Do you know what antioxidants are? While most of us are familiar with the importance of a diet rich in antioxidants, they are often overlooked for the role they play in improving the health and quality of your skin. In a nutshell, antioxidants protect your body’s cells from damage, which happens naturally as you age. Cell damage is also a result of stress, poor dietary habits, and exposure to pollution or cigarette smoke. When cell damage occurs, it leads to premature aging, and can also make your body more vulnerable to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. To fight cell damage, you can restore your body with a regimen rich in antioxidants. Here are a few helpful tips to powering up with these natural disease fighters and anti-aging superheroes:

Tip #1: Eat Your Leafy Greens & Bright Fruits

Vibrant fruits and vegetables pack more useful vitamins and antioxidants. Think blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, kale, Swiss chard, and carrots.

Tip #2: Indulge In Chocolate

Even a small amount of dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which have been shown to help lower blood pressure.

Tip #3: Sprinkle On Some Herbs & Spices

Spice it up! Add some healthy herbs and spices to dishes. Cloves, parsley, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, rosemary, and oregano top the list as some of the richest in antioxidants.

Tip #4: Indulge In Antioxidant-Rich Skin Care Ingredients 

Here are a few ingredients that are especially good at fighting cell damage: Green Tea Extract: Chock-full of antioxidants, green tea is touted for its ability to rejuvenate old skin cells and act as a natural skin brightener. It is also used to treat acne and reduce inflammation. Vitamin E:  Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that works to improve circulation and repair tissue, thereby slowing down the aging process and preventing age spots. Vitamin C: Another antioxidant-rich vitamin, vitamin C helps battle the signs of skin aging and helps to stimulate the production of collagen. Grape seed extract: Like vitamin C, grape seed extract helps boost the production of collagen, making your skin appear firm, supple, and soft as you age. Lack of collagen causes premature aging, leaving you with unwanted wrinkles, discoloration, and dryness.

Carly Harrill, Natural Health Care Expert, Zax Health. Follow her on Twitter at @carlyharrill or visit her blog.