An Anti-Oxidants Cheatsheet
Are anti-oxidants good for skin?
No matter what time of year it is, many of us are always keen to find natural and healthy ways to brighten our skin, reduce the signs of ageing and ‘glow up’. We talk about this a lot at Equi London. but today we wanted to hone in on an area that is often referred to, but rarely in much detail - anti-oxidants. Don't worry, we aren't going to bog you down in science, but we did want to give you a simple cheat sheet that covers what different antioxidants do, and what foods to find them in.
What are anti-oxidants?
Anti-oxidants are found in the pigments that give fruit, veggies, seeds and some other foods like seafood their colour. These pigments, sometimes known as phyto-chemicals or phyto-nutrients are amazing natural compounds that can have a huge array of benefits to the body, be that for your energy, immunity, digestion, joints, brain health, cardiovascular system, cholesterol and so on.
Eating them helps to keep the right balance between oxidants (AKA free radicals) and anti-oxidants in the body.
What does this actually mean?
Put simply - the free radicals are compounds that we can either produce naturally, or that we take in from our environment (pollution, alcohol, smoking, toxic chemicals). Having some of the free radicals we produce ourselves in the body isn't harmful to us (actually we can't survive without them) but in high levels they can cause damage to our cell structures and DNA and create inflammation. Anti-oxidants neutralise these and help to ensure we have a healthy balance. In so doing they prevent excessive ‘oxidative damage’ to our cells, mediate inflammatory processes, whilst also feeding our all-important gut microbiome.
Anti-oxidants are also especially nourishing to our skin, helping to enhance brightness, glow, reduce inflammation whilst also helping the body to combat some skin conditions. Hence why we call them anti-ageing anti-oxidants.
Where to find anti-oxidants
There are thousands of phyto-chemicals that exist in nature (you may have heard of carotenoids, flavonoids, catechins, glucasinolates and phenolic acids - we break this down in a user friendly way in the table below).
For the best results we want to get as much diversity as possible because they all have different benefits on the body and many of them work together in synergy to enhance each other’s activity.
Below we have highlighted some of the best anti-oxidants for skin and where to find them. You can stick this on the fridge or inside a cupboard door to remind you what foods to look out for.
Aim to get three or more sources per day to boost your complexion, fight skin conditions, slow the signs of ageing, whilst also nourishing your whole body.
What anti-oxidants should I eat?
|ANTIOXIDANT||BEAUTY BENEFITS||FOOD SOURCES|
|Anthocyanin||Boost skin elasticity||Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants,|
|Raw cacao, cranberries, plums|
|Astaxanthin||Reduces DNA damage||Wild salmon|
|Protects against sunburn||Beauty Oil Edition|
|Beta-carotene||Converts to active vitamin A||Apricots, beets, bell peppers, carrots, cherries, kale,|
|Protects against UV damage||papaya, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, butternut squash, all Equi Formulas|
Protects eye health
|Chard, kale, pastured eggs, pumpkin, spinach, Glow Edition|
Protects against sun damage
|Beets, grapefruit, papaya, tomatoes (skins), watermelon , Glow Edition|
Protects eye health
|Apricots, kale, eggs, pumpkin, Glow Edition|
Fights free radicals
Blocks wrinkle formation
Defends against aging
|Endive, fennel, leeks|
|Defends against aging|
Blocks UVB damage
|Apples, cherries, cranberries, fennel, green beans,|
|Reduces allergies||onions, rhubarb|
|Helps with rashes and redness|
Decreases AGE formation
Great for capillary health
|Buckwheat, Beauty Formula|
Supports liver and gallbladder health
|Artichokes, milk thistle|
|Allicin||Blocks wrinkle formation||
Garlic, leeks, onions
Helps balance hormones
Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, leeks (best lightly cooked)
|Aids oestrogen metabolism|
Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi
|Reduces redness from UV exposure||turnips, watercress|
Cayenne, chilli peppers,
Reduces inflammation in the gut & Brain
Pecans, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries
|Aids in blood sugar balance|
Boosts glutathione production
|Aids detoxification (and methylation)|
Cucumber, leafy greens, parsley, wheatgrass, barley grass
|Feeds good bacteria in the gut|
Lowers blood pressure
Supports healthy digestion
|Suports hormone balance||Menopause Formula|
Activates sirtuin genes
Raspberries, red grapes with seeds, red wine
|Switches on reparative enzymes||Cacao, blueberries, Beauty Formula,
Disclaimer: Certain supplements are used for different reasons and a one-size-fits-all approach shouldn’t be adopted. In addition, pregnant women and anyone on medication should always consult a doctor before embarking on a supplements programme. As with all articles on www.equilondon.com, this is no substitution for individual medical or nutritional advice.