How Antioxidants Work and Where to Get Them
What Are Antioxidants And How Do You Get Them?
Consuming antioxidants as part of a balanced diet has many health benefits for your body but they also have powerful anti-ageing qualities too. Excellent news for your healthandskin! Read on to discover more about the powers of antioxidants and where you can find them.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are natural substances that prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Some antioxidants are produced by your body and some are not, antioxidant production can also decrease with age so it’s important to make sure your body is getting enough of them through your diet.
Why are they important?
Antioxidants play a vital part in your health because they fight free radicals (unstable compounds) by neutralising them and removing them from the bloodstream. Normally the body can handle these free radicals but if antioxidants are not present (or if free radical production becomes excessive) damage can occur. Antioxidants are important because they can help prevent cancer and a range of other health problems.
Different antioxidants provide health benefits for various parts of the body. However our bodies do not produce antioxidant vitamins, so it is essential to include them in your diet. Common antioxidant vitamins include: beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Where can you find antioxidants?
Colourful fruit and vegetables
Fruits that have purple, blue, red, orange and yellow hues are packed full of antioxidants. Below are some examples of which antioxidants can be found in different foods:
Beta-carotene can be found in food such as apricots, asparagus, beetroot, kale, mango, nectarine, spinach, sweet potato and watermelon.
Vitamin C can be found in berries, cauliflower, kiwi, orange, peppers, grapefruit, tomatoes and many more.
Vitamin E is found in food such as avocado, broccoli, nuts, pumpkin, peppers and sunflowers seeds.
Foods such as onions, grapes, plums, raisins, prunes, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries and apples are also rich in antioxidants.
Studies have shown that eating 5 portions of these fruits and vegetables a day can decrease your risk of heart disease and stokes by up to 25%.
Fruit smoothies are rich in antioxidants but there are many other drinks packed full of them too! Beverages such as green tea, matcha tea, cranberry juice and cherry juice are also filled with them – just make sure the juices are not from concentrate. Even coffee and red wine are sources of antioxidants – just be sure to consume them in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Herbs and Spices
Many herbs and spices are good sources but turmeric is particularly high in antioxidants.
How to make sure you’re getting enough?
A wide-ranging diet is essential for getting enough antioxidants so try to experiment with different fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting a variation.
Beauty products that contain antioxidant properties
Antioxidants can be found in beauty products too and are great for protection against wrinkles, pigmentation and loss of firmness. They are also a powerful anti-aging ingredient as they combat the free radical damage that is responsible for ageing. Antioxidants also enhance the effectiveness of sun cream in preventing sun damage to the skin. Here’s some of the best products to try:
The Body Shop Vitamin E Cool BB Cream
This product combines anti-oxidant vitamin E with hydrating and skin-brightening pigments.
Nivea Q10 Energising Day Cream
This day cream includes goji berry extract – a rich source of Vitamin A as well as co-enzyme Q10, an antioxidant naturally found in the body that decreases as you age.
Rich in natural antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E to replace lost moisture and protect against dryness.
Video: Antioxidants & Aging: A Radical Theory
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