An antioxidant is a type of molecule that can prevent or hinder the oxidation of another molecule. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that is an essential and natural function of the body's molecules; however, it can also produce free radicals which then start chain reactions that can damage other cells.
Antioxidants can halt these chains and inhibit other oxidation reactions. Complex systems composed of multiple types of antioxidant are naturally present in the body.
How to increase your antioxidant levels
The reduction of free radicals is one of the most frequent impetuses for people choosing to increase their levels of antioxidants. This can be done through dietary changes, although the measurement of antioxidants in foodstuffs is not a straightforward process. However, it is believed that unprocessed and uncooked foods contain higher levels of antioxidants, as preparation can expose foods to oxygen.
Much research continues into the field of antioxidants and how they can slow, prevent or treat everything from the effects of aging to serious illnesses and diseases.
Antioxidants and cosmetics
There is some evidence to suggest that free radicals are closely linked to signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Therefore, many different ways of ingesting or applying antioxidants to the body are available to help people slow or hinder progressive damage from free radicals.
From teas and supplements containing antioxidants to antioxidant serum, there are numerous methods available for those who are looking to minimise free radical damage.