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Antioxidants: understand why they can make you younger

Antioxidants: understand why they can make you younger

All the time, free radicals, responsible for a significant part of cellular aging, are formed in our body. Exposure to the sun, unbalanced diet, consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking are the main causes of their creation.

Although the action of free radicals hits us both inside and out, it is in the skin that it it makes note, since it is the visible part of the body. "There is a natural process of cell death, and collagen and elastic fibers, which support the skin, also age. Free radicals further stimulate this degradation," says dermatologist Valéria Marcondes, a member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology "

" But the body is smart and can fight them with the help of antioxidants, present in food and cosmetics. This is what dermatologist and nutrologist Rafael Soares, a professor at the BWS Institute, says: "Antioxidants cleanse our body of free radicals. They steal 'what's wrong with them, making them substances that can not hurt us."

In vitamins and chemical elements

According to Valéria, the discovery of antioxidants began with the research of vitamin C and its ability to block or at least reduce the action of free radicals.

Chemical elements, such as zinc, selenium, calcium, omega 3 and resveratrol, were studied and entered the list of the main antioxidants to that we have access to.

Whether they are vitamins, they are chemical elements, they all have the same function. "In a very simple way, any antioxidant will sacrifice itself to remove free radicals from our body," says Rafael.

Plate full of antioxidants

Food is one way of adding antioxidants to the body on a daily basis. Valeria and Raphael indicate foods that are easy to put on the plate and in the glass to fight free radicals:

Acerola, cashew, orange, lemon, melon, strawberry and tomato: fruits full of vitamin C

  • Carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apricot, green leaves (such as spinach and broccoli), melon, mango and papaya: great sources of vitamin A
  • Grains in general, Pará nuts, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, brown rice, almonds and nuts: to consume vitamin E, zinc and selenium
  • Milk and its derivatives (yoghurt, cheese): rich in zinc and calcium
  • Purple grape (Niagara) and chocolate: better sources of resveratrol
  • Salmon, tuna, sardines and flaxseed: rich in omega 3.
  • The best way to consume them is natural, with peel and, where possible, raw, according to Raphael. "Modified natural foods, such as juices, extracts, pulps and refined, will have fewer antioxidants," he argues.

Cosmetics: important allies

Beyond food, cosmetics can be great sources of antioxidants. "In the formulas, the most commonly used substances are resveratrol, ferulic acid, coffee and vitamin C," Valeria lists.

Sunscreens also play a key role in the fight against free radicals. The dermatologist explains: "The solar radiation is responsible for much of the aging of the skin because the ultraviolet rays alter the normal metabolism of the cell, generating free radicals. Sunscreen reduces the aging process, since it blocks the damages of the UVA and UVB in the cells. "

If the sunscreen formula also has antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and resviratrol, its effectiveness will be even greater.

Attention when choosing cosmetic

Rafael adds the issue of antioxidant cosmetics with some essential care when choosing one.

"First, the bottle should not open to the environment. It should be a tight fit to take a small amount without leaving the rest coming into contact with the air, "he says. This is because, according to the dermatologist, antioxidants react with oxygen in the air, which diminishes their action.

He also points out that the antioxidant substance should be specified on the label, "because it shows that it is the main active of the composition , when that does not happen, the concentration is too small to be effective, "and that there should be at least 10% vitamin C in the formula."

"Finally, beware of brands. the responsibility to prove their efficiency with studies, "he argues.

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