Anti-aging products are everywhere these days, mostly in the form of creams, lotions or
“serums” that you apply to the skin. This sounds great, right? But do they work? Do you need them?
A better question would be, “What is aging?” In a nutshell, aging is oxidation at the cellular level. Rusted metal is said to be oxidized. So essentially, aging is organic rust.
How does this happen?
To understand this, we need to look at what happens within the cells and molecules of your body. Don’t worry; it’s not too difficult.
Cells are made up of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons, electrons and neutrons, which refer to the kind of electrical charge they carry. Protons have a positive electrical charge, electrons have a negative charge, and neutrons (being neutral) have no charge at all. Among these three, balance is achieved.
Protons and neutrons make up the center of an atom or molecule, while electrons orbit around them in pairs. This makes electrons more vulnerable to outside attack. If an electron should become lost, then the entire structure becomes a “free radical”. It can’t function properly. This will cause some level of dysfunction in whatever structure the atom or molecule exists in.
In an effort to repair itself, the molecule will seek out another electron, which means stealing it from another healthy molecule. Mission accomplished! But then that other molecule becomes a free radical. This process continues ad infinitum and actually runs like wildfire throughout an entire system (i.e.; your body). It will continue until some outside influence helps ALL of the molecules to be repaired so that all of the random thefts of electrons stop.
Meanwhile, cellular damage is occurring to every system in your body through a process of oxidation that we call “aging”. It’s a gradual but unrelenting process.
What does the body need to put a stop to this? Anti-oxidants.
Because cellular processes are on-going, your need for anti-oxidants is on-going as well – just like your need for food, water, oxygen, things like that. Very conveniently, these anti-oxidants come in the form of food.
Common anti-oxidants that repair free radicals are enzymes (glutathione, catalase, SOD), vitamins (C, E, and A), beta carotene, CoQ10, and some seed extracts. As a rule of thumb, these “anti-aging” powerhouses are found in brightly colored foods such as tomatoes, bananas, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, carrots, cranberries and even some meats and nuts.