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An antioxidant Rx

Finding the balance between nutrients and free radicals

A new book for 2009 may inspire a healthier you.

Author Bryce Wylde, who is a homeopathic doctor and director of natural medicine at the Vaughan Medical Centre in Vaughan, Ont., says we each need to find the balance between good nutrients called antioxidants and bad cell-killers called free radicals. “Your health status is based on the balance of antioxidants and free radicals. If that balance is off, you’re aging faster and trending toward disease faster.”

To achieve your balance, you must know what to erase from your life and what to add. For example, remove as many toxins as you can (plastic wrap in the microwave or radon gas in the basement) and don’t do things to excess (examples: too much sun, too much junk food and even too much exercise!). Add more antioxidant-rich foods such as chocolate, berries, veggies, coffee and red wine.

Wylde’s new book The Antioxidant Prescription (published by Random House) covers how to test yourself for free radicals, how to remove toxins from your environment, how to detoxify, how to get your stress levels under control, how to exercise in moderation, and how to consume more antioxidants, through food and supplements.

Wylde also likes to “debunk the junk,” and demonstrates that anti-aging doesn’t come in a bottle. It’s a little bit more work than that. “Beauty occurs from the inside out,” he says. “When there is a balance between antioxidants and free radicals internally, you achieve beauty,” he told Metro in an interview.

So what are these sinister free radicals? Our bodies produce free radicals naturally, but they can be destructive to cells when produced in excess, and act almost like rust to metal. Studies show they play a role in cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases. “Free radicals are the root of all disease — at the molecular level,” said Wylde. To get rid of free radicals, he says, try to limit your exposure to baddies such as plastics, radon gas (you can buy a detector at hardware stores), junk food, unnecessary prescription drugs, food additives such as artificial colour and sun, recommends Wylde.

Over-exercising is just as bad or worse than being a couch potato, he adds. Wylde guesses that Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven times in a row, contracted testicular cancer because of his excessive, free radical-producing exercise regime.

The old “no pain no gain” mantra is not the best way to go, according to Wylde. Instead, he recommends a daily routine of weight-bearing and non-impact cardiovascular exercises, which he outlines in the book.

Top 10 list of foods to avoid
According to homeopathic doctor Bryce Wylde, author of The Antioxidant Prescription, these are the top 10 foods to avoid:

1. Fast food such as burgers and fries

2. Hydrogenated fats (will show up on ingredients list for crackers and cookies)

3. Olestra (a synthetic fat)

4. Nitrates (found in bacon and hot dogs)

5. Alcohol (except for moderate amounts of red wine)

6. Raw oysters and sushi (may carry bacteria)

7. Saturated animal fats (in beef, pork and in chicken skin)

8. Soda pop

9. High-fat and high-sodium snacks, including chips.

10. Frozen meals when you have time to make “real food.”

 
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