The Most Important Antioxidants & their Best Sources

by Monic Bert

The thing that makes antioxidants so precious and important for humans is the ability to block the development of free radicals – unpaired atoms which quickly and effortlessly move around the body, destroying healthy cells. If there are too many of them in comparison to antioxidants, we come up against oxidative stress – the lack of balance between oxidants and antioxidants. This may contribute to serious diseases and rapid skin and hair aging. If you want to enjoy healthy body and youthful skin long, you must enrich your diet and daily beauty care with antioxidants.

The most important antioxidants – vitamins

  • Vitamin A – a very strong antioxidant. The vitamin which is essential for the proper function of the sight organ. It effectively improves the condition of the skin. Found in vegetables and fruit, provitamin A (beta-carotene) is the safest for human organism and it is transferred into vitamin A inside the body. The foods highest in beta-carotene include carrots, docks, chard, spinach, red pepper, pumpkin, broccoli, tomatoes, peaches, leek and asparagus. For better absorption of vitamin A, you need at least a little amount of fat. In animal-derived products, vitamin A occurs in the form retinol and its sources include liver, yolk, fish (tuna, mackerel), fatty cottage cheese and milk.
  • Vitamin E – the strongest antioxidant which is defined as the vitamin of youthfulness. It enhances the proper skin moisture, prevents the pathogenic changes in tissues and cells. Vitamin E is mostly found in vegetable oils.
  • Vitamin C – another vitamin intensively enhancing the youthful looks. It stimulates the synthesis of collagen, improves the state of skin and mucosa, bolsters the immunity. It takes part in the regeneration of vitamin E. Pepper, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, aronia, blackberries and citruses make up its source.

You should supplement vitamins A, C and E together as they complement and strengthen each other for increased antioxidant effect.

The most important antioxidants  – minerals

Among minerals, the main antioxidants include zinc (responsible for the proper work of immune system, it is also an ingredient of many enzymes participating in protein biosynthesis), selenium (a substance capturing free radicals and supporting enzyme system which shields from the radicals thanks to the ability to bond with harmful heavy metals, speeds up their removal from the body and additionally protects against the deadly aflatoxins) and lycopene – it shields DNA from free radicals and regulates its reparative mechanisms, as well as blocks the proliferation of pathogenic cells (caused by reactive forms of oxygen).

The most important antioxidants  – bioflavonoids

It is a group of organic chemical compounds found in many plants. Even though they are not essential for the body functioning, their role in preventing lots of diseases and skin aging is huge. We know over 7000 various flavonoids – quercetin and rutin which have a similar effect to vitamin C, strengthening the blood vessels. The most powerful flavonoids which boost skin condition and youthfulness are catechins found in tea (biggest concentration in green tea).

Also anthocyanins have a strong antioxidant effect. They are red and blue plant pigments present in aronia, blackberries, red berries, blackcurrant, grapes, red cabbage and aubergine.

The most important antioxidants  – coenzyme Q10

Few people know that coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone. It is a vitamin-like substance present in all body cells. It is responsible for the most important metabolic conversions.

It works as an antioxidant as well as increases the energy production in cells. This energy is essential for the proper function of tissues and organs. By delivering the right dose of coenzyme Q10, you significantly delay the aging processes. Ubiquinone-rich products protect the skin from environmental pollution: toxins, smoke, smog and free radicals.

The most important antioxidants – lutein & zeaxanthin

Similarly to beta-carotene, they belong to the family of carotenoids. They are strong antioxidants which lower the level of bad cholesterol and keep the dangerous fats from building up on the walls of blood vessels, preventing the venous embolism. Lutein is hidden in algae e.g. spirulina and chlorella which have amazing skin, hair and nail benefits.

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