What keeps you healthy? 
By Walter Sorochan Doctor of Health & Safety

Posted March 12, 2022

What keeps you well?

Medical doctors like to take credit for keeping you healthy. Public health officials claim that public sanitation and a national health care system keep us healthy. Nutritionists remind us that eating a good diet prevents us from getting sick. But we seldom hear someone telling us that fresh vegetables, fruit and mixed nuts are our best medicine.

So all of a sudden, what was good general advice 20 years ago to eat more vegetables has been updated to include more specific vegetables, fruit and mixed nuts that have anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals. These are referred to as phytochemicals with different rainbow colors. But instead of eating foods with these nutrients separately, you can ingest all of these as a package. What was a traditional diet of meat and potatoes is now a much more complicated one. So let us unravel the new diet.

There is more to making wise food choices than food tasting good. Dr. Joel Fuhrman reminds us to select foods rich in nutrient dense foods but low in calories. Others remind us to select rainbow colored vegetables and fruits. Scientists remind us that we need foods that provide anti-oxidants to get rid of poisons and toxins like oxidants. Recently, medical doctors suggest eating foods that are anti-inflammatory. And microbiologists point out that one has to be very selective in eating foods that feed good bacteria more so that disease causing ones. Do we need to eat four times to get all four different benefits?

Foods fighting Inflammation: The body has the ability to cause pain and swelling or Inflammation as an important function: Inflammation rids our bodies of stuff that doesn’t belong, including foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, tumor cells, and irritants like splinters. “A classic example of inflammatory onset is the bee sting—the site becomes hot, red, swollen, and painful,” says Derek Gilroy, a professor of immunology at University College London. This response comes from a series of biological changes: blood vessels dilate to deliver white blood cells to the site of injury, making tissues turn red. Fluid also floods the site, causing swelling. The molecules that trigger these vascular transformations precipitate the itching, pain, and fever associated with inflammation. White blood cells, the body’s first responders, then swarm and kill the invaders. Under normal circumstances, this carnage is contained, with the initial inflammatory response subsiding within 24 to 48 hours. But when inflammation becomes chronic, the chemical weapons deployed by front-line immune cells often damage healthy tissue, and our bodies become collateral damage. The price exacted includes worn joints, damaged neurons, scarred kidneys, and more. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, characterized by pain and worsening disability, have long been associated with persistent inflammation."  Chang: End of inflammation 2022

Foods also promote antioxidation: Oxidation occurs when our bodies are constantly breaking down sugar and releasing energy. In doing so, we are always releasing many waste products, one of which are oxidants or free radicals. Free radicals lack one electron in their outer shell, thereby causing them to find or borrow an electron from other nearby cells. The oxidants are really waste products of metabolism [oxidation] or energy conversion. This makes the oxidant unstable and jump all over in a desperate or radical manner, while seeking to steal another electron from a nearby cell, to make itself stable. Hence it is referred to as a free radical. We are constantly creating free radicals at an astonishing speed. Bruce Ames, a well-known scientist [ University of California, Berkley, Ca. ] in the field of antioxidants, estimates that just one cell in the human body is hit about 10,000 times a day by free radicals.

And this often damages normal body cells. How do you stop this constant barrage inside your body? The answer of course is with antioxidants that can give a free electron and stabilize the free radical.

The great thing about antioxidants is that they can give these free radicals an electron, thereby neutralizing and stabilizing them. While releasing an electron, the antioxidant has become a free radical itself [ although a less dangerous one ]. This means that the antioxidant needs to be regenerated and it does this by borrowing an electron from another antioxidant. This regeneration becomes a constant process as long as there are ample antioxidants available. This is why we need a fresh supply of different antioxidants all the time.

As already pointed out, oxidants can pile up as toxins and disrupt cell functioning. All of a sudden, just 10 hours after waking up, we have trillions of radical toxins to get rid of. We have a super need for antioxidants that get rid of these toxins. Otherwise, the immune system is impaired, slows down and you feel bad.

A recent discovery by Lester Packer of the University of California, Berkley, Ca., found that a network of antioxidants, when taken at the same time, reinforce each other and bolster the preventive effects of all antioxidants. What makes antioxidants unique is that they work together, as a shield, in enhancing the power of each other; thereby extending life. We know now that the key to preventing disease and extending life is as simple as maintaining the right level and combination of antioxidants in our bodies.. Packer calls this the antioxidant advantage.

The antioxidant advantage implies that each antioxidant gets a booster advantage when other antioxidants are present; thereby making all of them more powerful and effective. The booster advantage is unique property of a single antioxidant being able to regenerate itself while at the same time continuing to disable many free radicals, much like a chain reaction.

Consequently, plants and animals make use of a variety of antioxidants – compounds that inhibit oxidation by donating electrons to unstable atoms – to limit this damage. Cumulative damage due to oxidation probably accounts for many of the degenerative changes of aging and many age-related diseases. Incorporating antioxidant foods into the diet at a young age and continuing throughout life helps to promote general health and slow the development of several age-related diseases.

The same phytochemical vegetables, fruits and mixed nuts are dense in nutrients and have varying amounts of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. These include flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, blueberries, strawberries, fennel, vitamins C ,E and D, kale, spinach, broccoli, red/orange del peppers, garlic, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados and mixed nuts. The key is to ingest a variety of these foods throughout the day so a constant antioxidation network detoxifies the body and bolsters the immune system. Drink ample water to help flush the toxins out of the kidneys. Nine of these special foods, displayed on a plate below, work together as a package. You can rotate similar foods, like kale, spinach and other greens.

You do not need to eat all 9 foods as one meal. Including a balance of five or six is adequate if you substitute and rotate these foods and others.

Finally, a reminder that you feed the same food to the colon bacteria in order to control them. You can choose the same vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Putting all related food and body information on one meal plate gives you an easy reason to eat the best foods that keep you healthy. But avoid the Standard American Diet [SAD] that feeds the disease causing colon bacteria.

Supplements or food? Many people believe that they need to take pricey dietary supplements to get all the vitamins and minerals they need. But nutrients work best in your body when you get them the natural way: in the amounts found in foods and balanced with other nutrients. Although eating salmon is a good source of astaxanthin, many wild ocean salmon have been contaminated with a toxic poison, mercury. Once mercury contaminated salmon are eaten, the mercury stays in the body. Salmon eat krill that, in turn, eat algae that is loaded with an algae, astaxanthin that is an antioxidant that crosses the blood-barrier and protects the eye, brain and central nervous system. So a more safer way to get astaxanthin is as a krill oil supplement, which has over 24 times more astaxanthin than salmon.

A few supplements to add to you plate, astaxanthin and krill, have been mentioned. Another is Superfood that was created from four spirulina [algae] and provides over a thousand nutrients.


Chang Connie, "The end of inflammation? New approach could treat dozens of diseases," National Geographic, March 3, 2022.  Chang: End of inflammation 2022

Packer Lester and Carol Colman, "The Antioxidant Advantage," Need for antioxidants summarized from The Antioxidant Miracle, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1999.  Packer: e-Book summary  |  Packer: Table antioxidants 

Sorochan, Walter, "Antioxidants & Health -- A Review," Freegrab.net, October 16, 2021.  Sorochan: Antoxidant review 2021

Sorochan Walter, "Selecting best food and veggies, Freegrab.net, October 10, 2021. Sorochan: Best food and veggies 2021

Superfoodly, "Natural Astaxanthin Foods: 20 Best High Potency Food Sources," Superfoodly, August 14, 2019.  Superfoodly: Best astaxanthin 2019