Antioxidants, also called antioxidants, are a group of chemical compounds that have the ability to neutralize free radicals. The latter are formed under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, hormones, environmental pollution, stress, eating certain foods, smoking cigarettes or aging processes. Free radicals accelerate the aging process of the skin and the body, are the cause of many diseases such as cataracts, arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease or cancer.
Antioxidants that may occur naturally in the body are a small group of these compounds. Therefore, it is important to provide antioxidants to the body with food or in the form of supplements, such as vitamins A, C, E, coenzyme Q10, carotenoids, selenium, phenolic acids and many others. Antioxidants are essential for the body to fight free radicals.
How do antioxidants work?
In the group of antioxidants, the polyphenols found in vegetables and fruits deserve special attention. Their most important biological activity is the capture of free radicals, responsible for the aging processes of the skin. In addition, they take part in the synthesis of collagen and strengthen blood vessels. It is presumed that polyphenols may have antiseptic effects. Research is being carried out on their role in inhibiting the development of various pathogenic microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Big possibilities of using polyphenols give them the ability to inhibit the activity of enzymes supporting the development of tumors in the human body. Polyphenol compounds are of great importance in the prevention of nearly 60 diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease.
Antioxidants in food
Apples, blueberries, onions, broccoli, and even chocolate and red wine are sources of antioxidants in the diet. An extremely valuable product rich in antioxidants is green tea. Flavonols contained in it provide nearly six times higher antioxidant properties than black tea. Therefore, in order to enjoy the full health for as long as possible, it is worth enriching the diet with antioxidant products. These include vegetable oils, cereals, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, coffee, tea and other herbal products. Oils are particularly rich in tocopherols, tocotrienols, phospholipids. In oats and rice bran, we can find various derivatives of lignin, in fruits and vegetables, vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, in spices and herbs – a wealth of phenolic compounds.
One of the ways to ensure good health, well-being and beauty is the right diet. It should be rich in antioxidants derived from natural products. Therefore, look favorably on fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices today!