition, the recent pandemic has had the effect of opening the eyes of many to the fact that it is important to eat well and also to take charge of our own health. So it's only logical that we should be much more interested in the virtues of local fruit, vegetables and other plants.

Fruit and vegetables on sale at the Grand Marché in Fort-de-FranceIn magazines, books and other internet searches, new words have appeared without us really knowing what they mean or how important they are for our health. That's why we're going to try and shed some light on antioxidants, their virtues and the foods in which they can be found in Martinique.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules naturally present in certain foods, particularly fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants include vitamins such as A, C and E, polyphenols (organic molecules widely present in the plant kingdom), carotenoids (orange and yellow pigments found in many living organisms), bioflavonoids (substances found in plants, fruit skins, the white part of citrus fruits and vegetables) and trace elements such as zinc, manganese and selenium.

Antioxidants are essential to the proper functioning of our body, as they play a fundamental role in protecting our cells from the effects of free radicals (oxidants).

Why do we need antioxidants?

To better understand their necessity, we need to know that free radicals are molecules produced daily in our bodies as a result of biological reactions taking place in our cells. When these free radicals are in excess in our bodies, they can damage our cells by oxidizing them, which can lead to fatigue or cause illnesses such as joint or circulatory discomfort, premature skin aging, the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or various liver diseases, or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or dementia.

What are the positive effects of antioxidants?

The benefits of antioxidants are numerous:

Strengthening the immune system

Illustration of a woman protecting her immune systemAntioxidants act as defenders of our cells, as they have the capacity to act directly on them, some of which are part of our immune system. A strong immune system provides natural protection against seasonal illnesses such as the flu, as well as viruses and bacteria.

Antioxidants also enable the production of valuable antibodies, which are proteins necessary for the proper functioning of our immune system.

Take vitamin C, for example, which promotes the production of white blood cells that fight infection and other diseases in our bodies.

Cancer prevention

Various scientific studies have shown that antioxidants can help prevent different types of cancer. Certain nutrients can help prevent damage caused by the free radicals that promote the development of various cancers. These studies focused on the consumption of antioxidant-containing foods, not supplements.

Healthy brain function

Illustration of a healthy brainOver the years, free radicals seek to affect the brain. Antioxidants play a crucial role in keeping the brain functioning properly. They protect the brain and its neurons against these attacks.

Vitamin E is recognized as an essential vitamin for protecting against age-related memory loss, enhancing cognitive functions such as memory, attention and reasoning, and reducing neuronal inflammation.

Preventing cardiovascular disease

Illustration of a healthy heartSeveral studies have demonstrated the benefits of dietary antioxidants in preventing cardiovascular disease. Their intake in the human body was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular problems.

They have a beneficial effect on our health by preventing physiological reactions that block arteries.

Fighting skin diseases

Free radicals oxidize our cells, promoting aging, while antioxidants play the opposite role. Antioxidants help prevent skin cancer and combat skin conditions such as acne.

Antioxidants also protect the skin against UV rays and insect attack.

Improved vision

Thanks to the antioxidants in your diet, you can preserve the health of your eyes. In fact, certain nutrients help combat macular degeneration, i.e. the progressive deterioration of the central part of the retina.

Vitamins A, C and E can reduce the risk of cataracts and, if you have them, slow their progression.

Carrots, cabbage and spinach are your allies in keeping your eyes healthy.

Other positive effects

Mixed-race woman with curly hairIt would be impossible to detail all the benefits of antioxidants, but we feel it's important not to overlook the fact that they also help to regulate blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol levels, reduce allergies, reduce hair loss and improve hair protection and health.

What foods contain antioxidants in Martinique?

Antioxidants are present in all our fruits and vegetables. As we keep writing, our fruits and vegetables contain a large number of vitamins essential to the proper functioning of the human body. The table below details where to find the various vitamins.

Vitamin A Vitamin C Vitamin E Polyphenols Carotenoids Bioflavonoids Trace elements (zinc, manganese or selenium)
  • Carrot
  • Breadnut
  • Okra
  • Melon
  • Passion fruit
  • Star apple
  • Qenepa
  • Seagrape
  • Spanish tamarind
  • Guinea arrowroot
  • Citrus: Oranges, grapefruit, shaddock, lime, kumquats
  • Pineapple
  • Mammee apple
  • Bananas (all varieties)
  • Mangoes
  • Maley apple
  • Coco plum
  • Carambola or star fruit
  • Jujube
  • West Indian Raspberry
  • Guava
  • Radish
  • Noni
  • Lettuce
  • Lychee and rambutan
  • Chive
  • Seagrape
  • Watermelon
  • Papaya
  • Pitaya or dragon fruit
  • Mamey sapote mamey, sapota, Black sapote
  • Otaheite gooseberry
  • Tamarind
  • Tomato
  • Guinea arrowroot
  • Cocoa
  • Cabbage
  • Avocado
  • Pomegrenate
  • Carrot
  • Citrus : Oranges, grapefruit, shaddock, lime, kumquats
  • Green bean
  • Cocoa (dark chocolate)
  • Lemongrass
  • Cashew nuts
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla
  • Moringa leaves
  • Radish
  • Nutmeg
  • Cashew nuts


Antioxidants are also found in fish (selenium), green tea (flavonoids), wheat germ (vitamin E), almonds (vitamin E) and the red berries found in temperate climates.

Living in Martinique, we're fortunate to have a wealth of fruits and vegetables that do our bodies a world of good. We recommend eating at least five a day, a challenge that's easy to meet if you live in the tropics.

How can we incorporate them regularly into our diet?

Orange juice, coffee, muesli with milkA glass of juice at breakfast is a good way to start the day. Pomegranate juice, for example, is rich in antioxidants, while a glass of orange juice is rich in vitamin C. Don't hesitate to include muesli-type cereals, also rich in nutrients, and coffee, a great source of polyphenols.

A few squares of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content will do the trick.

For lunch, seafood such as conch and other shellfish, prawns, lobsters and crayfish or fish will do your body a world of good, accompanied by green vegetables such as green beans, spinach or broccoli, carrots and a slice of multigrain bread. For dessert, what could be better than a local fruit eaten raw or a good local fruit sorbet? After the meal, a green tea will not only improve your digestion but also provide your body with between 170 and 200 mg of polyphenols.

In the afternoon, a few cashew nuts will do the trick, filling you up and providing you with polyphenols. A glass of red wine will also provide you with these same polyphenols. In fact, red wine is extremely rich in this nutrient.

In the evening, don't hesitate to opt for a bowl of green soup, giraumonade or tomato soup.