Beauty Tips – Self-Care at Every Age: Antioxidants for a Lifetime of Health
We all have heard the phrase: You are what you eat. Well, I don’t want to tell you what I ate! Lol!
When it comes to taking care of ourselves, when we are in our teens, we may not be thinking about our adult lives and how aging will affect us.
Dare I use the other phrase we have also heard throughout time — as an African American skin care line — I feel safe in saying it’s true: Black don’t crack! (easily!) And why is that? The passage of time has not defied us in eating antioxidant foods rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes as part of our daily diet.
Our world has only become more polluted and the idea of fresh food is foreign, as we eat out of season to compensate for our need of want. There was a time, organic meant picking it from your home garden. Our farmer’s markets are a great source of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables – now food preserving makes much more sense, and should make a come back!
Antioxidants benefit our health at every age. Adding a boost of antioxidants to our dietary intake can help protect our bodies from free radicals that are a source of disease and complications in our health. Antioxidants occur natural in our food, that’s why eating locally sourced foods is better for us. Yet, our bodies cannot keep up with its production in today’s climate. As we age, it becomes harder to fight the effects of free radicals.
I won’t even begin to say I understand the in depth biology of how antioxidants defend our bodies against the continuous production of free radicals. Enough cannot be said about their inflammatory properties for all skin types and conditions.
Unstable free radicals cause signs of aging such as wrinkles, graying and hair loss and texture changes, diabetes and genetic degenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s. The process of depletion is oxidative stress, which happens when molecules split into atoms and become unstable.
Slow the amount of oxidants, and protect your body against:
- Heart problems
- Eye problems
- Memory problems
- Mood disorders
- Immune system problems
Staying healthy and beautiful at any age should be as easy as breathing, as we are what we eat, right? Here are a few favorite antioxidant rich foods, in a one of a two part series, which you probably consume in your daily life and may have not realized. (We always like to suggest consulting with your health care physician before starting any new regime.)
All around the globe, we consume seeds from the Coffee, a plant that is dried, roasted and ground into the many variations we know as coffee. Roast coffee is significantly higher in antioxidant properties than green coffee.
There are hundreds of properties in coffee.
As with tea, the preparation of the coffee bean makes a difference in receiving its many health benefits. Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee is said to help lower the risk and in some cases protect us against disease. The antioxidant properties in coffee can help in losing weight, prevent diabetes and protect one from some forms of cancer.
Coffee Science has identified antioxidants and the truths about their benefits.
- Cafestol: Cafestol in coffee beans is still available even after decaffeination. Cafestol acts as a bile acid modulator in the intestine.
- Trigonelline: This compound is anti-bacterial and may help prevent dental caries. Trigonelline, coffee’s bitter alkaloid, also adds to the unique aroma of coffee.
- Chlorogenic Acid: Chlorogenic acid (CGA) is abundant in both green and roasted coffee. According to the Journal of Nutrition, CGA stands in for a large number of esterified compounds – it is the ester of caffeic acid, for example.
Ginger, an antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage and prevents accelerated collagen degradation. Always try to use fresh ginger root in your cooking, as ground ginger loses some gingerol when it gets processed.
It reduces inflammation: When inflammation is present in the body, it can cause breakouts, premature wrinkles, and dryness. It’s been scientifically proven that ginger reduces inflammation; so having a dose of it every day will help your skin stay glowing and gorgeous!
It boosts circulation: Ginger is a warming spice that gets your blood pumping. This helps your cells get more oxygen, which is like giving your skin a breath of fresh air for a more radiant complexion!
Just one ounce of dark chocolate can help improve our mood and get us through those mid-day slumps. It is much healthier that milk or white chocolate. Not only can dark chocolate shield out skin from harmful sun rays, it great for our heart health and brain health.
Chocolate is not just for holidays or women. Men’s health list seven benefits of dark chocolate.
What better way to share a sweet healthy moment with your companion
Here’s how dark chocolate can boost your health.
- Dark chocolate may reduce inflammation: Antioxidants and fiber present in cocoa powder aren’t fully digested until they reach the colon where the compounds are absorbed into the body, lessening inflammation within cardiovascular tissue and reducing long-term risk of stroke.
- Dark chocolate can protect your skin: Aside from sunscreen, you may want to chow down on dark chocolate every day to protect your skin against harmful UV rays, according to research from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. But not just any old dark chocolate—it needs to be especially produced with preserved high flavanol levels (manufacturing processes destroy the integrity of flavanols).
- It lowers blood pressure: If you have slightly elevated blood pressure, a bite of dark chocolate a day can improve blood flow and bring blood pressure levels down, according to research from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Dark chocolate raises good cholesterol (HDL): Polyphenols in cocoa powder and dark chocolate can favorably—though modestly—reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising the antioxidant capacity of good cholesterol (HDL), according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.