Antioxidants - Do We Really Need Them?

Anti-Aging Antioxidants Beauty Health Health Food

WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?

“Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.” -- Medical News Today

Free radicals are waste substances produced by our cells as the body processes food and reacts to the environment. Oxidative stress is the result of the body’s inability to process or remove free radicals properly, which consequently harms our cells and body function.

Here are some reasons that escalate the production of free radicals in the body:

  • Inflammation
  • Pollution
  • UV exposure
  • Cigarette smoke

Many health issues and chronic diseases have been linked to oxidative stress -- cancer, heart disease, stroke, inflammatory conditions, immune deficiency, respiratory diseases and arthritis.

Pollution
Photo by Maxim Tolchinskiy on Unsplash

Antioxidants are important to fight off free radical damage in our bodies.

Some of the most popular types of antioxidants are familiar to all of us -- i.e., Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E. However, did you know that there are actually more than 10 types of antioxidants? Here are some other types of antioxidants which you may or may not have heard of:

  • Allium sulphur compounds
  • Beta-carotene
  • Flavonoids
  • Lignans
  • Lutein
  • Polyphenols
  • Selenium
  • Zinc


Photo by Julia Zolotova on Unsplash

WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF ANTIOXIDANTS?

Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants. Besides fruit and vegetables, coffee, green tea and dark chocolate are also great sources of antioxidants!

Here are some of our top choices for food high in antioxidants:

  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  • Ginger
  • Green Tea
  • Lemongrass
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Spirulina

Berries
Photo by Brendin Hoffman on Unsplash  

WHY DO YOU NEED ANTIOXIDANTS?

IMMUNITY BOOSTING

Antioxidants help to strengthen our antibodies and eliminate and fight off infections and acts as a barrier against invading infections, viruses, bacteria and diseases. Antioxidants also help to reduce the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections, especially the common cold. A study found that those who consumed antioxidants were less likely to contract an upper respiratory tract infection compared to those who didn’t.

How does it work?

Besides its massive contribution in fighting off free radicals, antioxidants also support the functions of: -

  • Natural killer cells, that eliminate infectious and malignant targets
  • Neutrophils, that fight bacterial infections
  • Antibodies, that identify and destroy invading threats
  • Lymphocytes, that produce antibodies
  • B and T cells, which are important immunity defenders
  • Cytokines, which regulate our immune responses

Fight free radicals
Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

GENERAL HEALTH

Besides boosting immunity and fighting off infections, antioxidants have a big role to play in keeping us healthy.

Antioxidants, which fight off free radicals can prevent many health issues that stem from oxidative damage caused by free radicals such as:-

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Deterioration of the eye lens, which causes vision loss
  • Damage to nerve cells in the brain, which causes Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Premature aging

A large number of studies were done for antioxidants. Just to name a few, a study found that men who eat plenty of lycopene were less likely to develop prostate cancer; another study found that the incidence of eye lens degeneration and associated vision loss in the elderly could be reduced with the consumption of lutein; while another study found that flavonoids reduced the rates of heart disease in Japan.

Eye degeneration
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

BEAUTY AND ANTI-AGING

Did you know that one of the biggest secrets to good skin is antioxidants?

Oxidative stress breaks down collagen, hinders our skin’s natural repair process and triggers inflammation - resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, loose skin, acne breakouts and a blotchy skin tone. [1] 

By scavenging free radicals and reducing inflammation, antioxidants help to:- 

  • Correct signs of age, giving skin a more youthful glow
  • Prevent sun damage, providing protection against sun damage and photoaging
  • Brighten skin tone, preventing abnormal skin pigmentation
  • Repair skin
  • Stimulate collagen production

“Despite advertising claims, almost all available topical formulations contain very low concentrations of antioxidants that are not well-absorbed by the skin,” said Karen E. Burke, MD, in a presentation to the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual meeting in New Orleans. [2] This is why besides topically applying antioxidants to your skin, it’s also extremely important to consume antioxidants orally.

Beauty anti-aging skincare
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

SM Health Care offers a wide range of products high in antioxidants. Here are our top 5 favourites!

  1. Twenty2 - Bio Active Spirulina Pacifica 500mg (100 Vegetarian Capsules)
Spirulina is a superfood.
It is one of the most powerful antioxidants - 4 times higher in antioxidant potency than blueberries, and 5 times higher in beta-carotene than carrots!
Besides that, it is also a great source of nutrients:-
  • 56 times higher in iron than spinach
  • 30 times higher in chlorophyll than wheatgrass
  • 2.5 times higher in vitamin B12 than cow liver
  • 2.5 times higher in protein than soya bean
We love that there’s so much to gain in just one tiny capsule!

Spirulina tablets
 
Formulated with a blend of bilberry extract, grape seed extract and eyebright extract, this powerhouse of antioxidants will greatly support your eye health. Bilberry is one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, which protects the eyes from free radical damage.

Our increasing use of smartphones and computers makes this a must-have!

 

3. NÜDIE Superfood: Pink Pitaya Powder (100g)

The Pitaya, also known as the Dragon Fruit is a great source of antioxidants such as vitamin C, and vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals such as zinc, potassium and magnesium.
Once harvested, the Pitayas are freeze-dried and made into powder to maximise the preservation of the nutrients so that you get the most out of it! 
What we love most about this is how we can easily add this into our yoghurts, smoothies or muesli and take in all the antioxidants in one meal!
 
Up to 26 to 30 organic lemons are fresh-pressed into each bottle!
With each bottle, you get 286 mg of vitamin C, that’s 320% of the daily value.
We also love that it’s certified organic, non-GMO, free from preservatives, bottled in non-toxic glass bottles, gluten-free, allergen-free and Kosher certified.

5. Himalaya Revitalizing Night Cream - 50ml

This deep-penetrating, luxurious cream renews skin cells, hydrates skin and repairs daily damage.
The key ingredient, White Lily is rich in antioxidants which help to neutralize free radicals and repair daily damage. This revitalizing cream also contains tomato, which is rich in flavonoids and AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) that help in cell renewal.
We also absolutely love that it is dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic, free from mineral oils and parabens, and hypoallergenic.

Check out more products high in antioxidants that we have on our website by clicking here!

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