Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Why antioxidants are your body’s first line of defence

Healthy living means making better choices – and there’s nothing like a natural dose of antioxidants to protect cells from the onslaught of modern life.

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It’s surprising to think that there’s very little left today of the body you were born with. That’s because most of your cells are in a constant cycle of renewal as worn out and damaged cells are replaced by new ones.

The bad news is that, with everything from chemical pollutants, to lack of sleep, your body can’t keep up with the constant repair and replacement. Enter antioxidants, which boost your natural defences in the fight against the free radicals that do most of the damage.

What do antioxidants do?

Along with vitamins, the most potent sources of antioxidants are plants – and one of the trendiest is South Africa’s own rooibos plant. After centuries of growing wild on the arid soils of the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape, this needle-like fynbos plant has leaves packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidants some of which are unique to rooibos.

The EU awarded rooibos its own protected geographic indication (like champagne), and the area under rooibos cultivation in the Cederberg has doubled in the last decade to nearly 60 000 hectares.

The benefits of rooibos

From millions of cups of the mild-tasting red tea consumed daily, to health supplements and iced beverages and skin care, rooibos is becoming a household name in countries around the world.

Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Britain are the biggest export markets. The proven benefits include protection against the disruption of cellular processes which ultimately lead to diseases like diabetes and cancer; and premature cellular ageing.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and, inevitably, slowing cellular defences show up as lines and wrinkles, dark marks and uneven skin tone, and loss of firmness.

The potent antioxidant power of bio-active rooibos extract, made from unfermented green rooibos leaves, helps to reinforce the skin’s natural repair mechanisms.

Rooibos brand launches in the UK

It’s the signature ingredient in South Africa’s best-selling rooibos skin-care brand, African Extracts, which has just been officially launched in the United Kingdom. With Vitamin E and other natural plant extracts, and the advantages of antioxidant-rich rooibos, it’s a natural fit for a healthy lifestyle – and younger-looking skin.

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