Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow the damage caused to cells by free radicals.
Free radicals are the unstable molecules that the body produces in reaction to internal phenomena such as breathing, inflammation or environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals, UV rays, smoking, pollution, radiation, too much sugar in the diet, etc...
There are two main categories of antioxidants:
Endogenous antioxidants, which the body produces naturally (enzymes)
The exogenous antioxidants, which come from outside the body brought in particular by food (selenium, vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids).
→ Example: in fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts...
Some foods of plant origin are rich in antioxidants and have properties beneficial to health: they are called phytonutrients (carotenoid, flavonoid, polyphenol, phytoestrogen ..
MUSHROOMS AND PLANTS: MAJOR PRODUCERS OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Reishi, Shiitake, Chaga, Maïtake, Hericium, Oyster mushrooms: all the mushrooms present in each of our cures are full of antioxidants. Mushrooms are the biggest producers of ERGO (sulfur-containing amino acid ergothioneine) and glutathione, powerful antioxidants naturally present in all organisms.
Japanese knotweed is rich in resveratrol, which helps to stimulate mitochondrial function while inhibiting certain inflammatory factors and fighting oxidative stress.
Broccoli contains sulforaphanes which help to fight free radical damage.
Maritime Pine bark provides the body with the antioxidants necessary to regenerate the epidermis (skin).
Haematoccocus is an algae rich in asthaxanthin which helps to fight against damage caused by free radicals.
OPCs (grape seeds) help to protect the cells as a whole from free radical attack.
OXIDATIVE STRESS DAMAGE AND THE ROLE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), are residual substances produced by cells when the body processes food and reacts to our external environment. If the body cannot effectively process and eliminate free radicals, oxidative stress can result, which is detrimental to cells and body function. The main role of antioxidants is therefore to neutralize free radicals in our body, thereby improving overall health.
THE BENEFITS OF ANTIOXIDANTS FOR OUR HEALTH
An intake of antioxidants reduces the risk of cancer, atherosclerosis (a disease affecting the large and medium arteries and characterized by the development of atheromatous plaques) and vision-related problems. Indeed, according to the study "Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health" (2010): antioxidants act at different levels on molecules to slow down the aging of the body's cells (they are at the same time radical scavengers, hydrogen donors, electron donors, enzyme inhibitors).
Other research has indicated that antioxidant supplements may help reduce vision loss due to macular degeneration (the part of the retina that differentiates between day and night lighting) in the elderly.
Eating foods rich in antioxidants is good for your heart and may help reduce your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. It is therefore necessary to increase our antioxidant intake by eating more nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables (mushrooms) or by integrating into our routine the taking of food supplements to ensure our daily antioxidant needs without effort.
Increasing your antioxidant intake is essential for optimal health, especially in our often pollution-saturated environment. This is because the body simply cannot ensure sufficient production of antioxidants and the right amount of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (found in plants such as carotenoids and flavonoids) and enzymes. Antioxidant intakes must come from our daily diet and be increased to help the body against :
a weakened immune system