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Can Antioxidants Reverse Cell Damage?

The term "antioxidant" is a major buzzword in the spheres of health, nutrition and even beauty products. True nutritional powerhouses, antioxidants are vitamins and other compounds that provide major health and skin care benefits through their ability to protect your bodys cells from toxins. The news about Food additives antioxidants can be confusing and full of technical terms. Fundamentally, antioxidants are substances like vitamin E, vitamin C, lycopene and others, found in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains. These nutrients are important because they protect against certain serious health problems, such as cancer, Alzheimers disease, macular degeneration and heart disease.

 

Antioxidants are integral to good health because they counteract harmful substances in your body called free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of natural chemical reactions in your cells, as well as the result of environmental toxins like cigarette smoke, ultraviolet radiation and air pollution. These harmful molecules attack certain parts of your cells, causing destruction that can ultimately lead to disease and skin damage. Antioxidants work by disarming free radicals, thus protecting your cells from these toxins. Research indicates that antioxidants may reverse some of the damage that free radicals have already done, says professor Tory Hagen of the Linus Pauling Institute, citing results of his studies with antioxidants in rats.

 

Antioxidants have also become popular components of topical skin creams designed to fight the signs of aging. Antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C are proven to promote collagen production, reduce wrinkles and improve skins overall appearance, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. These nutrients are even capable of repairing skin cell damage from sun exposure and the natural effects of aging; research continues on other "anti-aging" antioxidants. If you are interested in reversing cell damage and preventing future damage to your skin, look for skin creams that list antioxidants as key ingredients.

 

Skin creams typically advertise their antioxidant (Foodchem) content right on the packaging. However, the best sources of antioxidants are whole foods, rather than supplements, according to Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Donald Hensrud. Rich sources of antioxidants include vividly hued vegetables and fruits such as berries, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, kale, canteloupe, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and red and purple grapes. Antioxidants are also found in other plant foods like beans, legumes, nuts, oats and green tea and certain herbs like cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy dark chocolate candy, which contains antioxidants.

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