Creating Beautiful Skin and Super Health with Antioxidants
Antioxidants have a wide reputation within our beauty products to help prevent the signs of premature aging, but most of these formulas will only contain supplements or extracts of the actual antioxidant vitamins that our skin needs. The natural substances and compounds of antioxidants are what our bodies are really after, as they contain a multitude of vitamins for the skin such as A, C, E, Selenium, and Beta-Carotene.
The Free Radical Battle
Antioxidants are said to act as defense mechanisms for our bodies against harmful molecules which are clinically referred to as 'free radicals'. These particles travel both easily to us and on a daily basis; through our environments, within the air, water and sunlight. The damage caused by these particles has been found to have considerable links within the development of cancer, blood vessel disease, and of course the aging process.
The answer for the everyday consumer is not always beautifully presented in a tube of cream along with a hefty price tag; these preventatives and their beneficial vitamins and minerals can be found very easily, for far cheaper, and usually in one singular product at your local supermarket. Where you'll need to look is within natural produce, as many foods which are high in antioxidant substances will be found in your fruit and veg aisles.
The top ten foods for your antioxidant skin care requirements are:
1. Carrots - Not only are these a rich source of antioxidant compounds, but they provide the highest source of pro-vitamin A carotenes offered in fruit or vegetables.
2. Navy Beans - Navy beans are a popular snack amongst sufferers of diabetes, as they provide a good source of cholestrol-lowering fibre which helps to prevent blood sugars from rapidly rising after food intake. They are also a great source of energy and protein.
3. Wild Blueberries - These are a low-calorie option for antioxidant intake, including blueberries. They have proven better than over 50 other alternatives in fruits and vegetables in their ability to fight free radicals.
4. Artichokes - are a fat-free and low calorie vegetable which offers a good dose of magnesium, potassium and fibre.
5. Dried Plums (Prunes) - have clinically proven to assist in weight loss therapies as they provide a rich source of potassium.
6. Russet Potatoes - when not highly processed and consumed naturally, these vegetables offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals to the body, including vitamin C, B6, and potassium.
7. Walnuts - these provide the highest source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids from any of the tree nut varieties. Their ingredients promote the appearance of good blood pressure, heart health and are a great source of brain food.
8. Sweet Potatoes - are a great provider of unique proteins which have potent antioxidant levels. They also provide sweet-tooths with a great source of nutrition.
9. Apricots - contain a high level of Beta-Carotene, fibre and Vitamin A.
10. Spinach - researchers have found more than 12 different compounds in this green vegetable which act as anticancer agents.
Need a list of the antioxidant vitamins, minerals, nutrients and dietary food compounds to explore? Check out this list:
Antioxidant Food Recipes
It's one thing to know which foods are rich in antioxidants but it's another knowing how to include them in your daily diet and lifestyle. So we thought a series of recipes would be handy so each meal of the day can include these highly rewarding foods..
So check out these websites for a range of great recipes to get you inspired:
The Biggest Loser has a wonderful selection of recipes, including those show on the Biggest Loser Master Class (click to see more).
Getting kids to eat healthy meals can be challenging so here are some great ideas to help share the antioxident menu! (you may need to scroll down the page for the details to display)
Dietitians Association of Australia has a great free online tool for finding healthy recipes for any meal of the day - including snacks, party food, desserts, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and salads. Click here to use the DAA Find a Recipe tool. The DAA home page is www.daa.asn.au
How to Make the Bad Free Radicals Flourish
So while it's easy to get the idea of how antioxidants are great for our bodies, health and immune system what about the free radicals? What sort of life style choices let them flourish? We have choice about our lifestyle behaviours but we need to know what isn't working well for us so we can take action.
Free radicals love:
What free radicals do in the body:
Choosing a lifestyle that includes antioxidant foods and vitamins empowers your body to effectively fight free radicals. Check out the range of free recipes online, make changes progressively and enjoy the benefits of a happier and healthier body.
Well I'm off to make a pot of green tea with honey and have some antioxidant rich chocolate!
Contributing Writer Liz Bowen
Elizabeth is currently a journalism student at Newcastle University. With great loves for the mediums of film, music, fashion, and popular culture; she spends her time researching and reviewing artists who have succeeded in their mission to inspire and connect with audiences.
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