Living beings (such as humans) cannot exist for long when oxidation happens. Oxidation in the body occurs when organic compounds and molecules lose electrons, especially to certain oxygen containing compounds called ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) or to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Structures in the body are changed and altered by these oxidizing agents so that they cannot carry out their original roles anymore. This is a problem for the body and it has to somehow try to fight this either by preventing molecules from being oxidized or neutralizing oxidizing agents. This is the role that antioxidants play. They are incredibly important and without them, life would not exist.
There are various types of antioxidants, but they can all be grouped into three major groups, namely; vitamins, enzymes and phytochemicals; which are all obtained from certain foods, including the following six:
1. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids in abundance. An antioxidant under the vitamin group (vitamin P), it works mainly by neutralizing free radicals (including the ROS compounds) that are one of the main culprits behind oxidation.
Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to improve skin condition by boosting the skin’s protection factor (SPF).
3. Olive oil
Vitamin E, an antioxidant is found in olive oil. It treats inflammation and acne, protects the skin from the harsh
effects of the sun and wind, and it has been proven to prevent serious skin diseases like skin cancer and psoriasis (a disease that causes red scaly patches) from developing. Vitamin E along with antioxidant polyphenols that are also found in olive oil, fights free radicals.
Avocados contain a lot of antioxidants including lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Apples contain flavonoids and other antioxidants that help prevent inflammations.
6. Red pepper
Red pepper contains Cryptoxanthins (also known as beta-Cryptoxanthins), which is a vitamin (vitamin A) that is vital for the eyes and the reproductive organs.
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