Several factors contribute to aging and many others slow it down. A very important factor is nutrition. Scientists believe that the process of aging is greatly affected by free radicals, which can be neutralized by our body’s defense via “free-radical scavenging.” Our body has its own supply of antioxidants, chemicals that fight and neutralize free radicals. Let’s find out how these antioxidants work and how we can boost our supply of these age-defying chemicals.
Vitamins and Beta Carotene
Vitamin C can be derived from citrus fruits, papaya, kiwi fruits and mangoes. Nuts, sunflower seeds, green tea, wheat germ, and liver, are high in vitamin E. Beta carotene can be found in yellow or deep-colored foods such as mangoes, carrots, kale, and spinach.
Grape Seed Extract
This is a very strong antioxidant that helps keep capillaries and connective tissue in good shape. Many people chew the seeds when eating grapes. But those who don’t like the taste of seeds can take the tablet form, which are readily available in most health food shops.
This is another great antioxidant that is found in cooked tomatoes, tomato ketchup, or tomato sauce.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
The best sources of these phytochemicals are blueberries and bilberries. Lutein and zeaxanthin fight aging of the eye, helps prevent cancer, and protects the brain against the effects of aging.
Polyphenols, including Catechins
The main source of these is green tea, which deals with many age-related problems even before they appear.
These antioxidant nutrients help regulate estrogen and other hormones in the body. Soya beans and soy products are rich in isoflavones.
Vitamin B6, B12 and Folate
All of these affect methylation, an essential process that keeps our DNA and proteins in top shape. These nutrients protect the heart and brain from age-related damage and are derived from oily fish, liver and green vegetables.
This excellent anti-aging vitamin helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, improve bone health, strengthen the gums and reduce the risk of heart diseases. It can be derived from leafy vegetables, liver, yogurt, beans, soy and lean red meat.
This special amino acid helps fight the process of glycosylation, the dangerous coupling of sugar molecules to our body protein, causing widespread destruction during aging. Carnosine is an antioxidant that helps the body fight toxins from pollution and internal chemical reactions. It can be taken from lean red meat and chicken and is also available in capsule form.
CoQ10 for short, this anti-aging super-nutrient has a long list of antioxidant benefits. Also called Ubiquinone, it is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is produced less as we age. In middle age, most people are CoQ10 deficient. It prevents many diseases and problems related to aging, among which are high blood pressure, immune deficiencies, heart disease, and brain and eye damage.
CoQ10 fights the aging process at the cellular level. This nutrient can be derived from oily ish such as trout, sardines, mackerel and whitebait, nuts, soy beans and soy products, such as bean curd, tempeh and soy milk.
If you want to maintain your youthful vitality, longer health, and good immunity, these antioxidants should be part of your daily diet. In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking recommended doses of these antioxidants can help you combat aging and age-related diseases successfully.