Would you love to feel energetic, vigorous, and beautiful?
To stay fit and active?
To protect your joints from pain and maintain your youthful good looks?
Then you must ask yourself, do you consume enough antioxidants?
You've likely heard of antioxidants. These substances help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can cause oxidative stress, a process linked to various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. You can think of oxidative stress as "rust" in the body.
Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals and preventing them from causing harm to the body's atoms, cells and tissues. It's unsurprising, then, that research has shown that antioxidants offer numerous potential health benefits.
But before we talk about the benefits of antioxidants, it's important to understand why they're needed in the first place. To answer this we need to look at free radicals.
Free radicals: What are they, and how do they affect the body?
A free radical contains an unpaired electron. An electron is a negative subatomic particle. Like all great romantics, they remain stable when they're paired.
An unpaired electron acts as if it were alone and unhappy about being single. These lonely electrons search for a mate. They're not fussy, almost any other atom or molecule with which they can form a (chemical) bond will do.
To do this, free radicals “steal” an electron from a molecule or tissue. While this makes them essential for many biochemical processes, such as respiration and immunity, it can also cause damage because free radicals are highly reactive, unstable, and corrosive. Yes, back to the idea of rust.
Free radical damage is one of the reasons why environmental factors such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, and ultraviolet light can profoundly harm the body. Healthy activities — like moderate and high-intensity exercise — also increase the production of free radicals and have been shown to cause injury, such as DNA damage.
Wonderfully, the human body has an antioxidant system — fueled by the antioxidants we consume — to tackle and subdue free radical damage.
However, when this system fails, oxidative stress occurs. You can think of this as an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to counteract their harmful effects.
What kind of damage do free radicals cause in the human body?
Free radicals can cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. Uncontrolled free radical production, then, leads to cellular damage and inflammation.
As this damage mounts, it takes a toll. That's why free radicals and the oxidative stress they cause are major factors in many chronic health conditions, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s, as well as weakened immunity and premature aging.
Luckily, our antioxidant system is designed to withstand and recover from exposure to free radicals. Antioxidants fuel this safeguard system.
What do antioxidants do?
Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. An antioxidant will bind and inactivate a free radical by donating one of its electrons. In essence, they act as a partner to the lonely unpaired electron.
Instead of the free radical acting as an angry, jilted lover, trying to steal other partnered electrons, it settles down with its new antioxidant partner and forms a monogamous pair. This powerful process prevents harm to the body.
Different types of antioxidants
There are many different types of antioxidants, each with its own chemical structure and unique actions and benefits. These include nutrients like:
— vitamins (like vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene)
— minerals (like manganese and selenium)
— coenzyme Q10
— glutathione (predominately made from the amino acids glutamine, glycine, and cysteine)
So, how can you ensure you have enough antioxidants roaming around your body, ready to jump into action and protect your atoms, molecules, and tissues from damage?
The foods you eat are an important source. Enjoying a wholesome, nutritious diet is key.
What foods contain antioxidants?
Some of the best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Think:
— herbs including basil, marjoram, oregano, peppermint, sage, tarragon, and thyme
— spices including cardamom, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and turmeric
— wild blueberries
Nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts, plus oatmeal, dark chocolate, and coffee, also makes the list.
Then there is one of our favorite antioxidants, Astaxanthin!
Astaxanthin, one of the world's strongest antioxidants
Have you heard of Astaxanthin?
While knowledge about nutrients like vitamin C and E, flavanoids and even polyphenols have hit the mainstream, the red pigmented carotenoid, Astaxanthin, continues to fly under the radar.
But recent studies have highlighted Astaxanthin as a potent antioxidant with numerous potential health benefits. This compound has been shown to reduce oxidative stress, so it's not surprising! The benefits are far-ranging.
A study published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity noted, Astaxanthin has broad “pharmacological effects, including anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating effects, and antioxidant activities as well as neuro-, cardiovascular, ocular-, and skin-protection.”
How could one compound possibly achieve this?
By providing “resilient protection against oxidative stress.”
So, Astaxanthin has the potential to reduce inflammation, support healthy joints, protect you from illnesses ranging from diabetes to heart disease, and even slow down the aging process.
Tip: Learn more about Astaxanthin, read 5 Reasons To Take Astaxanthin Every Day.
Astaxanthin is found naturally in certain marine organisms, such as krill, shrimp, lobster, and algae, and is also available as a dietary supplement.
Our well-loved product, Astaxanthin, is derived from algae, delivered in vegetarian capsules, and formulated to deliver 8 mg per serving. And our customers love it!
As Lori K. said, "My joints haven't bothered me since taking Astaxanthin... The main reason for me starting this was to be proactive as I'm getting older. Thank you, Onest!"
The antioxidant takeaway
Life comes with many stressors, toxins, and situations (including healthy exercise and appropriate immune responses against infection) that trigger free radical damage. Damage that can harm your health, youthfulness, and longevity.
Antioxidants quell this cause of biological rust and help to keep you well. They are potent protectors against free radicals, oxidative stress, and disease...
So long as you consume a sufficient amount. Enough to balance the free radical-antioxidant scale.
Enjoy ample fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. And supplement with a high-quality antioxidant-containing product like Astaxanthin.