Do Antioxidants Actually Reverse The Appearance Of Aging?

According to Harvard Health Publishing, "'antioxidant' is a general term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules called free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells."

Free radicals are harmful and can adversely affect your skin's appearance — yet they are also unavoidable. This is because the human body generates free radicals in response to not only common adverse environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, ultraviolet rays and air pollution, but free radicals are also a natural byproduct of the body's cell processes.

While the aging process is inevitable, some health specialists believe it is possible to maintain a better appearance or slow premature aging through the inclusion of antioxidant supplements in your diet to help combat free radicals.

"Oxidation is a process in your body where you build up reactive oxygen metabolites over many years, and they are damaging to your body. Also, as you age, your immune system becomes less active. Fortunately, vitamins and minerals work with the immune system and have antioxidative properties to lower the risk of age-related disease," Scott Antoine, D.O., physician and owner of The Center for Fully Functional Health, tells Insider.

Some examples of vitamins that may slow the appearance of aging include curcumin, which comes from the turmeric plant and possesses anti-inflammatory properties; collagen, a natural protein occurring in the body that improves skin elasticity; resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine; and vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system.

Which foods can reverse the appearance of aging?

According to Healthline, foods high in antioxidants can help improve the appearance of your skin. And boosting your intake of fruits and vegetables is the most effective way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet.

One food high in antioxidants that experts at Healthline suggest to help support your skin's appearance is watercress. Loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C, watercress acts as a natural antiseptic for your internal skin and promotes the circulation of minerals in your body. Watercress may also neutralize free radicals, which could be helpful towards preventing lines and wrinkles. They also suggest red bell peppers, which can aid in collagen production. Papaya — an antioxidant-rich superfood — may also help improve the skin's elasticity, and, if you are a fan of avocado toast, avocados contain fatty acids that can also act as an anti-inflammatory for your skin.

How nutrition can affect aging and what links exist is still ultimately a complex topic. However researchers at National Center for Biotechnology Information support the premise that consuming fruits and vegetables remains the healthiest and safest method to help maintain a youthful and healthy appearance, along with limiting exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, refraining from smoking, avoiding pollution and getting healthy amounts of sleep.