Antioxidants are chemicals, nutrients and vitamins found naturally within the body. Antioxidants serve an important purpose within the body by protecting cells from harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are found in vitamins, dietary supplements and occur naturally in many different, fresh foods.
How do antioxidants slow the aging process?
Antioxidants slow the aging process in several different ways. First, as a visible physical effect, antioxidants protect the cells of the skin from free radicals which damage the cells and cause many of the visible signs of aging like loss of skin elasticity, break down of collagen and elastin, and cause the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.
Antioxidants also protect the heart and circulatory system. A healthy heart and cardiovascular system are necessary for assisting in slowing down the aging process. An unhealthy cardiovascular system will reduce the amount of nutrients and oxygen that the blood delivers to the cells and organs of the body. Without these important nutrients, the cells will begin to break down, increasing the signs and symptoms of the aging process.
Foods with antioxidants
Though there are many antioxidants naturally present within the body, there is a large variety of foods that contain the antioxidants necessary to slow down the aging process. Some of the foods with the highest content of antioxidants include many different kinds of beans, which can be prepared alone, in soups or in salads.
Many different kinds of berries and fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, as well as a large variety of vegetables. Studies show that raw fruits and vegetables are the best option for getting the most benefit out of the antioxidants contained within these foods. Red wine has also been shown to contain a high concentration of antioxidants, and is often cited as a healthy addition to the diet for promoting a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Learn about resveratrol's anti inflammatory benefits.
Green tea antioxidants for anti-aging
One substance that has gotten a lot of attention for its antioxidant content and anti-aging properties is green tea. Green tea contains antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, making it a strong tool in the fight against the signs of aging. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory components of green tea help promote a youthful appearance, especially to the skin. A diet that contains green tea on a regular basis has been shown to improve the texture and health of the cells of the skin, decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The antioxidants in green tea also protect the elastin and collagen in the skin from free radicals, slowing the aging process by keeping the skin of the face and other areas of the body taut and firm. Keeping the collagen in the skin healthy for as long as possible will prevent the signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, mouth and forehead. More encouragingly, studies of the effects of green tea have shown that introducing green tea to the diet can protect the skin from skin cancer, as well as fight the effects of sun damage which may also prematurely age the skin.