Do you ever look in the mirror and think, "What happened?" What happened is that you grew up and grew up! While you may want to look old enough, you probably also want to look young enough to still live a cool life!
But how can you slow down time?
One of the crucial keys to aging well is getting enough antioxidants. You've probably heard that antioxidants are good for your health. But why are they actually so important? And how do they help slow down the aging process?
Antioxidants have the ability to neutralize free radicals. Studies show that damage caused by free radicals can cause serious diseases, including cancer, and also contribute significantly to the aging process. Antioxidants therefore help protect you from disease and slow down the effects of aging.
Here are some essential antioxidants and where you can find them:
1. Vitamin C. This is a very important antioxidant that is perhaps best known for its deficiency disease, scurvy
- Vitamin C is also essential for the formation of collagen in the building of skin, blood vessels and cartilage. It has been shown to protect against heart disease, stress and cancer. Some studies suggest that vitamin C deficiency contributes to atherosclerosis - While most animals can synthesize vitamin C on their own, humans cannot
- Foods high in vitamin C include red and green hot peppers, guava, bell peppers, oranges, tangerines, kiwi, papaya and strawberries
2. Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E in humans. It primarily protects cell membranes by neutralizing the process by which free radicals oxidize the cell membrane
- Vitamin E is also associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer and Alzheimer's disease
- This vitamin is found in high amounts in wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil. Other sources include almonds, olives, cooked spinach and papaya.
3. Zinc. Zinc is important for more than 200 enzymes, in wound and ulcer healing, bone formation, protein production, insulin regulation, and carbohydrate metabolism.
- The antioxidant effects of zinc are thought to protect skin and muscles from accelerated aging processes - Approximately 2 billion people are zinc deficient; studies suggest that this may contribute to the deaths of 800,000 children per year
- Foods high in zinc include oysters, wheat germ, liver, beans, sesame seeds, beef and dark chocolate.
4. Carnosine. Carnosine, found primarily in brain and muscle tissue, inhibits glycation, which is an uncontrolled reaction between a sugar and a protein or fat molecule. Glycation is thought to contribute to the aging process
- Carnosine also has a similar effect to vitamin E and prevents free radical processes in cell membranes
- Sources with the highest carnosine content include beef, pork, chicken, fish and dairy products.
5. Flavonoids. These have general antioxidant activity and are thought to be one of the reasons why fruits, vegetables, wine and tea have positive effects on the body.
- Some studies suggest that flavonoids may be preventive against cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are also thought to be anti-inflammatory and antiviral
- More than 3 000 flavonoids have been identified so far
- These chemicals are another excellent reason to eat fruits and vegetables
- Flavonoids are even found in coffee, beer and especially blueberries. Choose wild blueberries. These contain twice the amount of antioxidants as any other. antioxidants play a vital role in the human body because they minimize oxidative stress and damage, which are involved in many diseases and the aging process. Ensuring your intake of them is sufficient (but not excessive) is beneficial to your health.
A good rule of thumb is to include one or more foods that contain antioxidants with every meal. As your mother always told you, eat your fruits and vegetables!