People always talk about this buzzy word “antioxidant-rich xyz.” Why? What is so good about it? Today, we will unveil the reason why it’s getting the buzz for so long.
Antioxidant fights free radical damages. Great, but wait, what is free radical damage?
Free radicals are natural by-products unpaired electrons that are always looking out for other electrons to pair with. So basically, you can think of them as active date hunters. They are generated in our body as a result of
- ordinary body function (i.e., breathing, digesting),
- exposure to environmental pollutants, cigarette smoking, and industrial chemical,
- alcohol consumption,
- unhealthy diet,
- high stress level, and
- excessive exercises.(1)(2)
Free radicals can cause damage to parts of cells by stealing their electrons through a process called oxidation. (This is why free radical damage is also called “oxidative damage.”) When free radicals oxidize components of the cell, those components lose their ability to function normally and ultimately die. Studies have found that this could lead to inflammatory condition, certain cancers, uneven skin tone, and premature aging. (1)
Antioxidants (aka. “free radical scavengers”) are natural substances that exist as vitamins, minerals and other compounds in foods. They can fight the free radicals by donating an electron to the free radical. Once the electrons of the free radical are paired, the free radical is stabilized and becomes non-toxic to cells (3). In other words, antioxidants reduce free radicals to less toxic states! (5)
How can I boost antioxidant level to maintain beautiful skin, prevent premature aging, and increase overall well-being?
There are two main ways: synthetic antioxidants and natural food intake. However, recent studies have found high volatility of synthetic antioxidants at high temperature and carcinogenic nature of some of synthetic antioxidants. Natural antioxidants provide promising alternatives for synthetic antioxidants, with low cost and no harmful effects inside human body. There are many food and plant sources that can provide rich antioxidants, which can be eaten or topically used. (4) We will name a few good natural antioxidant rich food and plants!
- Berries, grape, cherries
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol) rich food: wheat germ, sunflower seeds, eggs, avocado
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) rich food: spinach, papaya, bell peppers, watermelon, broccoli
- Carotenoids rich food: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peaches
- Green (Camellia sinensis) Leaf extract
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract
- Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) Extract (4)(1)
Don’t forget to include these in your daily diet or skincare routine! Stay glowy, stay plumped ladies!