Anti-Aging Starts With Antioxidants! The Battle of Free Radicals vs. Carotenoids
What Are Free Radicals?
Many anti-aging skincare and cosmetic lines claim to fix and prevent damage from free radicals, but how many of us actually know what that means? Free radicals are everywhere, and we’re exposed to them every day!
So are we constantly in danger for damage? That depends on your body’s levels of antioxidants and how well you take care of yourself on a daily basis.
Free radicals are responsible for chemical changes and reactions, both in our bodies and in the environment. Externally, we can observe free radicals in action by seeing a cut apple turn brown or paint fading. Typical signs of aging, such as wrinkles and lackluster skin tone are also attributed to free radicals damage.
Internally, free radicals are naturally produced during metabolism and can also be effective tools for the immune system to ward off bacteria and viruses. However, excess levels of free radicals can lead to health problems such as heart attacks, skin damage, strokes, and a variety of cancers.
These little molecules are very powerful and can be spawned from environmental pollution, herbicides, cigarette smoke, and radiation. Unbalanced diets, preservatives and additives in foods, mental stress, and excessive body fat from inactivity also elevate the body’s levels of free radicals.
What’s A Carotenoid? & How Do They Help?
Naturally-produced antioxidants are the body’s first line of defense, but as our bodies age they’re likely to accumulate more free radicals into their system, thus requiring higher levels of antioxidants to maintain a healthy balance.
Antioxidant molecules are able to safely interact with free radicals and prevent damage before vital body cells are impaired. They are also known to prevent signs of premature aging and disease. Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant that is primarily responsible for the deep colors found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
A high level of carotenoids implies high levels of other micronutrient antioxidants present in the body’s free radical defense network. However, the body does not naturally produce these micronutrients, so they must be supplied through your diet.
Carotenoids are specialized antioxidants that assist principle micronutrients, including Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, and Vitamin C replenish themselves. Antioxidants are responsible for supplying energy to the body’s cell damage prevention and repair systems, helping to keep the body looking and feeling healthy.
Similar to applying lemon (a source of antioxidants) to a cut apple to prevent the fruit from browning, by incorporating more antioxidants into your diet you are better able to prevent signs of aging and ward off disease both internally and externally!