Twenty-five years ago I suffered a serious medical illness – colon cancer – that changed my life, for the better. As I poured through trusted scientific articles and learned from my mentors, the term “antioxidants” kept popping up. I had heard that term before but didn’t pay much attention to it until cancer caused me to change my focus: make nutritional therapy my hobby for healing. I imagined: antioxidants are awesome against awful cancer – and many other ailments. Antioxidants became my “A-word” for health. That’s how my antioxidant diet was born.
All about antioxidants. Imagine your body being the most beautiful “engine” ever made. Like your car engine produces exhaust from burning fuel, inside the cells of your body are microscopic engines, called mitochondria, that burn fuel to produce energy for your metabolism. This generates a lot of exhaust, called oxidants. Oxidation can be a good thing when they act like microscopic antibiotics to attack germs that get into your cells. Yet, the excess production of oxidants, called oxidative stress, can damage tissue. Just like mental stress is bad for the mind and body, so is excess biochemical stress. Excess oxidation is like what happens when oxygen in the air reacts with unprotected metal – it rusts. In a nutshell, inflammation and aging is “rusting,” leading to a term we doctors use when talking to patients: “Joe, you’re suffering from inflamaging.”
Antioxidants balance the oxidants. The antioxidants you eat help keep your body in “oxidation balance.” Antioxidants act like a police force that travel throughout your body to balance your oxidants to help your body thrive. The antioxidants in foods are what give them their deep color. Generally, the deeper the color, the more powerful the food’s antioxidant content. Wellness is antioxidant balance.
See antioxidants in action. Halve an apple. Pour lemon juice on one half. Leave both exposed to the air for 6-8 hours. Wow! The antioxidant-protected half looks fresh and healthy. The unprotected half looks rusty, “old”.
The older you get, the more antioxidants you need to eat to help your body repair itself.
MY AWESOME ANTIOXIDANT DAILY DIET
Here’s the diet I eat and prescribe, which I call my 5-S diet:
- Seafood: primarily reddish-pink wild salmon
- Smoothie: blend as many dark-colored fruits and berries as you can (see Nutrex.com for smoothie recipes)
- Salads: organic greens and red tomatoes
Nutritip: Savor Synergy
The more color on your plate and in your blender, the more the antioxidants. Synergy means that the antioxidants team up to exert more healthful effects – like a team of eleven players are more likely to score a touchdown than a team of only five. Enjoy the nutritional perk of synergy in your smoothies and salads.
- Spices and snacks: turmeric, black pepper, garlic, rosemary, and so on; I sip on green tea and nibble on nuts.
- Supplements supported by science. To get enough antioxidants for optimal health, most of us need to eat at least ten fistfuls (a child’s fist for children and naturally a bigger fist for adults) of fruits and vegetables every day and three fistfuls of wild salmon every week. Since most of us don’t eat that much of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and seafood, most of us need antioxidant supplements:
- Hawaiian Spirulina, an antioxidant-rich, easily-digestible vegetable from microalgae that is grown in freshwater ponds. On days I add spirulina to my smoothie, I call it my “green smoothie.”
- Astaxanthin is the “A-team” captain of antioxidants. My pick is BioAstin, Natural Hawaiian Astaxanthin, grown from red algae seaplants. To understand why astaxanthin merits the top antioxidant award, let’s go deeper inside your body. Body health begins with cellular health. The healthier each cell, the healthier your body. A major determinant of cell health is the cellular membranes that form the skin of your cells. Astaxanthin is called a cell-membrane protector.
- Dr. Bill
This content is not meant as personal medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet, exercise, or health program.
Dr. Sears is an Ambassador for Nutrex-Hawaii, Inc.
To learn more about antioxidants, see these references:
The Inflammation Solution by William Sears, M.D.
Natural Astaxanthin: Hawaii’s Supernutrient by William Sears, M.D.
Consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet, exercise or health program.
*These Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Dr. Sears is an advisor to Nutrex Hawaii.