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Antioxidants are substances produced by plants and have the ability to slow down oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical process that takes place both outdoors and in our body - to make it more understandable we mention for example that oxidation is due to the "tanning" of oils and other fats.
Antioxidants help neutralize oxygen free radicals, which attack cells causing or accelerating natural processes such as aging, as well as the occurrence of chronic damage and diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
But what are oxygen free radicals? They are substances that exist in the environment and come from both anthropogenic sources such as air pollution or smoking, as well as from processes that take place in living organisms, in the context of respiration and aging processes.
Unfortunately, we cannot avoid the action of free radicals in our body, since life is directly dependent on breathing and contact with the environment in which we live. When oxygen free radicals outperform antioxidants, cell damage is inevitable.
The human body, however, has developed mechanisms to deal with oxygen free radicals with the help of antioxidants it receives mainly from the diet.
It is therefore clear that we must take care to follow a balanced diet, with a variety of foods rich in antioxidants.
These valuable antioxidants enhance the body's defenses and we can easily find them in a variety of foods that are easily included in our daily diet.
Let's look at some examples
Vitamin C is found in some fruits (citrus fruits, kiwis, strawberries) and vegetables (cabbage, spinach). It is a powerful antioxidant, participates in the formation of collagen and gives elasticity to the skin
Another well-known antioxidant is vitamin E (also called "anti-aging" vitamin. It helps regenerate cells and helps maintain the health of their membranes. It is found in large amounts in vegetable oils (olive oil, sunflower oil, etc.) in nuts. (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds ...), in whole grains and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and lettuce.
A well-known antioxidant is beta-carotene. It is a characteristic pigment of all red or orange fruits and vegetables. So choose carrots, peppers, watermelon, red berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) black grapes. cabbage, carrots.
Another pigment with antioxidant activity is lycopene, which is found mainly in tomatoes (tomatoes with oil or tomato sauces) and watermelon. Lycopene is also being researched for its possible advice in preventing prostate cancer.
Among the antioxidant micronutrients we call zinc and selenium. Zinc is found mainly in seafood and meat and selenium is found in dairy products, fish, and nuts.
Other antioxidants that help fight the formation of free radicals are polyphenols (flavonoids, tannins, catechins, anthocyanins). They are found in black and green tea, grapes and wine, strawberries, cocoa and chocolate.
It is impossible to list all the antioxidants in one review. Here at Fotopharmacy you can find any type of antioxidant supplements through a large variety of brands and products!