Free radicals can cause major damage to our health and lead to a variety of diseases or skin problems. To neutralise their effect, it is important we consume the widest variety of antioxidant rich foods to fight off the different forms of free radicals.
According to the international dermal institute, Free radicals may be formed through natural human physiological processes or environmental influences. They may also occur as result of poor diet, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor exercise habits, or use of certain drugs. Free radicals may also form spontaneously or as a result of exposure to heat, light or something in the environment. In addition, a free radical can result from pollution and sun radiation which can prey on the electrons in skin cells, leading to inflammation, uneven skin tone and signs of premature skin ageing.
Regular consumption of foods high in antioxidants can help prevent the impact a free radical can have on our skin or body cells.
25 ANTIOXIDANT RICH FOODS FOR GREAT HEALTH AND SKIN
6 ANTIOXIDANT RICH FOODS TO EAT
If you desire smooth, beautiful, flawless skin, you need a healthy dose of Vitamin A. Sweet Potatoe is rich in Vitamin A and can help restore and regenerate damaged collagen. The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is a powerful antioxidant and is fat-soluble, this is why you will notice smoother skin after regularly consuming sweet potatoes.
Consume dark chocolate as cocoa contains procyanidin B-2, which protects brain cells from inflammation and can stop the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals that are released into the skin. It also contains resveratrol and flavanols, which are the active compounds found in dark chocolate. These compounds promote blood circulation and can even protect against moderate sun damage. Opt for dark chocolate over milk chocolate, as the dark chocolate is more beneficial to health.
Yoghurts are chock full of protein and calcium but contain other vital nutrients that help the skin as well. The vitamin B in yoghurt is essential for multiple body functions, including cell growth and division. Replace unhealthy sugary treats and opt for fresh yoghurts. Jazz it up by adding fresh fruits like berries, kiwi and bananas for great taste.
TOFU, SOYMILK, AND EDAMAME
These foods contain natural phytoestrogens that help keep skin smooth, firm and resilient and may even actually slow down the ageing process. Edamame is also valuable to reducing fatigue in addition to other benefits.
Salmon and other cold water fish are packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants that fight inflammation, keep skin looking young and flawless. Salmon is also a good source of protein which the body needs to maintain and repair itself as we age.
Green tea has high concentrations of Catechin, which has strong anti-inflammatory powers that help delay the onset of wrinkles and can reverse the sun damage on your skin. It also protects the skin against UV radiation, thus helping to prevent the growth of moles and age spots. If consuming green tea is not your cup of tea (excuse my pun on words… could not resist) you can apply it topically and still get the same anti-aging benefits! Green tea can also help increase metabolism, suppress the absorption of fat and protect the skin and brain from inflammation when consumed regularly.
6 ANTIOXIDANTS RICH FRUITS TO EAT
All types of berries (Acai berries, Goji berries, Raspberries, strawberries) are great, but blueberries, in particular, are rich in antioxidants which can slow down the aging process (as it contains high levels of vitamin C and E), and has found to improve neural communication, increase the release of dopamine (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers) and protect the brain from an age-related decline in dopamine levels.
Eating kiwifruit will not only help maintain clear skin, it will also promote healthy bones. Plus, it neutralises free radicals that could lead to cancer and heart disease.
The oil found in avocados help toughen and hydrate skin.
This food contains multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). Cucumbers keep the body hydrated, flushes out toxins, aids weight loss, supplies skin-friendly minerals like magnesium, potassium and silicon.
Walnuts contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids which increase bone strength and protect against high blood pressure and heart disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve skin diseases like eczema.
This fruit has a sweet, honey flavour and it is rich in vitamin A and B which keeps eyes and skin healthy. It can be used in pies, soups, bread or even ice cream.
8 ANTIOXIDANT RICH VEGETABLES TO EAT
CARROTS AND TOMATOES
Carrots and tomatoes contain beta carotene and lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which helps protect the skin from sun damage. Lycopene is best absorbed by the body when cooked or processed. Ensure you opt for organic tomatoes and vegetables. Tomatoes can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
BROCCOLI, BEETS, AND RED CABBAGE
These veggies are all natural detoxifiers, they are known to minimise toxicities in our bloodstream responsible for a dull skin complexion.
Seeds from chia plants are very high in omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of vitamin E and bone-building minerals like calcium. Chia seeds help maintain skin, heart and brain health.
SPINACH OR LEAFY GREENS
They are very common, affordable and a great vegetable choice. Spinach contains tonnes of vitamins, including folate (vitamin B9) which aids in the production and maintenance of new cells, including red blood cell and it’s also rich in lutein, which helps keep our eyes healthy and bright.
Watercress is chock with antioxidants and other minerals. This green vegetable also has diuretic properties to help remove toxins from the body and is believed to prevent cancer as well as maintain eye and skin health.
6 ANTIOXIDANT RICH SPICES TO CONSUME
Cinnamon is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that regulates blood sugar and helps keep skin wrinkle-free. Its aroma is also good for the brain and can improve memory and attention span.
GINGER, TURMERIC, CAYENNE, CUMIN
These spices have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. They can also help balance blood sugar and can be easily incorporated into beverages or even food.
Rosemary is rich in phytochemicals which increase levels of ceramide in the skin, which helps to retain moisture and elasticity.
When incorporating these foods into your diet regime, bear in mind that processed foods, stress and toxins will accelerate ageing. To achieve and maintain a healthy skin glow it is important to protect yourself from harmful chemicals, get enough sleep, relax and exercise regularly.
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