In the battle against everyday pollutants, toxins and unhealthy behaviors, antioxidants are one of the best weapons. That's because these vitamins work in the body to fight free radicals, highly charged ions caused by many of the toxins people encounter on a regular basis. Even though antioxidants have been a major health topic for many years now, there are probably a fair amount of people out there who still don't understand exactly what these vitamins are and what they do.
Recently, CNN published an article by dermatology physician assistant Sarah Neumann, who explained how antioxidants are the "James Bond" of the body.
Stealth health heros
"They team up against disease and diffuse free radicals while combating the aging process.Their name: Oxidants – antioxidants. Just like James Bond, they work to save the world and beautiful women from bad guys. Only this time the beautiful woman is you and the free radicals (bad guys) are invading your body. They're working to keep you feeling healthy and looking young," Neumann wrote for the news source.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there are many antioxidant substances. These include lycopene and vitamin C, which can be found in many foods such as tomatoes, oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, bell peppers and some cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli.
For people who aren't big fans of fruits and vegetables, there are alternative sources of antioxidants. Coffee, green tea, beans, ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger and even chocolate are all rich with antioxidants, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Neumann wrote that antioxidants can help the body from the inside out. For example, she stated that while sunscreen and moisturizer keep the skin looking young, a person's diet can also have an impact. Studies have shown that consuming antioxidant-rich foods fight off the effects of aging on the skin. Furthermore, antioxidant serum may help with dull complexions, fight wrinkles and potentially even out skin tone.
The physician assistant added that antioxidants don't only fight off the effects of aging, but also prevent some of the harms caused by everyday pollutants. These vitamins have been shown to help protect the body from pollution and secondhand smoke.
Clearly, there are many reasons to get more antioxidants into your diet. Taking a multivitamin may also help you consume more of these healthy, important substances.