For sure you heard about antioxidants and their importance for health and beauty. More and more people are being conscious to eat in healthy way for their well-being Read this post to learn what antioxidants are, which are their benefits and where can you find them.
What are antioxidants?
An antioxidant is a molecule that prohibits the oxidation of other molecules. The chemical reaction of oxidation produces free radicals that cause cell damage or death.
Free radicals are continuously formed in the body caused by factors like: pollution, stress, exposure to the sun, smoking, processed food and medicines. They accelerate the aging process and increase the risk of diseases (diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc). The antioxidants role is to neutralize them and stop the oxidation reaction.
They are also used in cosmetic products, known for their properties on fighting aging or skin problems.
There are so many types of antioxidants, some are vitamins and others are made from amino-acids. Here are the most common antioxidants:
Vitamin A Manganese
Vitamin E Chromium
Vitamin C Zinc
Antioxidants health benefits
Health benefits are related to the role of antioxidants in cleaning free radicals from the bloodstream. Different antioxidants benefit different parts of the body. Flavonoids found in chocolate and tea reduces the risk of heart disease, lycopene found in tomatoes reduce prostate disease and beta carotene contributes to eyes health. Also they have been shown to be effective in preventing certain kinds of cancer, protecting the heart, lungs, lower the cholesterol level and enhance your energy.
Another benefit of them, also so important is fighting depression. Especially antioxidants found in omega-3 fatty acids boost hormone production and alleviate depression.
Their benefits are prove in preventing Alzheimer disease, Immune dysfunction, cataract, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular degeneration etc.
Benefits of antioxidants in skin care
Free radicals also affect the skin by damaging the cells and breaking collagen. The last one is responsible for the youthful and elasticity of the skin. The creams containing antioxidants infiltrate through the layers of the skin, neutralize free radicals and allow the production of collagen.
As a result it helps the skin to slow the aging process and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
They also help to fight acne. Especially Vitamin A or retinoid, when goes deep to pores removes keratin plugs that cause blemishes and acne. Acne is common for oily skin and Vitamin A helps to reduce the level of oil. Regularly application of this vitamin helps to reduce acne problem, combined with other skin care products.
Vitamin C is known to offer benefits on treating the age spots by reducing the melanin pigmentation. The brown, gray or black spots known as age spots appear on the skin with aging process, when exposure to the sun promotes the melanin production. Using Vitamin C helps reducing these spots and improves skin appearance.
Where can you find antioxidants?
You can obtain antioxidants by foods or supplements. But taking them from food is the best choice. Foods that contain antioxidants are various such as: vegetables, legumes, fruits, eggs, meat, nuts.
Also cooked food has less antioxidant than raw food. Always remember to include these foods into your diet to live longer and healthier:
Almonds Kale Tomatoes
Berries Chiles Garlic
Grapes Spinach Green tea
Pomegranate Broccoli Olive oil
Lemon Carrots Coconut oil
Peppers Dark chocolate prune
popcorn plum beans