We’ve all heard the hype about antioxidants and their positive effect on health, but what are they? What do they really do? Can antioxidants really transform our overall health? Overwhelming evidence suggests that eating whole fruits, vegetables and whole grains, all rich in antioxidants, can provide protection against aging and disease.
An antioxidant is a molecule that prohibits the oxidation of other molecules in the body. Insufficient levels of antioxidants cause oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells. This stress appears to play a significant role in many diseases, including cancer.
The most common substances that act as antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, along with the minerals manganese and selenium. Others include glutathione, flavonoids, phenols, coenzyme Q10 and many more.
Sipping on green tea or even coffee has an anti-inflammatory effect because the antioxidants in coffee and tea prevent oxidation of fats, a process that promotes inflammation and can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Antioxidants found in berries can even boost immune function by quenching free radicals.
Antioxidants are essential in your diet, but what about your skin? There are several antioxidants that show up in skin-care lines, but which are best? Vitamin C and Vitamin E tend to reign supreme in this category; however, research suggests Milkweed seed oil, present in Milkweed Balm, has unique fatty acids and is also high in antioxidant capacity.
From the inside out, it seems pretty conclusive that antioxidants work at keeping us healthy and strong.