Published: 12/30/2014 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
We hear a lot about antioxidants but, do we really know what they’re good for and what health benefits they provide? Antioxidants not only revitalize skin and renew cells throughout the entire body, but it has also been discovered that consuming them could prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and muscle illnesses.
What are the Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules, primarily vitamins and trace minerals, that eliminate excess free radicals, which in excess could cause harm to skin. This causes progressive deterioration in cell walls, which translates into wrinkles, and could even caused the feared skin cancer.
Against free radicals
Although free radicals are necessary for the body and fulfill a very important role in immune mechanics. They fight against bacteria and viruses, and also produce energy. We sometimes expose ourselves to factors that lead to an overproduction of them, which is difficult for the body to absorb.
In those cases, fortunately, the body always responds to an attack, activating its defense mechanisms. This is where antioxidants come into play; they are in charge of eliminated excess radicals to repair damage.
Radicals and collagen
Free radicals have disastrous effects on collagen, the protein that helps keep skin firm and flexible. This produces dryness as a result, as well as a lack of flexibility and early appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.
But an excess of free radicals also causes damage in the genetic structure of cells, causing worrisome health consequences. This could include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, cataracts, muscular degeneration associated with age, and certain joint problems.
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What causes it
There are several external factors that cause an overproduction of free radicals, and caution must be taken with them:
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– Improper sun exposure
– Very intense physical exercise
– Some medications
– Lack of antioxidants
Just like we’ve seen, we can revert some of the consequences caused by excessive free radicals by consuming antioxidants. This will prove especially effective at preventing cellular and skin aging. That’s why a lot of people call antioxidants the “youth elixir”. It’s time to get to know them, and do not hesitate to include them in your daily diet.
Here’s a list of foods rich in antioxidants.
Vitamin C – Found in fruit, raw and fresh vegetables, like broccoli, parsley, guava, fennel, green vegetables, dry fruit, grains, and egg yolk. Avocado is also included in this group.
There are other fruits as well, and red, yellow and orange produce. For example, carrots, apricots, spinach, tomato and pumpkin. They should preferably be eaten raw or steamed.
Others include green tea, garlic, red wine, lentils.
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