A diet rich in antioxidants is good for everyone because free radicals damage the body’s cells, are one of the causes of ageing. To minimize their harmful effects, enrich your diet with antioxidants. Eat vegetables rich in vitamins C and E every day, there is a lot of lycopene in tomatoes. If you smoke, you must supply three times more vitamin C than a non-smoker.
A diet rich in antioxidants will allow you to stay young longer. However, you must remember that here too some rules apply, and an excess of beneficial antioxidants can be harmful.
Antioxidants in the diet
Contained in fresh vegetables and fruits is a leader among antioxidants. Called ascorbic acid, it catches and neutralizes free radicals before they damage the cells. It is necessary for the proper functioning of white blood cells and chemical messengers whose task is to fight the disease. Unfortunately, our body cannot produce or accumulate it, which is why we need to eat 70 mg of the vitamin every day, which corresponds to half a glass of black currants or a glass of Brussels sprouts.
Protects cell membranes against free radicals, delaying ageing. You will find it in wheat germ, vegetable oils, wholemeal bread, pasta, groats, sea fish, milk, nuts. A tablespoon of sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds or a handful of hazelnuts will cover your daily requirement.
Eat a handful of pumpkin seeds, a few Brazil nuts, or muesli with wheat germ or bran. The selenium found there is involved in the production of an enzyme that protects cell membranes against oxidants and increases the absorption of vitamin E. It ensures the efficient functioning of the immune system, prevents inflammation, heart attacks and strokes. You’ll also find it in poultry, fish, yolks, whole-grain cereal, onions.
Beta-carotene (provitamin A)
Together with vitamins C and E is part of a triad of compounds with strong antioxidant activity. It blocks the formation of free radicals in the body and neutralizes absorbed from the environment, preventing some cancers. By neutralizing free radical and in the retina, it improves vision, reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataract development. Yellow, red, orange fruits and vegetables (also dark green leafy) have the most beta-carotene. Carotenes easily dissolve in fats, so you should drizzle oil with carrots and peppers.
Get in love with red tomatoes!
The dye in them – lycopene – is one of the strongest antioxidants. Its bioavailability increases after heating in the presence of fat. Therefore, when preparing a tomato sauce or concentrate at home, it is worth adding a teaspoon of oil or butter. Lycopene is also found in watermelons and red grapefruits, but most of it in tomatoes.