By Carla Oates
If you’re interested in the world of health and wellness, it’s likely you’re already familiar with the health benefits of antioxidants and that they are predominantly found in colourful fruits like berries, as well as leafy vegetables, cruciferous varieties like Brussels sprouts or collard greens, legumes, whole grains, seeds and spices.
But in recent years, you may have also noticed that antioxidant supplements are now a dime a dozen—each touting a myriad of benefits. While this increased collective interest in wellness is refreshing, as with everything we choose to put in our bodies, it’s important to remember that not all supplements are created equal. This is why it’s essential to first understand what antioxidants actually are, how they benefit us and which antioxidant supplement is best to take.
Here’s everything you need to know…
What Are Antioxidants?
Simply put, antioxidants are compounds that are both naturally produced by our bodies and also found in the foods we eat that combat free radicals—unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress, damage cells and contribute to a number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. While our bodies are constantly producing free radicals due to normal metabolic processes as well as when we’re exposed to external stressors like UV rays, pollution, chemicals and cigarette smoke—antioxidants scavenge and neutralise their damaging effects. Given that an excess of free radicals has also been linked to premature ageing of the skin and body, it’s essential we make an effort to consume enough antioxidants daily—either through the food we eat or via antioxidant supplements—if we are to feel healthy, well and vital.
Antioxidant Benefits For Skin
Although we know antioxidants are beneficial for many aspects of our health and wellbeing—for many of us, we are particularly interested in how antioxidants benefit our skin. Given that these free-radical-fighting compounds help to prevent cellular damage, it goes without saying that when it comes to our complexion, this is a very good thing indeed. While there are many types of antioxidant vitamins and minerals that are key for skin health, some of our favourites include:
- Vitamin C: Perhaps the most well-known antioxidant, vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient that is found in both inner and outer beauty supplements due to its multi-tasking abilities. First and foremost, vitamin C mops up free radicals and boosts collagen synthesis and given that our ability to produce collagen naturally declines as we age, vitamin C therefore plays an essential role in maintaining firm, plump, healthy functioning skin. When consumed internally, vitamin C also bolsters our immune defences—and has a protective effect, helping to combat the inflammation that contributes to skin ageing. Good food sources include grapefruit, watermelon and elderberry.
- Selenium: Responsible for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity, this incredible mineral helps to preserve collagen and also promotes the absorption of vitamin E—another skin-loving antioxidant. Selenium also plays an important role in our immune health—regulating oxidative stress and supporting our immune response. Dietary sources include Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, fish and mushrooms.
- Green tea: While technically not an antioxidant in itself, green tea is rich in polyphenols—potent antioxidant plant compounds that scavenge free radicals, combat oxidation and inflammation in the skin and body and help to promote improved wound healing—for a clearer, more resilient complexion.
- Vitamin A: Commonly found in topical skincare products in the form of retinoids—vitamin A also works its magic when consumed internally (in the form of lycopene, lutein or beta-carotene, for example) and helps to promote more glowing skin by supporting normal skin function and inhibiting premature ageing. Antioxidant-rich foods like sweet potatoes, bell peppers, mangoes and apricots are all packed with vitamin A.
What Are Antioxidant Supplements & How Do They Work?
With so many antioxidant supplements on the market, it can be understandably tricky to navigate and determine which might be best for your specific concerns. But in essence, antioxidant supplements usually contain high doses of vitamins and minerals—often in quantities much larger than can be obtained from a healthy diet alone. While this can be appealing—truth be told, more doesn’t always equal better so when shopping for an antioxidant supplement, make sure that you follow medical advice and read the label properly to ensure you’re not exceeding the RDI for any single vitamin or mineral. Many dietary supplements also derive from synthetic sources so to reap the most rewards, it’s best to opt for a product that contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that derive from wholefood sources which are more bioavailable and easily assimilated by the body.
At The Beauty Chef, this is exactly the approach we embrace when developing our range of inner beauty supplements—ensuring every ingredient derives from natural or wholefood sources and is as bioavailable and potent as possible. We’ve also developed the perfect broad-spectrum antioxidant supplement to brighten skin, combat free radical damage and improve wellbeing: our bestselling ANTIOXIDANT Inner Beauty Boost. As a bio-fermented probiotic elixir, this delicious inner beauty liquid contains selenium to support immune health as well as vitamin C to protect against free radical damage and antioxidant-packed papaya, green tea and elderberry. Our exclusive bio-fermentation process, Flora Culture™, further supercharges the effects of this delicious elixir by boosting the potency of each ingredient and increasing their bioavailability while producing a broad spectrum of probiotics and postbiotic compounds.
If you’re still wondering why you should take an antioxidant supplement, you can think of ANTIOXIDANT Inner Beauty Boost as a great all-around support product for your skin, immune and digestive health. The good news is, too, that ANTIOXIDANT is suitable for all skin types and skin concerns and can be enjoyed daily on its own or in combination with your favourite inner beauty powders and elixirs.