It happens to all of us, some physically quicker than others. It affects every part of our body and our whole existence. It humbles us, for some it may depress, and with others it may bring on the happiest years of their existence. It’s called getting older, also known as aging.
Accepting this simple truth doesn’t usually happen until we finally look in the mirror and visually see our changing bodies, skin tone and texture. Aging is a part of life, not something we can stop, but it can definitely be slowed down. Maintaining our bodies and youthful healthy looking skin all starts preventively. In other words, the earlier in life you take precaution (and learn to nourish your body), the less impact aging will have on your skin and body. The anti aging world is full of pills and products, but none of it will do you any good without a supportive diet, especially one focused on an antioxidants for healthy skin maintenance.
How Aging Happens
Oxygen, the reactive gas that sustains life, is mainly responsible for aging. When oxygen touches another substance, a reaction takes place. A sliced apple turns brown, cooking oil becomes rancid, metal rusts… these reactions occur because of oxidation. In our bodies, oxidation is no different and it manifests itself as wrinkles, cataracts, heart disease, cancer along with a whole multitude of other health problems that increase with age. Oxidation is the foundational problem behind all aging.
Antioxidants Defend Cells from Oxidation
Antioxidants, agents that resist oxidation, are one of our best defenses against oxidative stress. It’s the defense your body creates against aging. This is where antioxidants can help provide you healthy, youthful looking skin.
Your body is made from more than a trillion specialized cells. These tiny, intrinsically important components are weakened by viruses, infections and poor nutrition. They are also bombarded by a perpetual assault from reactive oxygen species, better known as free radicals. In this battle, antioxidants are the white knights that defend our vital cells. As scientists learn more about antioxidants and how these superheroes work in our bodies, people can improve their health, prevent chronic diseases like cancer, and even enhance their appearance. Having more antioxidants in your body will provide you with a higher quality of life.
What is a Free Radical?
Free radicals are actually many different oxygenated chemicals, which doesn’t seem so bad until you discover their secret mission. They are volatile chemicals that steal electrons from any stable cell, which is dangerous because electrons are what keeps our cells healthy and alive. Antioxidants generously donate their own electrons to protect our cells against free radicals.
After free radicals have done damage to cells they leave a trail of broken molecules, essentially damaged DNA. When the number of cells decrease in quality and quantity, aging in the body slowly occurs, and can lead to rapid deterioration of how skin looks and feels. Poor health habits such as a highly processed food and a toxic diet, lack of sleep quality, over-exercising, stress, continued reliance on medication and drugs, and exposure to chemicals will all increase the amount of free radicals in the body.
What is an Antioxidant?
An antioxidant isn’t a single substance. It’s a superpower that some minerals, enzymes and vitamins possess. Glutathione, catalase, uric acid, superoxide dismutase (SOD), CoQ10 and non-essential antioxidants are produced within the body through enzyme reactions. Other essential antioxidants come from what we eat.
Good Sources of Antioxidants
All types of healthy foods contain antioxidants. They can also be found in multi-vitamins, supplements and skincare products. Here are some of the most powerful antioxidants for healthy skin. Also consider fruit and green vegetable powders which are convenient and concentrated doses of antioxidants to immediately get into the diet.
Vitamin C found in citrus fruits and many green and yellow vegetables, is one of the best antioxidants for promoting skin health and increased immunity.
Vitamin E protects cells from damage, minimizes the risk of developing skin cancer, reduces wrinkles and fights heart disease. This important vitamin is found in spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, swiss chard and avocados.
Carotenoids including betacarotene, protects the eyes and other specialized cells. These antioxidants are found in spinach, carrots, squash and brightly colored vegetables.
Isothiocyanates are phytochemicals that protect against cancer. Good sources include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cruciferous vegetables.
Resveratrol fights cancer, prevents heart disease and reduces sun damage. Nuts, grapes and red wine are good sources, although studies done show the need for large doses, so supplementing may be best. This is a high quality resveratrol supplement here I recommend.
Selenium is an anti-cancer powerhouse found in Brazil nuts. Just 3 nuts a day gets you your daily dose! It’s especially effective at reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Ellagitannins are the reason that berries are touted for their health benefits. Walnuts and wine aged in oak casks are also excellent sources.
Lycopene protects against cancer and enhances cellular health. This antioxidant is found in fruits and vegetables that are bright red.
Other antioxidants that enhance skin tone and promote health throughout the body include vitamin A, vitamin B3, and zinc. This formula here contains all skin supporting nutrients.
Antioxidants may be the fountain of youth at best, but the exciting part is that scientists are just beginning to discover how these special substances work together to accomplish even greater feats.
Sign up to receive your free copy of my favorite healthy skin smoothie recipes, jam packed with antioxidant goodness!
Author Biography –
Ashley Erikson is a mother of three boys, physical trainer, and now a health consultant. Health originally started off as a hobby but eventually it converted into her profession as she grew to love everything about the science of health. Her website is www.ashleyshealth.com