You may have bought a bucketload of blueberries, because they’re rich in antioxidants or invested in an antioxidant-rich face cream, but do you actually know why we need antioxidants? What are they, where and why do we need them so much?
Antioxidants are natural chemicals, full of vital vitamins to help restore your health on the inside and out against free radicals that destroy your DNA structure, which leads to premature ageing, cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Already found in the body, antioxidants strengthen our defenses against excessive free radical molecules that we encounter on a daily basis. We’re advised to absorb as many antioxidants as possible through our lifestyle choices internally and externally. So how do you do it? Here are our top 5 tips on how to get more antioxidants in your life.
Sweet like chocolate
Cacao is full of flavonoids, which are also known as antioxidant compounds that help fight against free radicals. By digesting flavonoids you are increasing your blood flow, protecting against cell damage and decreasing your memory decline.
You can also drink up your antioxidants and matcha tea has 137 times higher levels of catechins compared to any other standard green tea according to one study.
Try Clearspring’s Organic Japanese Matcha Shot (£6.25, www.clearspring.co.uk).
Bust the pollution
Car fumes, radiation and pollutants only cause free radicals to become more harmful to our skin. In urban areas it’s particularly recommended to protect your skin’s barrier from the free radicals’ mutations by using a protective oil or serum, rich in antioxidants to prevent them penetrating your skin.
Look at the label
Where else can these antioxidants be found? Look out for some of these ingredients that are high in antioxidants on your skincare labels: pomegranate, avocado, caffeine, aloe vera, sea buckthorn and rose extract.
These ingredients will all help to rewind the clock because their antioxidant anti-ageing properties will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles from the cell damage made from free radicals. “Caffeine is high in antioxidants, even more so once it’s been brewed beforehand, and it’s got really good pH levels, which makes it a great anti-ageing product. Also the caffeine will absorb locally into your skin so it will stimulate your blood flow. That makes it great for circulation but also makes it one of the best natural treatments for cellulite,” Optiat’s co-founder Anna Brightman explains.
Avoid the sunbed
The same way pollution charges the free radicals abilities so does too many UV rays so be sure to avoid the sunbed at all costs if you want to protect yourself further from skin damage and premature ageing.