Manage Oxidation to Increase Vigor

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt?

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:
*Lose Weight
*Get in Shape
*Reduce Stress
*Get Healthier
*Win the Lottery

The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment.

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at or at your favorite library or bookstore.

Manage Oxidation to Increase Vigor
Now that you have been introduced to the concept of oxidation and learned a little about how it contributes to cellular damage, it is time to consider what you can do to manage this process to increase your level of vigor. Remember, as long as the body is not overrun by free radicals, it can generally prevent or repair normal, day-to-day oxidative damage. The trick to fighting those free radicals, as with so many other aspects of health, is to find the right balance—specifically, the right balance of antioxidants.

When it comes to antioxidant nutrition, your best approach is to eat five to ten servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables throughout the day. In general, brighter is better, with each color group representing a major class of antioxidants: Think red tomatoes (lycopene), orange carrots (beta-carotene), blueberries (flavonoids), and purple grapes (anthocyanins). Try to get a few servings of each color group every day, because, even though a particular “color” indicates a predominant family of antioxidant nutrients, each fruit or vegetable choice also contains hundreds of other antioxidant nutrients that work together to deliver balanced protection against free radicals.

If you have trouble consuming all the fruits and vegetables that you need, and you choose to supplement your diet to boost your antioxidant levels, then keep this in mind: It is the overall collection of several antioxidants that’s important, not any single “super” antioxidant. Often, you’ll see advertisements touting the single “best” or “most powerful” antioxidant nutrient. But recent research clearly shows that supplementing with too many isolated or unbalanced antioxidants may be even worse for long-term health than getting too few antioxidants. Excessive levels of antioxidant supplementation (for example, too much isolated synthetic vitamin E or beta-carotene), can actually lead to more oxidation and tissue damage rather than protection from oxidation. That happens because, under certain circumstances, excessive doses of unbalanced dietary anti-oxidants can become pro-oxidants. In other words, instead of fighting oxidation, the excess intake of these nutrients can actually promote it.

As stated above—and it is worth stating again, because it is a crucial point—when it comes to antioxidant supplementation, “more” is not “better,” because it is the overall collection of and balance between several antioxidants that is important rather than any single “super” antioxidant. This concept of balancing supplemental antioxidants is referred to as the “Antioxidant Network” – and that is the topic I’ll cover in the next excerpt from The Secret of Vigor…

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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