Want a younger, fresher, glowing complexion? Isn’t that what every girl wants. Well now there is an all-natural way to get it, and stay healthy at that. The key is antioxidants. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. Free radicals damage cells, which cause disease, illness, and infection. Antioxidants remove the free radicals from the body therefore decreasing the chance of disease occurrence.
Antioxidants can be taken through supplement or can be found within our food supply. The list of antioxidants includes vitamin C, vitamin E, pholyphenolic or flavonoids, and vitamin A or carotenoids. Most of the foods that these antioxidants are found in are fruits and vegetables. That is why it is so important and continually stressed to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. The daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables from the US department of Agriculture is 2-4 servings of fruits and 3-5 servings of vegetables.
In addition to the antioxidants, the nutrients we receive from food is more readily broken down and absorbed within the body. Supplements are not always completely broken down and most often remain in the digestive tract or are excreted out of the body. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of most antioxidants can be maintained by eating 1 fruit or vegetable that corresponds to each antioxidant group. Thus preventing the body from the damage of free radicals.
When we reduce and remove free radicals from our bodies we are eliminating the most vital threat to our skin. Our bodies have more skin cells than any other type of cells, because we are covered entirely externally. So when free radicals attack it is easiest to cause damage to our skin because of the huge number of skin cells that exist. Therefore ultimately by making sure we eat a healthy dose of antioxidants on a daily basis we can actually help our skin and body look healthier and younger.
So now you understand why antioxidants are good for our body and how they help us improve our skin. But I’m sure you’re wondering what types of foods do these antioxidants occur in and how much do I need on a daily basis. By breaking it down by each antioxidant, the daily recommended amount, what foods they occur in and how much needed per day you can easily and accurately see you daily sources of rich antioxidant foods.
Vitamin C: (RDA’s will change depending upon age and gender) RDA 60 mg, 1/2 cup of orange juice = 70mg, 1 cup broccoli = 51mg
Most people think of oranges when they hear vitamin C, which is absolutely correct. Actually any of the citrus fruits will give you a healthy dose of vitamin C, in addition to tomatoes, broccoli, green peppers and leafy greens. Avoid juices in glass containers and heat pasteurized juice because light and heat destroy some of the vitamin C.
Vitamin E: RDA 8mg for women, 10mg for men, 1 TBSP of canola oil = 9mg
Good sources of vitamin E are nuts, seeds and their oils. The oils to use when cooking include canola, olive or vegetable. Fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, halibut and trout are also good sources of vitamin E.
Vitamin A (synthesized from Beta Carotene): 5000 IU or 3mg, 1 carrot = 12 mg
Dark green, orange and yellow vegetables and leafy greens are a good source of vitamin A. Fruits such as cantaloupe, peaches and apricots are also good sources.
Polyphenolic antioxidants (resveratrol, flavonoids): No RDA, recommended at 500mg
Tea, coffee, soy, fruit, olive oil, chocolate, cinnamon, oregano and red wine all contain flavonoids. In addition great sources of flavonoids are onions, apples, citrus fruits, green tea, soy, seeds and nuts.

If you don’t feel that you are getting enough of your antioxidants through your food, then it may be time to change your diet. I don’t recommend you go out and buy the first supplement you find at the store. Bring a list of antioxidant rich foods to the store on your next shopping day and fill your cart with as many of the items as you can. If you still feel like you are missing some of the vital antioxidants on the list then ask your doctor if he/she can recommend a therapeutic brand of vitamin supplements. Therapeutic grade supplements are better for the body because they are made with higher quality ingredients for the body’s absorption. Plus there is research and testing to back up the use of these supplements. Not all supplements in stores have high quality ingredients and may have additives that you don’t necessarily need. If you look at the ingredient list on the back of a supplement bottle and can’t tell what the ingredients are then steer clear of that supplement. Never ingest supplements that have artificial flavoring or additives (such as Red-6 or Yellow-5).

Author's Bio: 

Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me. Check out my health website!
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