Antioxidants Are Here For You!
I think it's fair to say that what you put into your body has an affect to the outside of your body. That's where antioxidants come in.
Antioxidants are substances that can protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress. Antioxidants help us by removing potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the cells in your body. These oxidizing agents cause large chain chemical reactions in your body because they react so easily with other molecules. These reactions are called oxidation which causes damage to your cells called oxidative stress.
Antioxidants in Food
Consuming antioxidants through food and spices such as ground cloves, oregano leaves, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and yellow mustard seed are best. The level of antioxidants in food and spices are measured by ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) which is a lab test that attempts to quantify the "Total Antioxidant Capacity" (TAC) of a food by placing a sample of the food in a test tube, along with certain molecules that generate free radical activity and certain other molecules that are vulnerable to oxidation.
There are many known benefits of antioxidants for the skin. The transformative benefits include moisturization and brightening of the skin, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, and alleviation of inflammation and rosacea. Oxidative stress (cellular damage caused by free radicals) is a major cause of skin aging.
Additionally, a diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases (including heart disease and certain cancers). Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Here are a list of foods high in antioxidants and their ORAC levels:
Peppermint, fresh 13978
Oregano, fresh 13970
Nuts, walnuts, English 13541
Nuts, hazelnuts 9645
Cranberries, raw 9584
Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, raw 8459
Beans, black, mature seeds, raw 8040
Nuts, pistachio nuts, raw 7983
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, raw 7779
Lentils, raw 7282
Raspberries, raw 4882
Basil, fresh 4805
Nuts, almonds 4454
Apples, Red Delicious, raw with skin 4275
Peaches, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 4222
Raisins, white, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 4188
Apples, Granny Smith, raw, with skin 3898
Figs, raw 3383
Cherries, sweet, raw 3365
Gooseberries, raw 3277
Apricots, dried to 40% moisture (purchased in Italy) 3234
Peanuts, all types, raw 3166
Cabbage, red, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt 3145
Broccoli, raw 3083
Apples, raw, with skin 3082
In my opinion, there's nothing better than getting the antioxidants and vitamins your body needs through food but there are times when we don't eat as healthy as we should and antioxidant supplements help. Under these circumstances, antioxidant supplements should be taken before meals for optimal effect.
Focusing on eating foods high in antioxidants will bring healthier skin and drastically reduce the chance of disease so eat healthy!