Eating juicy carrots, broccoli or grapes, we care about our longevity. After all, they contain special substances-antioxidants, which guard our health and can even stop time.
The topic of antioxidants has become popular relatively recently, but there is no sensation. Nature initially all reasonably set, giving these substances seem to be invisible, but very important role. Let’s try to figure out which one.
In the process of life in the body formed chemical compounds with an active oxygen atom (they are also called free radicals). What are they for? Free radicals help a person in extreme conditions-for example, at low temperatures, high physical activity and so on. They mobilize the reserve capacity of the body, allow you to quickly recognize the infection and start fighting it.
Meanwhile, the active oxygen atom in the free radicals is in constant search for the missing electron. These electrons are donated by antioxidants-substances that can give their electron without damage to themselves.
With a lack of antioxidants, oxygen takes away the electron from other chemical compounds, simply oxidizing them. It turns out that antioxidants prevent the occurrence of foci of “fire” in the cells of the body, neutralizing free radicals.
Stress for the body
Why is there so much talk about antioxidants now? The fact is that modern researchers associate premature aging and the development of many chronic diseases with the so-called oxidative stress, when the body produces too many free radicals.
This leads to damage to cell membranes, tissue structure, changes in metabolism, which in turn affects our health and appearance. To fight oxidative stress, you need to know its causes.
Poor environment: it is believed that this is one of the main causes of oxidative stress in residents of megacities and industrial centers. Combustion products that accumulate in the atmosphere (water, soil of large cities, adjacent to highways, near enterprises, incinerators), have a high concentration of free radicals.
Penetrating into the human body with air and food, they affect the genetic apparatus of cells and cause their natural death.
Ultraviolet radiation: it has long been observed that the southerners signs of wilting appear much earlier than the inhabitants of the Northern latitudes. The reason is the increased insolation. Ultraviolet rays penetrate deep layers of the skin, causing local oxidative stress.
As a result, the molecules of collagen and elastin, which make up the skin “frame”, are destroyed. The skin loses its elasticity and firmness, becomes flabby and wrinkled.
Smoking: inhalation of tobacco smoke increases the formation of free radicals. In heavy smokers reduced immunity, significantly increases the risk of atherosclerotic vascular disease, developing oxygen starvation of tissues. Leather lovers cigarettes is gray is dehydrated and loses elasticity.
Health problems: atherosclerosis, diabetes, chronic foci of inflammation, autoimmune diseases-conditions in which the body also accumulates a large number of free radicals, which in turn exacerbates the course of the disease.
Emotional overload: the modern pace of life, the desire for personal and professional success keep a person in constant tension. Inability to organize your holiday, lack of sleep, hypodynamia lead to the excitability of the nervous system, which is also accompanied by oxidative stress in the body.
Undoubtedly, we can fight it: for this we need to quit Smoking, not to abuse the tan, often go out of town, move more. And yet-there is the right food, rich in antioxidants.
Taste and color
To the diet present a variety of antioxidants (and they all have their own specifics), try to distribute them evenly on the days of the week. For convenience, draw on a sheet of paper a seven-leaf flower, each petal of which will correspond to a certain day.
Eat at least 100 g of the color you choose every day. It is in this amount contains the recommended daily rate-from 3 to 6 units of antioxidant activity. The upper limit of the norm does not exist, that is, exceed the dosage is not forbidden.
- tomato: the most valuable thing in it — lycopene, it gives the fruit a rich red color. This substance prevents the destruction of collagen in the skin, inhibits its aging, but most importantly — protects against heart attack and stroke, as well as prevents the emergence of cancer cells;
- strawberry: contains antioxidants that delay the aging process of the brain.
- cranberry: a storehouse of vitamin C and antioxidants that prevent the development of chronic diseases and aging of the body as a whole.
- grapefruit: it has a lot of vitamin C, routine, lycopene. They stimulate the formation of collagen, increase the body’s resistance to aggressive environmental influences;
- carrots, pumpkin: Champions of beta-carotene. This substance promotes tissue regeneration, removes radionuclides from the body, takes care of the health of the eyes, hair and skin.
- lemon, Hippophae: they also have enough vitamin C, bioflavonoids, beta-carotene. They increase immunity, smooth wrinkles, remove endotoxins and radionuclides from the body.
- spinach, green pepper, greens: contain pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, carotenoids, which improve vision, strengthen the immune system, increase hemoglobin;
- broccoli: it is composed of chlorophyll. It slows down oxidation processes, protects cells from the aggression of the environment and even restores damaged membranes. In addition, among the green vegetables broccoli is considered to be the No. 1 in the fight against cancer.
- plum, blueberries: rich in bioflavonoids, prolong youth, improve memory and vision.
- eggplant, gooseberry, grape: contain vitamin C, bioflavonoids, which strengthen blood vessels, have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect.
- black currant, black Rowan: in addition to vitamin C and bioflavonoids, rich in routine. It also helps to take care of the health of blood vessels, resist stress and at the same time increase the elasticity of the skin.
Various spices not only make the food more fragrant and tasty — they increase the antioxidant activity of the dishes. Pay special attention to cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, Basil, oregano, ginger, marjoram, mustard. Take note that the best choice for a snack — nuts and chocolate. They are particularly useful in physical and mental stress.
Only 10 g of bitter (which contains at least 70% cocoa) chocolate or 40 g of nuts mobilize the body to labor exploits and provide the necessary antioxidant support. Pecans take the first place in antioxidant activity, then in descending order follow: walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, peanuts.