For most, obtaining healthy, glowing skin is an ongoing campaign. Antioxidants can be extremely helpful because they speed up the skin’s natural repair systems and directly inhibit further damage from oxidizing molecules.
What are oxidants and antioxidants?
Free radicals are atoms or molecules that contain at least one unpaired electron. They oxidize cellular molecules by removing electrons from them, so free radicals may also be called oxidants. Loss of electrons impairs the molecules’ ability to carry out cellular functions and damaged cells may die. Antioxidants prevent cell damage by offering electrons to free radicals and ending the cascade of destructive reactions. This cycle is never ending, as your body is constantly generating or in contact with oxidants.
You can be exposed to oxidants in two ways. They are produced within your body as byproducts of daily processes. Breaking down certain medicines, metabolizing sugars and releasing digestive enzymes are all processes that produce oxidants. The second way that we are exposed to oxidants is through the environment. Sources of oxidants include air pollution, alcohol and cigarette smoke. UV radiation also triggers production of free radicals in the skin.
Why is a diet high in antioxidants useful?
Diets high in antioxidants can protect your skin against damage. In contrast to moisturizers and serums, dietary antioxidants help your skin from the inside out. They encourage tissue growth which is very helpful in the fight against lines and wrinkles. It is extremely difficult to get too much antioxidant from your diet, so sticking to natural food sources with high antioxidants is extremely safe. There are many foods that are rich in antioxidants that are enjoyable and can be added into your everyday snacks and meals. Eating these foods will not only keep you healthier, but will give your skin the healthy look that is so desirable.
Some of the highest antioxidant foods are blueberries, dark chocolate, artichokes, kidney beans, cranberries and blackberries. Another strategy is to add specific high antioxidant herbs into your diet such as clove, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, basil, ginger and turmeric.
Antioxidants are extremely beneficial to the body and a higher intake of them will greatly improve the look and feel of your skin. Before adding any supplements to your diet be sure to check with a doctor to choose an appropriate dosage. However, the addition of high antioxidant foods is something that you can begin now!
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