Are you looking for a new self-improvement project? Whether your goal is elevating your overall health or getting bright, glowing skin, upping your antioxidant game might be the perfect solution.
What, exactly, are antioxidants? This term refers to any and all particles that help prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Ozone, smoke, UV rays, and other free radicals strip our cells of oxygen atoms, making them unstable. These deoxidized cells are primed to bond with others and spread the damage.
Antioxidants can prevent this phenomenon. That means they may also reduce the signs of aging caused by free radical damage.
Okay, that all sounds great – but what happens beyond the cellular level? In this short guide, we’ll go over four major health benefits of antioxidants.
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1. Boost Immunity
Consuming more antioxidants can help to boost immune system response.
If you’re used to seeing antioxidants in night creams and other skincare products, you may be surprised by this factoid. However, keep in mind that all of the following have antioxidant properties:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
These vitamins play a crucial role in immunity and cellular repair. For example, Vitamin C helps us to regenerate tissue. When we don’t have enough, we develop scurvy, and wounds are difficult to heal. When the immune system has the compounds it needs to repair damaged tissue quickly and efficiently, it’s better able to partition resources and fight incoming threats.
Just about every antioxidant has a similar beneficial effect, and some may even promote the growth of white blood cells, which play a central role in immune system response.
To get plenty of these antioxidant vitamins, make sure your diet is rich in leafy greens like kale, broccoli, and spinach.
2. Improve Skin
We already mentioned that antioxidants are prevalent in skincare products. Evidence suggests that we can absorb these substances into the skin’s surface, where they directly help to prevent free radical damage that can lead to:
- Fine lines
- Uneven skin tone
You don’t have to shell out cash on expensive skincare products to experience antioxidants’ amazing benefits. Because most plants have strong antioxidant properties, essential oils are a great way to deliver benefits directly to the skin.
Great antioxidant oils for skin health include:
- Lemon (be sure to find steam-distilled lemon that is not phytotoxic)
However, getting enough antioxidants in your diet is still a crucial part of the equation. A supplement like astaxanthin benefits the body from the inside out.
3. Preserve Your Vision
We love a good pair of glasses as much as the next person. But wouldn’t it be great if they were optional?
While antioxidants can’t reverse vision loss, it’s possible that they can help promote eye health and prevent your vision from deteriorating even further.
To preserve your vision, focus on Vitamin A (also called retinoid), which can be found in yellow and orange antioxidant-rich veggies including:
- Yellow bell peppers
- Sweet potato
4. Promote Longevity
What do superfoods from spirulina to mushrooms have in common? They’re prized in traditional and folkloric medicine around the world for their ability to promote longevity.
That may be thanks to their antioxidant compounds.
This makes intuitive sense. Because antioxidants can help prevent cellular damage, they may play a role in preventing chronic diseases of all kinds.
While they’re not a cure-all for every pathogen out there, antioxidants are definitely a crucial part of a well-rounded diet and a well-rounded approach to personal health.
How to Get More Antioxidants
Now that you’ve read all about the amazing benefits of antioxidants, you’re likely curious about how you can get plenty into your diet.
Start your day with an antioxidant-rich breakfast. You may be surprised to hear that coffee and tea are actually a great source of antioxidants. Drink up! Besides that, try to eat fresh fruit with your oatmeal or cooked greens with your eggs. You can even take an antioxidant supplement to make extra sure you’re getting enough.
Follow up with a lunch and dinner rich in colorful vegetables. Some say that the more colorful your plate, the more antioxidants there are! Say goodbye to meals of brown meat and white potatoes and enter the world of bright orange kabocha, ruby-red beets, and blue-green spirulina.
Ingredients like these are a feast for your eyes and a miracle for your overall health.
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