Antioxidants: What You Need to Know

Aging is more than just getting older. There are many reasons that skin ages. Environmental damage, excessive exfoliation, glycation, senescence, inflammation, and free radical damage are just a few.

According to dermatology research and practice, human skin is constantly directly exposed to the air, solar radiation, environmental pollutants, and other mechanical and chemical insults, which are capable of inducing the generation of free radicals as well as reactive oxygen species (ros) in our own metabolism. Extrinsic skin damage develops from several factors: ionizing radiation, severe physical and psychological stress, alcohol intake, poor nutrition, overeating, environmental pollution, and exposure to uv radiation (uvr) (the most important strategy in reducing the risk of sun uvr damage is avoiding sun-exposure and sunscreens). The next step is normally using exogenous antioxidants orally or by topical application, and interventions preventing oxidative stress and enhanced DNA repair.

Free radical formation occurs within the cell, causing damage. Free radical damage causes unhealthy cells to seek out healthy cells, to steal electrons from. When the unhealthy cell succeeds in stealing an electron from a healthy cell it begins a cascading effect within the skin. This pilfering effort does not make the unhealthy cell healthy. In fact, more and more cells become unhealthy -leading to visible signs of aging within the body, and on the skin. The mounting changes in our environment increasingly affects the extent of free radical damage.

At the end of the day, antioxidants are the only way to neutralize free radical damage. Our bodies produce various types of antioxidants to accomplish this: Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E, to name a few. Yes, our bodies have great healing powers and so does our food. Mother nature saw fit that we should gain additional healing from plants and vegetation. here are a few examples:

Berries

blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries contain either high levels of phenolics, flavonoids or anthcyanidins which are said to produce strong antioxidant activity.

carrots

Carrots

considered a source of beta- carotenes; containing polyphenols, which are considered antioxidants.

green tea

Green Tea

the leaves of green tea contain flavonoids and polyphenols which possess strong antioxidant activity.

spinach

Spinach

spinach has a high phenol and flavonoid content and like the others on this list, possess a strong antioxidant activity.

Spring is here. This is a perfect time to plant some of mother nature’s best healing fruits, vegetables and herbs that will aide in fighting the ever present, aforementioned free radical damage.

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