Antioxidants play a very important role in the proper functioning of the body. Most of the people know about their effect on health and beauty (they have anti-cancer and “rejuvenating” properties), but now everyone knows where to look for them and how to use them
Antioxidants are substances found in nature, mainly in plant products. Their task is to protect the body against the destructive influence of free radicals. Free radicals, or oxidants, are atoms or chemical molecules that have one free, unpaired electron.
Striving for balance, they “steal” the missing electrons from other molecules, gradually leading to tissue damage and even DNA degradation. The result is the acceleration of aging processes and increased susceptibility to diseases, including cancer. A small number of free radicals in the body is a norm – they arise as a side effect … breathing.
What is harmful, however, is their excess, caused by stress, diseases, environmental pollution, UV radiation, smoking cigarettes or a diet having many animal fats. Antioxidants come with help here. They inhibit the oxidation processes in the body, thereby neutralizing free radicals and improving overall health
• vitamins: A, C, and E
• carotenoids, including lycopene, zeaxanthin, and lutein
• coenzyme Q10
Antioxidants are found primarily in edible plants – fruits, vegetables, herbs, and others. A diet rich in these products is the basis of anticancer prophylaxis. Here is the choice of the most important of them (from the most effective according to the ORAC scale):
• black lilac
• acai berries
• maqui berries
• beans (red, pink, black, pinto)
All teas, red wine, and cocoa have antioxidant properties.
They owe them to flavonoids (such as resveratrol, quercetin, catechins), which give the berries red and navy-blue color and affect the taste and aroma of the tea. Working together with vitamin C (weakening its decomposition), E and beta-carotene, they have a positive effect on our body.
Often called “free radical scavengers” they can protect against certain cancers, cholesterol deposition, and act bactericidal.
Cocoa effectively lowers blood pressure, protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease. A glass of red wine with a meal reduces blood clotting, and this prevents the formation of blockages in the blood vessels of the heart and brain.
Antioxidants slow down aging processes throughout the body, including the skin. It is, therefore, safe to say that the diet that is rich in them is also an anti-wrinkle treatment.
According to the latest research, stuffing with antioxidants, instead of strengthening the body, can introduce us to health problems.
Considered as our enemies, free radicals in small doses act as a vaccine, protecting cells from damage. If you lead a healthy lifestyle, take care of your physical condition, eat 80 grams of vegetables and fruits a day, avoid animal fats and processed foods, you do not need food supplements. The disturbance of the physiological level of oxidants causes the body to cope worse with large harmful doses of free radicals, for example during illness.
The tarry substances contained in one cigarette “inhale” contain over 1000 of free radicals. Owing to the oxide and nitrogen dioxide present in the smoke, an extremely dangerous hydroxyl radical is formed that blindly destroys every particle met.
Both nicotine smoke and aqueous tar extract damage the DNA. And this can lead to the formation of cancer. Oxidants in tobacco smoke significantly reduce the level of antioxidants in the blood. Therefore, smokers must provide the body with 2-3 times more vitamin C than non-smokers, to get the same level in the serum.