Antioxidants for skin & health: benefits, foods to eat & more
Antioxidants have received a lot of buzz over the years, and for good reason. Antioxidants are powerful chemicals found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs that can prevent or slow cell damage by counteracting free radicals, providing skin and health benefits. However, it can be challenging to get the right dose from natural sources of antioxidants, but antioxidant supplements can help.
In this article, we'll explore what antioxidants are, how they benefit our skin, and which ones we need. We'll also provide some tips on introducing antioxidants into your skincare regime to help you get back your glow.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds found in many natural, plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, as well as some beverages, such as coffee and tea. They help to protect cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Their main function is to prevent cell damage caused by oxidants, also known as free radicals, preventing them from damaging cells and potentially causing diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.
Antioxidants can be found in the environment or produced by our own bodies as a defence mechanism. If there are too many oxidants in the body, it can lead to damage and diseases such as cancer. Some examples of antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, lycopene, and flavonoids.
Benefits of Antioxidants for Skin & Health
Antioxidants are superheroes for our skin and overall health! They work hard to prevent or reduce damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals, which can cause all sorts of problems, including cancer, heart disease, and ageing.
The benefits of antioxidants are plentiful, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by preventing oxidative damage, protecting skin from the sun's harmful UV rays, and improving skin texture and tone by stimulating collagen production and reducing inflammation.
They also support our immune function, lower the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's, and even enhance cognitive function. You can find these powerhouse compounds in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, so be sure to incorporate them into your diet to keep your skin and body healthy and happy. And don't forget about the benefits of topical antioxidants in skincare products to give your skin an extra boost!
Top sources of antioxidants
There are hundreds of sources of antioxidants out there; however, some are richer in this substance than others. Here, we look at some of the top sources of antioxidants for your body.
Acai berries are incredibly popular, and for good reason - they are loaded with antioxidants. These berries are native to Central and Southern America and are packed with vitamins A and C, as well as anti-inflammatory goodness, such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, protocatechuic acid, procyanidins, and epicatechin.
The Amazonian and Brazilian tribes have been using acai berries for centuries due to their amazing range of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radical damage. In addition, acai berries contain electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium, trace minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Acai berries also have more protective antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and goji berries.
Acai is particularly beneficial for skin health as it contains 19 amino acids and can help with issues like dry skin, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars. Moreover, acai may also boost memory, stimulate the digestive system, and protect against heart disease.
The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot of money on expensive supplements or acai sachets to benefit from this amazing berry - you can find it in our multi-award-winning collagen shots, which also contain other skin-loving ingredients for brighter, fresher, and plumped-up skin.
Astaxanthin is a relatively unknown but impressive ingredient that is often referred to as the “king of carotenoids.” It’s found in brightly coloured marine life such as wild salmon, lobster, arctic shrimp, and crab, as well as certain algae and red trout.
Although it is not as well-known as other antioxidants, astaxanthin has been shown to be 550 times more effective as an antioxidant than vitamin E, and some studies suggest it may be up to 6,000 times more potent than vitamin C. It has also been shown to be more powerful than the likes of beta carotene, green tea, CoQ10, and lutein, and it is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fatigue properties, among others.
Thanks to its impressive antioxidant properties, astaxanthin is believed to have a range of health benefits, including protecting the heart, managing blood pressure and high cholesterol, strengthening the eyes, boosting brain health, enhancing workout performance, and improving male fertility. It is also thought to have a positive impact on the immune system and can contribute to beautiful, glowing skin. You can enjoy all the benefits of this impressive ingredient by taking our H3O Night Repair Capsules.
Green tea has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal drink due to its high levels of antioxidant polyphenols. It has also been associated with weight loss by increasing satiety and metabolism, especially when combined with exercise. In addition, studies have linked green tea to lower cholesterol levels, reduced symptoms of depression, and support for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Green tea is made from unfermented leaves that are full of antioxidants, such as polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids. These are also found in other healthful foods such as red wine, dark chocolate, and berries. Green tea also contains caffeine, which provides an energy boost, making it an ideal drink for the morning.
Drinking green tea regularly may help protect the heart and support brain cells against free radical damage, possibly reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease. There are also studies suggesting that green tea can help reduce appetite and promote bone health.
Green tea can be found in various teas, including Tencha, Hojicha, Genmaicha, Gyokuro, and Matcha, which is a high-grade, finely ground, concentrated green tea. Our protein smoothies, which contain vegan-friendly pea protein, also have added green tea. This helps to start thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting metabolism without increasing the heart rate. So why not swap your coffee for green tea and try one of our protein smoothies with added green tea for a delicious and healthy treat?
