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Stop your Skin from Aging with Antioxidants

October 4, 2010


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Naturally smooth looking skin is one of the many signs of beauty in today’s society. As we age, our skin develops wrinkles, discoloration, and begins to sag. Throughout time as our life expectancy has grown, so has the need for anti aging remedies that can correct the signs of aging. Unfortunately, science has not found a permanent reversal for aging. Plastic surgery, anti aging creams, lotions, serums, and treatments are only temporary. Eventually, your age catches up to you and you cannot hold off the signs of aging any longer.



            In a world where technological advances and modern medical breakthroughs are happening everyday, you would think that we would have found some way to stall the effects of aging. Although, the idea of living forever is one that has never dissipated, until scientists and researchers can find a way to rejuvenate, repair and replace the bodies skin, organs, and functioning to its youthful ways, we will have to settle for temporary fixes. Up until now vitamin supplementation, hormone replacements and herbal remedies have all been toted to minimize the effects of aging. However medical experts say these products have no affects on the aging process. Anti aging treatments are widely available and come in all forms, pill, tablet, injection, cream, lotion, serum, etc. Although, if you prefer natural anti aging treatments you may want to look at your lifestyle first and foremost.



Anti aging creams, lotions, and serums have chemicals that can have adverse reactions to different skin types. Cosmetic procedures cost thousands, take a long time to heal and can have scarring. Hormone replacements can cause unnatural reactions within the body and vitamin supplementation or herbal remedies are not approved by the FDA and are not readily accepted by all of the medical society. By taking a look at what we eat and the types of physical activity we engage in you can improve not only your life expectancy and quality of life, but you can reduce the signs of aging and improve your health. Our bodies require essential nutrients to continue functioning at an optimal level.  Nerve firing, permeability, and transduction are only a few of the chemical reactions that take place in the body every second.



Oxidation is a normal chemical reaction within the body.  Oxidation occurs when a substance combines with oxygen and since our bodies need oxygen to sustain life this type of reaction occurs regularly. Although part of our normal metabolism oxidation can create free radicals. A free radical is an atom or group of atoms (molecule) that is missing an electron. Free radicals can be detrimental to not only the skin and the aging process, but it can cause diseases and illnesses, which can result in death. Free radicals damage cells by stealing electrons from healthy atoms. This can damage the cell membrane and cell DNA causing the cell to function abnormally, which can trigger mutations. In skin cells, free radicals destroy elastin and collagen that keep the skin firm and tone. This speeds up the aging process causing wrinkles, sagging and drooping skin.



Even though, it is part of our body’s natural metabolic chemistry, nature created a substance that can counteract free radicals. Antioxidants are reducing agents that remove free radicals and inhibit oxidative reactions.  Therefore antioxidants are powerful substances that reduce the risk for several diseases while keeping our skin healthy and youthful. Antioxidants are able to counteract free radicals because they are oxidized themselves, therefore they are able to give free radicals an electron, to prevent them from damaging any cells in the body.

The body can produce antioxidants minimally, which is why free radicals are normally cleared from the body.  However, with the increased exposure to external toxins, a poor diet and experimental and prescription drugs, we have also seen an increase in the amount of free radicals within the body. This can also be seen through the amount of diseases and illnesses that are present in today’s society.



Antioxidants are mainly obtained through our food. Most antioxidants come in the forms of vitamins and can be ingested through fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are essential antioxidants that can rid the body of free radicals. Thus the need to consume several servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This is in addition to the fact that they are healthier for the body and easier for the body to break down and use as fuel and energy. Although, the free radical theory has been around for over 60 years there are some who doubt its effectiveness to reduce the aging process. However, people who have increased their intake of antioxidant rich foods have not only noticed a difference in their health but their skin looks and feels younger and fresher. Additionally, these vitamin-enriched foods can reduce the risk of acne breakouts and keep skin glowing and beautiful.



The most common antioxidants are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin, E, selenium, flavonoids, polypenols, lutein, coenzyme Q10 and glutathione. An important thing to know about antioxidants is their classification within two categories: water and fat-soluble. Although an overabundance of water-soluble antioxidants can be excreted by the body without any harmful side effects, an excess of fat-soluble antioxidants over long periods of time can lead to increased mortality rates due to the inability of the body to remove it. It is important to understand that fat-soluble antioxidants are essential nutrients for the body but should only be taken in the recommended amounts. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetable oil, fish, garlic and eggs are all great sources of antioxidants. The recommended daily amounts of fruit are 2-4 servings and vegetables are 4-6 servings.  Eating the daily recommendations for antioxidants will ensure the removal of free radicals and keep your skin healthy, clear and beautiful.

 

Below is a list of each antioxidant with the corresponding foods:

 Vitamin A and Carotenoidscarrots, vegetables, vitamin A, carotenoids, antioxidants
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Apricots

 

Vitamin Cfruits, citrus fruits, vitamin C, antioxidants

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Lime
  • Green Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin E nuts, vitamin E, antioxidants

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole Grains
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Liver Oil

Seleniumselenium, protein, antioxidants

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Red Meat
  • Grains
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Garlic

Flavonoids / Polyphenolgrapes, red wine, flavonoids, polyphenol, antioxidants

  • Soy
  • Red wine
  • Purple grapes or Concord grapes
  • Pomegranate
  • Cranberries
  • Tea


Lycopenetomatoes, tomato, lycopene, antioxidants

  • Tomato and tomato products
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Watermelon






Luteinkiwi, lutein, antioxidants
  • Dark green vegetables 
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi
  • Brussels sprout
  • Spinach


Lignanlignan, bread, wheat, grain, antioxidants

  • Flax seed
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Rye