What are antioxidants and are they good for your body and skin?

berries great source of antioxidants

There are numerous studies trying to explain what are antioxidants and how it influences the skin and overall health, and that’s what we’ll cover in this article. It is essential that we learn about the basic ideology behind antioxidants and what it is good for before we jump into how beneficial they are for our bodies. 

What Are Antioxidants? 

Antioxidants are chemical compounds that hinder the oxidation state of atoms and molecules. Antioxidants help to protect our cells from the free radicals and it even helps to repair them. The best source of antioxidants are foods, serum, and supplements. If you are sticking to the diet of fruits and vegetables to meet your antioxidant requirements, choose the foods that are of charming colors like apples, oranges, strawberries, lemon, spinach, and avocado. A simple explanation for antioxidants is the lemon, which we see almost every day. It is rich in vitamin C and other chemical compounds. 

A Little Experiment: 

You might notice that if you cut an apple and it leaves it on the plate for about 30 minutes, it’ll start to get brown and nobody wants to eat that, right? But if you squeeze a lemon on the apple, it’ll prevent it from browning. This old trick has the answer to how antioxidants work because lemon is an antioxidant itself. 

What Are Free Radicals?  

Free radical’s definition is just that they are everywhere, they’re in your room, your office, even in your backyard. These charged particles that float around in the air are almost everywhere, they can be alarming for your health and your skin if you are exposed to them for long periods. Free radicals are formed as a result of when the electron from the outermost shell of an atom or molecules is kicked out or accepted by another atom/molecule. If the electron is added in the valance shell, the atom or molecule gains a negative charge, while if the electron is released, it gains a positive charge. When atoms are charged to be positive or negative ions they become very reactive and they mess thing up, that’s why they’re called free radicals. You can observe this phenomenon in atoms when they are exposed to UV light, or when the electrons are given just enough energy to be in an excited state and jump out of the shell. The real-life example is when cosmic rays from the sun come to earth they excite electrons and the pollution. 

Dangers of Free Radicals:  

Everything in this universe tends to slip toward equilibrium, stability, and atoms are no different. When atoms gain a positive or negative charge they become unstable and as you know that positive and negative charges attract, and when these two charges come close enough, they become stable. You must be wondering what’s the danger of free radicals if they are just trying to be stable, right? 

Well, free radicals are considered dangerous because of their reactive state, and when free radicals hit the body cell, they can cause serious issues by stealing the electrons from your DNA and proteins in order to be neutralized and more stable. This is why Free radicals and cancer are closely related. This is not the end of how dangerous free radicals can be, they can manipulate the DNA and cause skin cancer or skin allergies. Free radicals can also cause Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease, Atherosclerosis, and many others. 

Summary: 

In simple words, atoms have a mood, just like you and I. We are sometimes happy, and sometimes sad and we respond to things according to our mood like getting angry or excited which can be troublesome but when we are neutral we don’t say or do much and keep calm.  

Free Radicals and Antioxidants: 

Free radicals and antioxidants are like Yin and Yang of the skin-care field, as they are almost the opposite of one and another. Antioxidants prevent cells from going to the oxidation state which results in the formation of free radicals. The truth is we can’t run from free radicals as they’re almost everywhere. Additionally, they are naturally produced in the body while we follow our casual routine-work like eating, exercising, or even breathing. This is controlled to some extent by our bodies as far as it makes enough antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals but when it gets out of control, you’ll start to notice some changes in your body. 

The exposure to the following things can facilitate the production of free radicals in the body: 

  • Pollution 
  • UV-light 
  • Alcohol 
  • Smoke 
  • Fried foods 

Did you try that little experiment we talked about earlier? I suggest that you should because it explains how antioxidants fill the need for electrons of free radicals by donating their electrons and neutralizing them. There are various types of antioxidant serums available in the market to fill the desired needs. There are tons of antioxidant serums or supplements but they all have their own special purposes. You must talk to your skin-care specialist before trying any antioxidant serum.  

Summary:

If you’re living in a polluted area, or can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle of quitting smoking or alcohol, you should consider adding enough antioxidants in your daily diet to recover from the damage of free radicals. 

Antioxidant-Rich Foods:  

We can all trust nature and what it has to offer. We can acquire almost all sorts of antioxidants from the right type of fruits and vegetables, and we have made just the right type of list so you can apply it in your daily diet. 

  • Papaya 
  • Broccoli  
  • Nuts (Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts) 
  • Red Bell Peppers 
  • Spinach 
  • Blueberries 
  • Watercress 
  • Pomegranate  
  • Avocado 
  • Sweet potatoes 

Conclusion and Caution: 

If you start to count the number of antioxidants known to science, you’ll probably get carried away. Each antioxidant is good for each particular illness, and we can’t overdose on it either. As you know “Too much of good turns to bad” and if you are planning on taking only one antioxidant supplement, then I think it’s not really a good idea.  

It is suggested by many pieces of research from the late 80s, that a mix of antioxidants should be taken in particular doses.

If you take too many antioxidant supplements you’ll probably face headaches, nausea, and it can act as pro-oxidants. 

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