Antioxidants are molecules that are able to slow down or prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. They protect your cells against the effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules or single atoms with an unpaired electron in their outer electron ring. Chemically free radicals are extremely reactive.

Oxidation reactions are essential for life, but these reactions can also be damaging. Free radicals are consistently formed in body metabolism. However, they are also formed as a result from exposure to a wide range of pollutants such as certain food additives, pesticides, smog, radiation (including ultraviolet light), and chemicals including benzene, chlorine, or benzopyrene found in coal tar and cigarette smoke. One substance frequently used in your food and in body-care products that leads to a large amount of free radical formation is oxidized vegetable oil.

Free radicals take electrons from neighboring molecules, which causes the death of cells, damaged DNA, cell mutation leading to cancer, and arterial wall damage leading to plaque formation. This reaction particularly happens in the fat molecules within your cell membranes.

Since molecular oxygen or oxygen radicals are frequently the chemical units carrying the electron charge, these chemical attacks are called oxidation reactions. Your molecular protectors are called antioxidants.

Bowl of Blueberries
Bowl of Blueberries

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Antioxidant protector substances include:

• Vitamin C
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin E
• The mineral selenium
• Beta-carotene
• Lutein
• Lycopene
• Enzymes such Catalase, superoxide dismutase, and various peroxidases

Low levels of these substances or inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes cause oxidative stress and may damage or even kill your cells. It is crucial that you keep your body well supplied with these nutrients. These substances are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and some meat, poultry and fish.

A Super-fruit packed with amazing health benefits, come see and try for yourself - Pomegranate Juice has Antioxidants.

When choosing foods it is important to note that cooking or processing your fruits and vegetables destroy the vitamins and enzymes. So raw is better. Also, when you look for whole grain make sure it is only “whole” grain. Don’t be fooled by labeling that says 100%. This wording only means that only the grain listed is in the product and others haven’t been included. The grain germ is the part of the grain that has the antioxidants. In the milling process the grain germ is removed and you no longer have antioxidants , only empty calories.

When you eat processed oils such as vegetable oil your body has to use them to battle the free radicals contained in the oil. This leads to a deficiency in these substances such as vitamin E. When you put these oils on your skin they also form free radicals. This can cause permanent damage to your connective tissue.

Be very careful about what oils you put on your skin. If your body-care products contain processed vegetable oils you are causing your skin to actually age faster. The lotion you apply to your skin may be a temporary fix but will accelerate aging of your skin or even promote skin cancer.

A sign of free-radical deterioration of the lipid on your skin is the brown, freckle like spots on the skin called aging or liver spots. This pigment is called lipofusion. The major cause of liver spots is the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats and protein by free-radical activity in the skin. Liver spots don’t cause any discomfort, but they would affect your health and appearance.

You can see a liver spot on your skin. However, you can’t see them where they form in other parts of your body----the lungs, intestines, kidney, brain and other organs. They correspond to areas that have been damaged by free-radical reactions. The more you have on your skin, the more you have inside your body.

To some extent you can evaluate the damage free radicals have done to the inside of your body by the size and number of liver spots on your skin. The more you have on your skin and the bigger they are, the more free-radical damage has occurred. What happens if this occurs in your organs? If it occurs in your intestine it affects that organ’s ability to absorb nutrients and to digest. If it occurs in your brain it affects your mental ability. If it occurs with your connective tissue, sagging and loss of function of the skin takes place. Internally the organs also sag and become deformed. What we look like on the outside is a reflection of what we look like on the inside.

Cells can’t dispose of the lipofuscin pigment so it gradually accumulates within many cells of your body as it ages. Once this pigment develops it tends to stay around for life. If you use the right kind of oils in your diet and apply the right kind of oils to your skin you can prevent further oxidation and possibly reduce the spots you already have.

Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and Vegetables

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The information on is not offered for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease or disorder nor have any statements herein been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We strongly encourage you to discuss topics of concern with your health care provider.

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