When you walk down the skincare aisle, the word antioxidant might pop out at you. Same thing when you start looking through the juices. What exactly is an antioxidant and why is everyone trying to get you to take them?
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that are organically produced in your body, and you can eat foods, take supplements, or use skin care products to enhance antioxidant effects. What these molecules do is they neutralize free radicals in your body that are unstable electrically charged molecules in cells that can cause damage. But how does it all work?
How do Antioxidants Work?
If a molecule loses an electron, it becomes a free radical. Free radicals are being made all of the time during your metabolizing process; they can be used by the immune system to fight off bacteria. But when there isn’t a healthy balance of antioxidants and free radicals, that is when free radicals can start to cause damage. When the antioxidant comes in the vicinity of the free radical, the antioxidant molecule will gift the free radical an electron which effectively neutralizes it.
How do You Get Free Radicals?
So you can just avoid free radicals, right? If your body is already making them, it is best to avoid adding any, so you don’t disrupt the balance, right? Well, in a perfect world, yes. Unfortunately, that isn’t where we live. If you wanted to avoid all additional free radicals, you would have to turn into Bubble Boy. In the outside worlds, you can get free radicals from:
- Air pollution
- Cigarette smoke
- High blood sugar
- Not enough or too much oxygen in the body
- Antioxidant deficiency
- Excessive intake of antioxidants
Where do I Get Antioxidants?
Free radicals seem to be following you around everywhere you go, so how can you help with the antioxidant balance? One thing you can do is change your diet to where you are eating more foods that have antioxidant properties. Foods that are antioxidants are things like:
- Dark chocolate
You can also take supplements that provide antioxidant properties. One that you can try is CBD oil. CBD has shown in studies to be a potent antioxidant that hunts down free radicals to neutralize. Talk to your doctor and ask them if they think CBD oil could help you!