Maybe, maybe not.
We’ve seen a lot of news and heard a lot of people say that antioxidants helping stop the aging process, so we decided to research a bit on the subject to see what it’s all about.
The first question we asked ourselves was: What do antioxidants do? The obvious answer is that it has something to do with oxidation. This is a natural process in our molecules called oxidation-reduction. The cells in our body use this process to produce the energy we need to move, breathe, digest, and basically exist. This process also releases what are known as “free radicals”. If you paid attention in your chemistry class, you will remember that free radicals are molecules that are unstable because they are missing an electron, and they are looking for other molecules from which to “steal” that missing electron. When they succeed, they create more free radicals. Many scientists believe free radicals influence aging in the tissues.
The body has a system for regulating or neutralizing antioxidants, but it is estimated that 1% of all free radicals “escape” the body’s defenses against them.* This is where the potential value of antioxidants in foods and supplements comes in. The theory, in simple terms, is that if you add antioxidants to your body through nutrition, they will eliminate the free radicals that have escaped your natural defenses. Some studies support this theory, while others have been unable to prove it, but it is still being evaluated.
Now, is increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich foods worth it? The answer is yes. Fruits and vegetables are the richest in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E. So, by increasing your antioxidant intake, you are eating super healthy and getting lots of essential nutrients, amino acids, and fiber. And if these nutrients can also help you prevent aging, you are getting double benefits. You have everything to gain.
Antioxidant-rich foods tend to be colorful. So a good rule of thumb is: the more color on your plate, the better.
Below is a list of antioxidant-rich foods.
Watercress leaves are packed with nutrients, such as:
Vitamins A, C, K, B-1, and B-2
- Red peppers
These peppers, just like the yellow and orange variants, provide you with:
Carotenoids (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory)
This fruit is packed with essential nutrients, such as:
Vitamins A, C, K, and E
This blue fruit also contains an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which gives it its blue color. It also contains:
An anti-inflammatory packed with antioxidants, such as:
Vitamins C and K
This vegetable is super hydrating, packed with antioxidants and other nutrients like:
Vitamins A, C, E, and K
Many nuts, especially almonds, are rich in:
They contain essential fatty acids and nutrients, such as:
Vitamins K, C, E, and A
- Sweet potatoes
The orange color in sweet potatoes comes from a powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene, and they also provide:
For centuries, pomegranate seeds have been considered medicinal, offering:
Other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables:
Pumpkins, mangoes, carrots, watermelons, pink grapefruits, tomatoes, and dark green vegetables.
Remember to fill your plate with colors and enjoy!
Source: *Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process
Domenico Fusco,1 Giuseppe Colloca,1 Maria Rita Lo Monaco,1 and Matteo Cesari1,2
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