journal

June 9, 2015 EDITOR

Antioxidants – nature’s protectors and fighters

Antioxidants – nature’s protectors and fighters

Sadly we just haven’t quite found the secret to eternal youth, but antioxidants are arguably the nearest we will come in terms of finding the best anti-ageing, protect and repair elixir that nature has to offer!

 

Antioxidants reduce the damage to our body due to oxidation. When oxygen is metabolised, it creates 'free radicals' that steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage.

 

The body can cope with some free radicals and needs them to function effectively, but too many free radicals start to have a damaging effect on the body and have been linked to heart disease, liver disease and some cancers.

 

Stress, cigarette smoking, alcohol, sunlight, pollution and several other factors can also accelerate oxidation – more reason to stay calm and give up the booze and the cigarettes! This is why smokers and those who drink a lot have more skin and tissue damage and are more prone to some diseases than non-smokers/non-drinkers.

 

However, oxidation is a fact of life – but its damaging effects can be reduced by antioxidants, which are found in enzymes and other substances, such as vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene and the minerals copper, zinc and selenium.

 

What do free-radicals actually do?

Free radicals became a beauty buzz term in the 80s and 90s when every beauty cream started claiming to contain free radical-busting ingredients.

 

They are known to cause or increase:

◦ Deterioration of the eye lens, which contributes to blindness
◦ Inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
◦ Damage to nerve cells in the brain, which contributes to conditions, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease
◦ Acceleration of the ageing process
◦ Increased risk of coronary heart disease
◦ Certain cancers, triggered by damaged cell DNA

 

    Of course, as with anything, the most effective way to get nature’s antioxidants and give your body the best means of fighting ageing and disease is by eating the right foods and having a healthy diet that contains as much of the good fruit and veg as possible.

     

    It’s simple common sense. Nature generally has a solution to most things and is there to provide us with everything we need to keep our bodies in tiptop condition.

     

    Here are the best sources of the key disease busting, health promoting antioxidants:

    ◦ Allium sulphur compounds - leeks, onions and garlic
    ◦ Anthocyanins - eggplant, grapes and berries
    ◦ Beta-carotene - pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley
    ◦ Catechins - red wine and tea
    ◦ Copper - seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
    ◦ Cryptoxanthins - red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes
    ◦ Flavonoids - tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples
    ◦ Indoles - cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
    ◦ Isoflavonoids - soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas and milk
    ◦ Lignans - sesame seeds, bran, whole grains and vegetables
    ◦ Manganese - seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
    ◦ Polyphenols - thyme and oregano
    ◦ Selenium - seafood, lean meat and whole grains
    ◦ Vitamin C - oranges, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, capsicum (peppers) and strawberries
    ◦ Vitamin E - vegetable oils (such as wheatgerm oil), avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains
    ◦ Zinc - seafood, lean meat, milk and nutsLutein - leafy greens like spinach, and corn

     

      So go and get your cupboard stocked up with disease-busting, anti-ageing foods and see how much better you feel.

       

      Antioxidantes: El Mejor Secreto Antiedad

      No hemos descubierto el secreto de la eterna juventud pero los antioxidantes son lo más cercano que llegaremos a conocer ya que funcionan como un elixir de reparación, son protectores y son un factor antiedad.

       

      Los antioxidantes reducen el daño a nuestro cuerpo debido a la oxidación. Cuando se metaboliza el oxígeno, se crean "radicales libres" que roban electrones de otras moléculas, causando daños. 

       

      El cuerpo puede hacer frente a algunos radicales libres y los necesita para funcionar con eficacia, pero demasiados radicales libres comienzan a tener un efecto perjudicial sobre el cuerpo y se han relacionado con enfermedades del corazón, enfermedades del hígado y algunos tipos de cáncer.

       

      El estrés, el tabaquismo, el alcohol, la luz del sol, la contaminación y otros factores también pueden acelerar la oxidación; una razón más para mantener la calma y dejar el alcohol y los cigarrillos. Esto es la razón de por qué los fumadores y los que beben mucho tienen más daños en la piel y en los tejidos y son más propensos a algunas enfermedades que las personas que no fuman ni beben alcohol.

       

      Sin embargo, la oxidación es un hecho de la vida - pero sus efectos perjudiciales se pueden reducir por los antioxidantes, que se encuentran en las enzimas y otras sustancias, tales como vitaminas A, C y E, el beta -caroteno y los minerales antioxidantes: el cobre, el zinc y el selenio.

       

      ¿Qué hacen en realidad los radicales libres?

       

      Los radicales libres se convirtieron en un término de moda en los años 80 y 90 cuando todas las cremas de belleza afirmaban contener ingredientes que combatían los radicales libres.

       

      Se conoce que causan o incrementan:

      ◦ Deterioro del lente del ojo, lo que puede causar ceguera.
      ◦ Inflamación de las articulaciones (artritis).
      ◦ Daño a las células del sistema nervioso, lo cual puede contribuir a ◦ enfermedades tales como el Parkinson y el Alzheimer.
      ◦ Aceleran el proceso de envejecimiento.
      ◦ Incrementan el riesgo de enfermedad coronaria.
      ◦ Causan ciertos tipos de cáncer, desencadenados por ADN de la célula dañada.

       

        Por supuesto que como en todo, la manera más efectiva de obtener antioxidantes naturales y darle a tu cuerpo la oportunidad de combatir enfermedades y el envejecimiento es comer bien y llevar una dieta sana que contenga la mayor cantidad de fruta y vegetales posibles.

         

        Aquí te presentamos una lista de los mejores antioxidantes y los alimentos en donde los encuentras:

        ◦ Compuestos de Azufre en verduras del género Allium - Puerros, cebollas y ajos.
        ◦ Las antocianinas- berenjenas, uvas y bayas.
        ◦ Betacaroteno- calabazas, mangos, chabacanos, zanahoria, espinaca y perejil.
        ◦ Las catequinas- vino tinto y té.
        ◦ Cobre- mariscos, carne magra, leche y frutos secos.
        ◦ Criptoxantina-pimiento rojo, calabaza y mango.
        ◦ Flavonoides- té verde, frutas cítricas, vino tinto, cebollas y manzanas.
        ◦ Indoles- Brócoli, repollo y coliflor.
        ◦ Isoflavonoides - soya, tofu, lentejas, chícharos y leche.
        ◦ Lignanos - semillas de sésamo, salvado, granos enteros y verduras
        ◦ Luteína - vegetales de hojas verdes como la espinaca y el maíz.
        ◦ Licopeno - tomate, pomelo rosado y sandía.
        ◦ Manganeso - mariscos, carne magra, leche y frutos secos.
        ◦ Los polifenoles - tomillo y orégano.
        ◦ Selenio - mariscos, carne magra y granos enteros.
        ◦ Vitamina C - naranjas, grosellas negras, kiwi, mango, brócoli, espinacas, pimientos y fresas.
        ◦ Vitamina E - aceites vegetales (como el aceite de germen de trigo), aguacates, nueces, semillas y granos enteros.
        ◦ Zinc - mariscos, carne magra, leche y frutos secos.

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