Supplement and skincare companies know that ‘eternal youthfulness’ is right at the top of our wish lists don’t they?
There is every powder and potion known to man, designed to smooth our skin, get rid of wrinkles and stop the ageing process on retail shelves all over the world.
Just imagine being able to get youthful benefits from the food you eat, instead of spending money and time on false promises!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
This is where antioxidants make an entry.
These little powerhouses are compounds in food that research shows can play a role in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, eye disease and slowing down ageing. Yes indeed!
Firstly, lets look at the science behind these little beauties. Antioxidants exert their protective effects by preventing damage to body cells and tissues caused by free radicals and singlet oxygen. They sound very impressive but the easier way of remembering what antioxidants do is to picture the 1980’s Pac-Man game where the aim was to get the Pac-Man to gobble as many ‘ghosts’ as possible.
Pac-Man is the antioxidant and the ‘ghosts’ are the free radicals. Thanks to the ‘Pixels’ movie starring Adam Sandler, everyone knows all about them.
There you have the essential role of the antioxidant.
Now about those free radicals. They are produced in the presence of:
– Cigarette smoke
– Environmental pollutants
– Ultra-violet light
– High PUFA diet
We need those antioxidants to help mop up those free radicals and thankfully they are conveniently colour coded for easy identification.
Good source of lycopene, which helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer in males. Found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, and ruby grapefruit.
Lycopene is among the most powerful antioxidants around. It is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red colour and occurs naturally in many red foods, including watermelon and pink grapefruit.
Tomatoes do provide a rich source but tomato paste is even better as cooking and processing tomatoes further stimulates and concentrates the lycopene content. There is no current recommended dosage but suggestions range from 5-35mg per day, which equates to at least one to two servings of tomatoes or tomato products per day.
Orange and Yellow
Good source of beta-carotene, which can protect against a range of cancers. Found in pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, mango, paw-paw, apricots and rockmelon.
Good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds related to beta-carotene that can protect our eyes as we age. Found in broccoli, spinach, silver beet, capsicum, chilli, parsley and dark lettuces.
Blue and Purple
Good source of anthocyanin’s for antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Found in grapes, blueberries, cranberries, beetroot and radicchio lettuce.
Good source of catechin’s for blood vessel health and of course, our happiness! Brown sources of antioxidant are some of our favourites such as tea, coffee, chocolate and red wine.
There are no recommended intakes just yet. We do know that it is preferable to consume antioxidants through food rather than supplements, because there are other nutrients in food that enhance their absorption.
The average worldwide intake of fruit and vegetables at present is too low and we need to work toward the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables, which are 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily.
To keep our bodies zinging on the inside and out, go grab some!
Connect Here With Watchfit Expert Julie Meek