Staying Younger - Longer!

How would you like to be able to bounce out of bed each morning at eighty or ninety and still play a great round of golf or a crisp game of tennis, or jump aboard a boat and catch a great feed of fish? As a naturopath and herbalist for the last nineteen years, I know this can be a reality if you know how to take care of your body's nutritional requirements on a daily basis.

To be brimming with vitality irrespective of age, you must know how to prevent your body rusting away. In humans this rusting process is called 'free radical damage'.

Most of us know from basic chemistry that for an oxygen molecule to be in a stable state it has to have two electrons orbiting a nucleus. The problem for humans today is that through pollution, food additives and the side-effects of some prescribed drugs, we can create an internal situation where oxygen molecules become unstable and lose an electron or take on one more. Unstable oxygen molecules are highly reactive and when they marry with another molecule they can destabilize or even destroy their new partners. This is how substances called Free Radicals are formed.

Today there is an ever increasing accent on costly supplements. The word supplement means added onto. Added onto what? The answer must be a proper diet. Before people part with their hard earned dollars for the latest fad tablet, they should examine their diets. If you are constantly bombarding your body with bad food you run the risk of free radical damage occurring. There is no magic bullet in tablet form that can brush away the effects of a poor diet!

Free radicals can attack the lining of our arteries. This can lead to heart attack or stroke. Free radical damage can target the lenses of your eyes thus advancing the formation of cataracts. Some researchers believe free radical damage is implicated in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases.

You can fight free radical damage by eating certain foods that act like vacuum cleaners to suck up the bad guys. These foods contain what is known as 'free radical scavenging' properties. Top of the list I recommend to patients, along with herbal medicine, are blueberries. Research shows that blueberries are more effective at fighting cancer causing free radicals than many other fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you want to remain vital into old age it is important to know about an enzyme called Glutathione. It has the power to donate electrons that can neutralize free radicals. The good news is that Glutathione abounds in Yellow, Red and Green Vegetables. Foods to avoid whenever possible are those that contain 'transfatty acids'. These substances are added to foods to prolong shelf life and make things crisper. Biscuits and French fries are often loaded with these offenders.

The other keys to a sprightly old age are daily exercise and knowing how to relax properly. As basic as it may seem, many people have never learned to relax properly and that is why I have devoted a whole chapter of my book 100% Alive & Happy to this topic.

As a Health Practitioner I feel the most important thing I have in my armoury to help patients Stay Younger Longer is Herbal Medicine. Herbs are wonderfully well absorbed and since assimilation tends to suffer with advancing years, as a Herbalist as well as a Naturopath, I can offer people specific combinations tailor-made to their needs.

DISCLAIMER: This information is of a general nature only. As each person reacts differently, the information must not be acted upon without a face to face consultation with your chosen Health Practitioner.

Stephen Zemek ND BN

To make an appointment at either my Brisbane or Sunshine Coast Clinic, please telephone +61 4 2878 9103.

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