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract, also known as GSE, is a powerful ingredient due to its high content of antioxidant polyphenols called OPCs. These OPCs have anti-inflammatory properties that fight free radicals, and they are believed to improve blood pressure and skin elasticity. Additionally, they can aid in wound healing, protect against sun exposure, and reduce inflammation in conditions like dermatitis.
Grape Seed Extract is found in natural grape seed oil and our H30 Night Repair Capsules, which offer hydration and rejuvenation while you sleep. GSE is a well-studied ingredient with numerous health benefits, including improving brain health, collagen levels, and bone strength. As a potent antioxidant, it protects against oxidative damage and inflammation, making it an essential ingredient in our H3O Night Repair formula.
Pine bark is a powerful ingredient that is packed with over 40 antioxidants and works synergistically with other vitamins like vitamins C and E. It contains procyanidins, catechins, and phenolic acids, all of which are potent antioxidants.
Studies have shown that pine bark can protect against heart disease, cognitive decline, and bone loss, and it supports skin health. Additionally, pine bark has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-carcinogenic properties, and it can ease aching muscles, boost circulation, relieve high blood pressure, and help with symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Like grape seed oil, it is packed with OPCs, which are thought to be anti-ageing. Pine bark has also been shown to bind with collagen and helps to protect the skin from free radical damage. Due to this ingredient's endless benefits, we decided to add it to our H30 Night Repair Capsules so that you can enhance your overall health and well-being.
Trans-resveratrol is a bioflavonoid antioxidant that is naturally sourced from grapes, certain berries, and various plants to help protect them against environmental stresses. This powerful antioxidant is found naturally in red wine, which is why it is believed to have a positive effect on health. It has been shown to be more effective than Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta Carotene as an antioxidant.
Several studies suggest that the Trans-Resveratrol found in red wine may contribute to the low incidences of coronary heart disease in France, a phenomenon known as the French Paradox. Resveratrol is produced by certain plants and is thought to halt or even reverse the signs of ageing. The best sources of resveratrol include red grapes, red wine, cacao, and certain dark berries such as blueberries, lingonberries, and mulberries.
Resveratrol is anti-inflammatory and is thought to protect the heart by fighting LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and improving circulation. Some studies suggest that it can help to prevent fat storage and regulate insulin levels.
Our super strength Trans-Resveratrol (98% extract) is a highly available form of Resveratrol that is extremely well absorbed by the human body compared to other forms. This ingredient is in our H3O Hydration and Regenerate supplements, which are designed to keep you feeling youthful and refreshed.
Other foods and sources that contain antioxidants
The above list doesn’t even begin to cover all the many antioxidants and antioxidant-rich foods available. However, getting the right daily dose of antioxidants can prove difficult. Below, we list many of the other antioxidants you can find, all of which can be found in our range of supplements.
- Pterostilbene - This nutrient comes from the same family as resveratrol. Scientists are excited about the health benefits of pterostilbene and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has exceptional bioavailability and is easily transported into cells. It has an increased cellular takeup over resveratrol as it is absorbed 2-4 times more effectively.
- Fisetin - Fisetin is a polyphenol found in strawberries. It works to eliminate rogue cells scattered around the body and directly increases the production of other powerful antioxidants, including catalase, glutathione and dismutase.
- Quercetin - This potent antioxidant contains flavonoids, a group of natural ingredients that occur in certain plants and foods, including fruits, vegetables, tea, cocoa and wine. Quercetin activates the NRF2 pathway, the system that manufactures the body’s natural ‘in-house’ antioxidants. It also works to kill off rogue cells that may damage healthy neighbouring cells
- Astragalus - There are over 63 flavonoids in astragalus, these include isoflavones, isoflavans, pterocarpans, flavonols, flavones and flavonones. It acts as an anti-inflammatory to help to protect from the diseases associated with ageing.
- Chlorella - High in vitamin B12, iron and vitamin C as well as small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid, other B vitamins and some omega 3; chlorella helps to calm the skin and has anti-inflammatory action.
- Sea buckthorn berry - These wonder berries and seeds contain a magnitude of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and other ingredients. The oil has been included in Skin Perfecting Complex as it helps to calm conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, dry skin, rosacea and acne.
- Turmeric - Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can increase the antioxidant capacity of the body and can boost our brain health by promoting the life of neurons. You’ll find Turmeric in our Immune Complex supplement.
What other foods are high in antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules found in certain foods that nourish our body and help it to fight compounds that can cause harm to our body. Choosing foods high in antioxidants can help to keep us healthy. Here is a list of antioxidant-rich foods:
- Red cabbage
- Black tea
- Beans (red, brown and black are the best)