Who wants to age faster? Sincerely, no one! However, you should know that oxidative or oxidative stress is one of the different causes of aging. Besides that, it would also be responsible for various pathologies. Its origin is an imbalance between the conception of free radicals and our ability to stop toxic elements.
Small zoom on the famous free radicals
What are free radicals? It is an atom, or a molecule if you prefer, having a structure characterized by the existence of a free electron. This is why this chemical species is much more reactive and unstable.
Conceived naturally in small quantities by the body, free radicals degrade the elements of our cells: this attack is called oxidative or oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress: what is it exactly? What are its characteristics?
The latter turns out to cause mutations, skin aging, inflammation, and various chronic concerns. These can be heavy, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, or even cerebrovascular problems. Also, be aware that the major sources of free radicals are mostly rooted in modern lifestyles:
- Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays (although a little sunlight every day is more than healthy for the body).
- To smoke.
- Being a victim of pollution.
- To drink alcohol.
- Being affected by pesticides.
- And finally, a diet that is too abundant in fat.
Against all of these different toxic elements, our body designs relevant defense systems: antioxidants. These antioxidants stop free radicals from hitting their targets and therefore breaking them down
How to easily fill up on antioxidants?
True natural substances, antioxidants are elements present every day in our food. It is highly recommended that you eat seven to ten servings of fresh vegetables and fruits each day. In addition, be aware that certain food supplements can effectively fight free radicals. Here are the best antioxidant nutrients:
- Vitamin C to cope with aging skin. The latter is present in a multitude of fruits and vegetables: kiwis (in the podium of fruits abundant in vitamin C) but also broccoli, cabbage, parsley, chervil, or chives.
- Vitamin E, ideal for renewing your cells. Where is it present? Note that the latter is used in particular in vegetable oils (wheat, rapeseed, and sunflower), oleaginous fruits (walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds), and whole grains but also various green leafy vegetables, in the same way as spinach or lamb’s lettuce.
- Beta-carotene is ideal in terms of longevity. It is a pigment that is found in fruits as well as colorful vegetables. Thus, it is particularly found in red fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries. In addition, it is also present in mango or papaya and in tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, and red peppers.
- The trace elements for their relevance and efficiency to deal with free radicals. Thus, we strongly advise you to take zinc and selenium. The latter is found in a multitude of foods. Here is a small listing: seafood, meats, dairy products, oily fruits (hazelnuts or walnuts), but also avocados and salsify.
- The fatty acids (such as omega 3 and 6) have protective effects. They are found in fatty fish (such as sardines or mackerel, for example) and various vegetable oils (rapeseed, walnuts, and flax).
- And finally, the composition of polyphenols (or vegetable tannin if you prefer) is also relevant to fight against free radicals. Where are they? In particular, they are present in all of the following products: tea, chocolate, wine, apples, grapes, lychees, strawberries, and persimmons. Like vitamin C and beta-carotene, it is possible to rely on the color of food. Indeed, the pigments of red fruits turn out to be a category of polyphenols called anthocyanins.
Finally, it is also strongly recommended to practice physical activity regularly. Indeed, it optimizes the antioxidant apacities of your body.