Now the over indulgent festivities are over I thought I would share my thoughts on antioxidants and how to start the new year...healthy body, healthy mind!
A class of phytonutrients, carotenoids are plant pigments that give many fruits and vegetables their vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues.
Beta-carotene - Becoming vitamin A when ingested, beta-carotene helps maintain healthy skin and eyes. Its protective properties work best when consumed along with vitamins E and C. Foods rich with beta-carotene include: carrots, mangoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, green peas and apricots to name a few.
Lycopene - A potent antioxidant, lycopene may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, osteoporosis , stroke, and lung cancer. It is found in red fruits such as watermelon, tomato, grapefruit, red cabbage, red bell pepper, and guava.
Vitamin A – Important for immune function, vision, and healthy skin and bones, vitamin A also helps protect against free radicals. As mentioned above, beta-carotene functions as provitamin A and is found in many fruits and vegetables. Retinol is another form of vitamin A, found only in animal-based foods like cod liver oil, butter, cheddar cheese, eggs, and milk.
Vitamin C – Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C not only scavenges free radicals, it also helps to restore the antioxidant properties of vitamin E. Unlike other mammals, humans are unable to make vitamin C and must obtain it from our diet. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach.
Vitamin E – Like vitamin A, vitamin E is fat-soluble and is stored by the body and used when needed. Acting as an electron donor, vitamin E also helps to slow the aging process within cells in the body. You can obtain vitamin E from plant seeds (sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts) vegetable oils (olive oil, canola oil, and palm oil), as well as avocado, asparagus, and swiss chard.
Our bodies can't produce selenium, beta-carotene or vitamin C.
Selenium rich foods are: mushrooms, whole wheat bread, chicken, salmon, sunflower seeds and brazil nuts.
Beta- carotene rich foods are: 'as above' as well as squash and broccoli.
Vitamin C rich foods are: 'as above' as well as cauliflower, kale, cabbage, turnip greens, swiss shard and guavas.
We need these essential antioxidants to help neutralise free radicals, molecular cells which have an unpaired electron, leading to cell mutation and disease. Antioxidants donate an electron to a free radical resulting in a healthy cell.
The body needs a mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to neutralise free radicals.
Remember: The darker the vegetable, the higher antioxidant content!
Well, that's our insides sorted, a final word on our skin - Frankintense Facial Serum contains three of the named above antioxidants, Vitamin E: fights free radicals and repairs damaged skin. Grapeseed oil: rich in omega 6 fatty acids. Sunflower seed oil contains essential fatty acids-including linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids - which are perfect for tightening and firming your skin resulting in a soft, smooth appearance.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year!