Unless you have been living in a cave for the last 20 years, you will have heard that Antioxidants are good for your skin, your health and your well being. However, what you may not realise is that Antioxidants are also vital for neutralising those free radicals playing havoc in our systems.
We are made up of literally billions of cells, all working to remain stable in order to protect us and keep us alive. Every cell creates its own energy supply by metabolizing glucose from the food we eat. It is also through this process that by-products called free radical compounds are formed.
Free radicals are formed in the body naturally and they are a natural part of who we are. For instance, our immune systems secrete types of free radicals in order to assist in the inflammatory response when the body is under attack from an infection or has been injured.
However, the main problem with free radicals is that in order to remain stable, they are constantly trying to attach themselves to other electrons in healthy cells in order to stay alive. During this process, healthy cells become damaged and there has been a huge link between cancer and free radicals.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating over processed foods create free radical cells in the body, which are then free to attack healthy cell walls, smashing into them in order to break open their structure so that the free radical molecule has somewhere to live. Over time, too many free radicals in our system can cause premature ageing because healthy skin cells are being constantly torn apart.
Antioxidants, found in most fruits and vegetables play a vital role in stabilising free radicals so that they do not smash into healthy cells. They can donate an electron to a panicking free radical in order to help it become stable and prevent damage to other cells. Once the antioxidant has helped stabilise the free radical, it is naturally recycled by other antioxidants and the free radical compound can no longer harm our system.
Isn’t nature amazing?
So, if you want to stay younger and protect yourself from cancer cells forming, eat a healthy, balanced diet of foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, tomatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, beta carotene found in oranges, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, carrots etc, nuts, whole grains, beans and oily fish such as salmon or mackerel.
Want your skincare products to give skin an antioxidant boost?
Look out for brands that contain carrot seed oil, tomato leaf extract and super fruit berries.