Table of contents:
- What do antioxidants have to do with free radicals?
- How can you stop free radicals?
- Antioxidants against skin aging
- Boost your memory with antioxidants
The radical scavengers make you healthy, beautiful and smart. They are also said to prevent cancer. But what are antioxidants and where are they found?
"I now often eat blueberries. They contain a lot of antioxidants," said a colleague recently. So antioxidants … heard a hundred times but still have no idea what exactly they are? We clarify!
What do antioxidants have to do with free radicals?
To understand what antioxidants are good for, it is important to understand what free radicals are. They are to blame for many health problems such as cancer, dementia, eye problems or joint problems. In addition, it is also the free radicals that age our skin. These are oxygen-containing molecules that are unstable because they lack an electron in their chemical structure. Your goal: to find a suitable electron to become complete again. So what are you doing? They ruthlessly attack intact molecules and snatch an electron from them. The stolen molecule is now missing an electron and becomes a free radical itself. The result: a chain reaction. Healthy cells are destroyed and this can even lead to cancer, for example.
Free radicals are caused by smoking, alcohol, junk food, air pollution, sugar, preservatives, pesticides, UV rays, medication and drugs.
How can you stop free radicals?
Antioxidants form the missing electron that the free radical seeks. So the free radicals can be switched off. Antioxidants are mainly consumed as food. In general, there are a particularly large number of antioxidants. Contained in garlic, cabbage, broccoli, liquorice, ginger, tea, coffee, chervil, parsley, onion, citrus fruits, flaxseed, whole rice, tomatoes, grapeseed oil, rosemary, mint, cucumber, asparagus, basil and cocoa. Antioxidants are also an important component of human breast milk, they act as radical scavengers in the baby's body and help, among other things. in defense against infection. Most of the antioxidants per serving are found in:
- dried small red beans
- wild blueberries
- red kidney beans
- pinto beans
- Cultivated blueberries
- boiled artichoke hearts
- dried plums
- Red-Delicious apples
- Granny Smith apples
- sweet cherries
- dried black beans
- Gala apples
Important addition: Dark chocolate is also said to have positive effects in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Antioxidants against skin aging
The formation of free radicals increases particularly through intensive sunbathing, smoking or stress. Because of this, tanned skin or that of smokers also wrinkles faster.
With antioxidants, however, it is possible to slow down the body's natural aging process, to prevent a lack of energy and cell death, and to protect against the accumulation of adipose tissue and a decrease in hormones.
In a nutshell: those who consume a lot of antioxidants protect their skin from aging.
Boost your memory with antioxidants
Many antioxidants are found in vitamins C and E. For older people in particular, it is important that they therefore eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. The progressive decline in brain capacity is triggered, among other things, by free radicals, which is why antioxidants can be used to stop or at least slow down the continuous decline. Ingestion of Ginkgo biloba, the extract from the leaves of the Chinese Ginkgo tree, can improve memory and cognitive processes, especially in the elderly. Ginkgo biloba extract improves the blood flow to the nerve cells and the brain so that the brain can be better supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
There are various ginko preparations and juices available in health food stores, pharmacies or at dm.