General Health

Why Antioxidants Are Important As You Get Older

Aging doesn’t have to be a bad experience. Getting old doesn’t mean that you have to feel old.

It all starts with your diet. Yes, aging is inevitable. But when some people age faster than others, when they look and feel older than they are, actually, this has more to do with external factors that you can control.

Oxidative stress, for example. This is a major cause of premature aging, caused by smoking, drinking, eating processed foods and pollution.

Antioxidants are needed to combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress. You get these free radical fighters from eating natural organic foods that can be broken down easily by the body.

Superfoods such as goji berries or acai berries, or even regular fruits like apples and oranges, have lots of antioxidants in them.

It’s important to pick fruits that are dark and rich in color. The colors of the fruits and vegetables hold the magic ingredients. I recommend blackberries, red apples, guava (this contains 10x more vitamin C than an orange), leafy green vegetables, raw cacao powder, and pomegranate.

Why antioxidants are important as you get older

Healthy brain

Antioxidants increase the circulation of oxygenated blood flow to your brain cells. Many mental health issues, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, are due to oxidative stress. As a result, there is an increased need for antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin A. These can be found in large quantities in almonds, carrots, and green tea.

Healthy skin

Your skin is the largest organ. It is usually the first sign of aging. If you want to avoid premature aging, you can incorporate the grape seed into your diet. It contains proanthocyanidins, a very powerful antioxidant which is 50 times stronger than vitamin E and 20 times more potent than vitamin C.

Proanthocyanidins help to strengthen and protect the skin cells against oxidative stress. This, in turn, improves your skin’s elasticity.

Increase your energy

As you get older your energy levels seem to deplete. You might feel like you have no energy left to enjoy the simple things in life. Antioxidants are types of nutrients which help your body function as it should. When you are lacking essential vitamins, your body has no fuel to drive. This is what makes you feel tired and sluggish.

Boost your vision

Macular degeneration and cataracts are common age-related degenerative diseases. They occur as you get older. But nutrients can improve the health of your eyes and delay the onset of these diseases.

Antioxidant-rich foods like bell peppers, carrots, spinach, kale, blueberries, sweet potatoes, wild salmon, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds, are all full of specific nutrients which maintain healthy eyes. These foods are high in vitamin A, C, E luetin, fatty acids, and zinc.

A stronger immune system

You are exposed to thousands of bacteria each day. The older you get, the more susceptible to viruses and diseases you become. Even something as common and seemingly harmless as the flu can become fatal if your body cannot fight. This is where antioxidants come into play.

Antioxidants boost your immune system by increasing white blood cells, antibodies, and natural killer T cells production. These are the key players in fighting off bacteria and infection and maintaining a healthy body. Strawberries, blackberries, goji berries, blueberries, and carrots are all good sources.

Sources

  1. Ma ZF, Zhang H, Teh SS, et al. Goji Berries as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Their Molecular Mechanisms of Action. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019;2019:2437397. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.1155/2019/2437397
  2. Fusco D, Colloca G, Lo Monaco MR, Cesari M. Effects of antioxidant supplementation on the aging process. Clin Interv Aging. 2007;2(3):377–387.
  3. Shi J1, Yu J, Pohorly JE, Kakuda Y.. (2003). Polyphenolics in grape seeds-biochemistry and functionality.. Journal of Medicinal Food. 6 (4), p291-299.
  4. Sadowska-Bartosz I, Bartosz G. Effect of antioxidants supplementation on aging and longevity. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:404680. doi:10.1155/2014/404680

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