DietGeneral Health

Antioxidants: What Are Their Proven Health Benefits & Why Do We Need Them?


Antioxidants and Aging

As we go about your day to day activities, a lot of things take place in our bodies unknowingly to us. This is why we only find out decades later through an old picture that we have undergone a slow and steady process of aging in the most subliminal progression.

Some molecules known as free radicals, usually formed by environmental toxins, ultraviolet rays, chemicals in processed foods etc. exist in our bodies and they damage our cells and DNA, while some self-repair, others don’t, these free radicals contribute to the process of aging.

Sometimes it’s an infection or virus that slowly eats into our system before we observe it. The same free radicals contribute to severe diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. They are simply something we do not want in our bodies.

In order to talk about the solution to free radicals we need to fully understand antioxidants meaning as these are what we need in order to combat the free radicals in our system.


Where do free radicals come from?


Antioxidants and free radicals are something to be conscious of, since some free radicals occur in the event of our daily lifestyle and can be curtailed naturally by a simple change of lifestyle; like having safe sun exposure, eating healthy, quitting smoking and so on.

These free radicals are created by our bodies for the purpose of neutralizing bacteria and viruses, so they are actually good right? But when you have an overload of them due to certain triggers, it becomes a double-edged sword; there comes an imbalance between the excessive free radicals and the body’s ability to detoxify and cells begin to damage.


Sources of antioxidants


As a matter of fact we take in natural antioxidants when we eat certain healthy foods without even knowing it. Antioxidants are naturally derived from foods and medicinal plants such as vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, spices, herbs, and fruits.

Those common oxidant vitamins and nutrients found in foods are Vitamin A, Vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, lutein, beta carotene and lycopene, while polyphenols are the common antioxidants in plants.



Antioxidants for skin


Antioxidants are very useful for the skin. It seemed like antioxidants came as a miracle solution to a youthful skin as nothing else has been known to combat aging from inside our bodies like antioxidants do for the following reasons:


It slows down the process of aging. It supplies the skin with collagen known to retain the skin’s natural moisture, glow, and youthfulness and corrects line and wrinkles.


If you are constantly exposed to UV rays of the sun, antioxidants help to keep sunburn at bay. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to protect your skin and tackle potential damages on your skin caused by the harmful rays of the sun.


Antioxidants have some anti-carcinogenic characteristics that play a great role in fighting skin cancer.

Antioxidants, especially the ones rich in vitamin c, enhance skin makes the skin brighter, reduces dullness and blotches or pigmentation. It evens skin tone and inhibits tyrosinase to balance the production of melanin


Some common antioxidants for skin

  • Retinol (vitamin A) serum – fights untimely aging of the skin
  • Vitamin c serum – clears dark spots and blotchy skins and enhances skin collagen
  • Moisturizing lotions with vitamin E – reduces stretch marks and heals dry skin
  • Resveratrol – an antimicrobial substance which boosts skin protection and is found in plants and can be obtained from herbal teas, peanuts, berries and grapes and red wine
  • Coenzymeq10 serum – effective for collagen and skin elasticity
  • Glutathione serum – effective for skin cell repair and whitening
  • Flavonoids – found in green and black tea fights inflammation and hinders skin cancer
  • Niacinamide – improves skin texture and enhances the skin’s ability to heal
  • Polyphenol – not only found in plants but can be gotten while enjoying a nice bar of chocolate or a glass of wine, it deters aging and inhibits skin cancer.


What you should know about Antioxidants


Although antioxidants supplements may reduce the chances of having certain diseases, it does not act as a cure when such diseases have been contacted, also, it may slow the process of aging but would not stop you from growing old.

Without having to guess how much natural oxidants you’ve gotten from food, people prefer to take antioxidants drugs which gives them the particular dose of antioxidants they need in a day. However, these may come with some downsides, for instance, taking too much of one particular antioxidant may be harmful and some of these antioxidant supplements aren’t balanced and may contain incorrect doses from what is actually written in its pack.

Also, some antioxidants drugs have the ability to counter other medicines so it must be taken with caution. Since smokers are bound to consider antioxidants being at the risk of lung cancer, it is advisable that they seek the advice of doctors as beta-carotene, a particular antioxidant, can increase the risk of getting the disease.




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