We’ve probably all heard of free radicals and their harmful effects on the body’s aging process, but what does it really mean and how can we prevent the damage? Free radicals are damaged cells which are released when oxygen is processed by the body in the natural process called oxidation (the same occurs when you cut an apple and oxygen reacts to turn it brown), and they cause changes in those cells they touch (eg they die – like with rotting fruit, or they might produce new cells to heal a cut). Because free radicals are missing a critical molecule, they go on a rampage to hook up and become complete. In the process, they damage the DNA of cells they touch, which creates the seed of disease. External toxins are free radical generators, speeding up the process of damage.
ANTIOXIDANTS TO THE RESCUE!!!!
Normal cell functions produce free radicals that are kept under control by antioxidants in the foods we eat, but this is not enough to combat the toxins we are exposed to from the external environment – especially if you smoke, drink, or are exposed to sun, pesticides or pollution (OK, so that would be most of us!).
THE 3 BEST WAYS TO BUILD YOUR ANTIOXIDANT STORES
1. FRESH HEALTHY FOOD
Colourful fruits and veges containing beta-carotene, Vit C or Vit E (eg purple, red, blue, orange or yellow fruits/veges) as well as foods containing zinc (oysters (yum!), poultry, red meat, beans, nuts, seafood, grains, dairy) and selenium (red meat, poultry, grains, nuts). And best not to overcook them!
2. VITAMIN/MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS
If you’ re not getting adequate from your diet, or you exercise a lot, you may need to supplement your diet with a good Zinc+C or similar. Great idea to talk to your naturopath about this.
3. ANTIOXIDANT RICH SKINCARE
Oh yes, you knew there’d be a skincare angle! Free radicals are a big factor in the premature aging process as the skin tries to battle both the environmental stresses and the free radicals it is exposed to. It is reported that your skin absorbs up to 70-80% of what you put on it (depending on the source of data), so topically applied antioxidants are really critical for your skin to build it’s resistance to environmental stresses and damage, and to supplement the antioxidant protection that good food can provide. There are several well-documented antioxidant ingredients for skincare, but at Rubifresh Natural Skincare, we use pomegranate oil and natural Vit E in almost every product. You can search for them in the ingredients on our website here.
We are feverishly developing a range of Premium Facial Treatment Oils, one of which will be an ultra rich antioxidant booster, containing green tea and grape seed, along with our usual heroes – Vit E, pomegranate. If you are keen to try, and to keep up to date with launches and specials, join our facebook page or sign up on our website.
Rubiwomen is written by Tristan Fahey, Owner & Founder, Rubifresh Natural Skincare.