What is an antioxidant and why is it important?
It's so important what we put ON our body but it's just as important what we put INTO our body too. Cells need oxygen and nutrition to do their job well. Likely you are using a good natural brand for your skincare and body care needs by now. If you aren't you should be. There's no reason to use chemical-laden unhealthful products in this day and age. There are a great many natural handcrafted artisan skincare brands that offer freshly made natural plant-based products while avoiding the longer shelf life (as in never breaking down) chemical stabilizers and fillers that don't add benefits to the skin and have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and the like. So why not choose a natural brand that uses natural plants? Plants are POWERFUL!
So we have talked about the best options for what we put ON our skin. Now let's talk about what we put IN OUR BODY on a daily basis! Food and drink is something our body has to deal with over and over on a regular basis three times a day or more. The body is an amazing work of art and a beautiful piece of machinery provided that it doesn't become overburdened by disease. You don't have to be afraid of what runs in your family. It's usually specific habits that get people going down the wrong road when it comes to their health. We call this "epigenetics" instead of simply "genetics" which is thought to be more of what you're "born with".
Epigenetics by definition is: the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. Basically what this means is even though you may be born with a certain gene variant (cancer for example) it does not mean that gene will ever be activated to "turn on". In other words, if you live a healthy and holistic life being mindful of your stress levels, healthy food intake, environmental factors, exercise, water intake and enjoy a close community of people you can count on- you will more than likely stay completely disease-free and live to a ripe old age comfortably.
On the other hand, if you have a particular predisposition to some ailment (and most people probably do) and you don't take care of the body you are in, avoid exercise, do not feel satisfied in your close relationships, eat junk processed foods and drink a lot of soft drinks, alcohol and consume high amounts of sugar, cholesterol, and caffeine- you are setting yourself up for those genes to "turn on" and replicate. Not good.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, are the things your body uses to fight off these free radicals that damage your body also known as oxidative stress.
The Myo Clinic defines Antioxidants this way: "Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. ... Plant-based foods are the best sources." We now know that food plays an even larger role than once believed.
Simply put, eating healthy helps us deal with the stress in our daily lives better. Stress is a part of life but studies have found that when people eat more healthy and naturally, their brain function is much better. When people eat overly processed, junk food and too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc, their mind and emotions are affected along with the cells in their body. You need good functioning cells to make clean blood. Clean blood feeds your organs- and this includes skin as well as internal organs.
So eating more antioxidants means having more help in dealing with oxidative stress & antioxidants can be found in plant foods such as berries, papayas, apples, leafy greens, and pretty much all plant foods! It's the reason I choose to live a plant-based life. I feel the advantages are innumerable. I have more energy, cleaner & clearer looking skin, less body pain, and aches, and I am free from any medications. I have even staved off some of the effects of peri-menopause using plants (more about that later!).
Enjoy my skin-firming free radical fighting salad & dressing recipe & aid your body in doing its job and living up to it's fullest potential. I personally believe in abstaining from processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine and flesh as food. This recipe below is 100% Plant-based and packed full of free radical fighting plant power! It's great for a staving of wrinkles and building stamina as well!
Here's a great recipe I use that can help when feeling sick, tired and/or run down or for the sheer enjoyment of how great it tastes! Who doesn't love freshly made food? Bona Petit!
Michelle's Antioxidant "Inflammation Buster"
Salad & Homemade Creamy Dressing
Large Healthy Salad (for 2 people)
Basil & Nut Salad Dressing