It is pretty well understand that an antioxidant is good, which by definition implies an oxidant must be bad, but what does that really mean? This article has a great explanation of how they work inside the body. In essence, antioxidants help the body do its job which includes discarding toxins. Vitamins A, C and E contain antioxidants which are beneficial to skin and body.Antioxidants work by limiting the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are damaged oxygen molecules that are missing at least one electron. To remedy the problem, they attach to healthy cells and steal their electrons, which causes damage or leads them to malfunction. This can cause all sorts of problems, from cell to DNA damage.
Free radicals are a by‑product of the body’s natural processes, like digestion, and they are fine if present in amounts that the body can easily handle. However, when you add in external factors like UV exposure, smoking, a poor diet, alcohol, and the effects of toxins like pollution, pesticides, automobile exhaust, and environmental chemicals, free radicals can become too numerous for the body to handle.
What are healthy & easy to find sources of antioxidants?
- Blueberries: Help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of certain brain conditions or dementia. Studies have shown that the antioxidants in blueberries accumulate in areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence. Put them in a smoothie, add them to yogurt or just eat them!
- Green Tea: From the unfermented leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, green tea is loaded with antioxidants in addition to polyphenols, catechins and various other types of flavonoids. Don’t brew green tea with boiling water – let it cool to about 160F. More tips here on making the perfect cup.
3. Sea Buckthorn: Rich in vitamins A, B1, B12, C, E, K, and P; flavonoids, lycopene, carotenoids, and phytosterols. Due to its free radical scavenging and tissue regeneration properties, Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil is a great addition to skincare formulations intended to help combat wrinkles, and to soothe dry, irritated skin. Studies have shown that the oil’s use on the skin can improve antioxidant levels and reduce the levels of reactive oxygen species. A wonderful ingredient in face oil.
4. Dark Chocolate: Loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, among others. Eat one small piece every day.