Habits – Here’s to Good Health
Six Important Habits to Stay Healthy as You Grow Older
As more Americans ageing into retirement develop chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, they need to take care to ensure that retirement doesn’t turn into a never ending struggle to try and stay healthy. In this article we list six of the healthiest behaviors that could help the senior population stay in good shape for much longer.
Aging does not have to be synonymous with disease or impairment. You can stay fit and healthy as you grow older by adjusting specific day-to-day habits and routines. This is a simpler and much more affordable solution than consulting a specialist – which can be very expensive. The fact is there are a lot of people who cannot afford to see a physician whenever they want to. Staying healthy and fit for good, without having to pay for medications or long-term treatment plans to cure specific conditions, has to be the most sensible answer.
The list addresses many important aspects of people’s lives touching on things that could help them improve their health and provide long-term solutions to many issues that might shorten lifespan substantially.
1. Taking Good Care of Your Diet
First and most importantly, you need to be watching your diet constantly. “Nearly 23.3 million Americans suffer from diabetes, which is caused by poor eating habits in most cases. Cutting back on sugar is important for people of all ages but even more so as you get older and your body becomes less efficient at fighting diseases. You should consider using substitutes which are unrefined with a lower glycaemic index. Other things to consider would be to eat less food that are rich in fats and carbohydrates and include more fruits and vegetables into your diet. These changes alone can make a big difference in how healthy you are as you get older.
2. Keeping Your Brain Active
It is easy to see why this piece of cognitive-related advice is so important. All throughout your working life you may have had to stay focused and sharp to earn your living. Now that you have retired the pressure is off. What you may not have realized is, that it was this need to use your brain to find solutions to problems that kept your mind sharp and ultimately, your body healthy also. Research has found that keeping the brain active not only fosters executive function but it can also reduce the risk of developing memory-loss illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Even when you don’t have the challenge of work to keep you sharp you can help yourself by doing recall games and word exercises – for example, finding 5 blue objects during a walk, and recalling them on your way back home.
3. Walking with Poles
This involves walking with poles instead of canes or walkers. Pole walking engages the muscles of the upper torso, which are critical to better cardiovascular endurance and upper-body strength. This can, moreover, improve flexibility in ageing people, which subsequently contributes to a healthier lifestyle.
4. Taking Health Supplements
Most modern diets lack important nutrients that can help people keep their bodies working well. Taking specific health supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can improve cognitive function, reduce joint pain, lower depression levels, aid digestion, and much more.
5. Eating Fiber-Rich Foods
As people age, their metabolism slows down considerably, which can make digestion very difficult. Nutritionists and seniors both agree that eating foods rich in fiber can boost metabolism and aid digestion. Fiber can prevent constipation, helping individuals to have healthy bowel movements without the need to take medications.
6. Quitting Smoking
The last piece of advice is quitting smoking – a habit that is seemingly decreasing the average life span substantially. Smoking increases the incidence of many of the conditions people suffer from during their lifetime. These include heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, lung disease, and even cancer. The quitting process may be difficult, but it will certainly improve quality of life, and help you achieve a much healthier lifestyle as you grow older.
Take Care of Your Body
Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”. Taken at face value you might be tempted to think that all you have to do to stay healthy is to worry about your physical body and everything will be alright. However, as a firm believer in the phenomenon that what happens to us physiologically results from what’s going on inside of us (mentally and spiritually) good health is more than just looking after our physical frame.
This blog is about health: physical, mental and spiritual. We will explore and discuss the different mind-sets that individuals have concerning what it is to be healthy and how to become that healthy person we all crave to be. We will talk about what we put inside our body; how we treat it; and how the values & beliefs we have shape us and impact upon our mental & spiritual wellbeing.
When we meet someone for the first time, we often only consider what we can observe of that person’s looks, mannerisms or body language. We seldom stop to think that, here is an individual who is more than just flesh and blood but a spiritual being with a lot more going on than meets the eye.
As human beings, we have the ability to think what we like and those very thoughts determine whether we sustain good health or fall prey to injury, sickness and disease. Because we cannot directly and readily see the impact our thoughts have upon our world, we fail to conceive that there is a relationship between what and how we think and the outcomes that manifest in our lives.
This not only includes issues which are clearly seen, such as your or your family’s attitude towards education and the qualifications you achieve. It also encompasses your thoughts about nutrition, healthy eating and exercise, for example. If you believe your “body is a temple”, you treat it with respect and watch what you eat, what and how much you drink and what you do in your leisure time.
Nowhere than in the realm of research, into the impact of placebos on the treatment of disease, has the relationship between what goes on in the mind and the physical manifestations, been more clearly demonstrated. Studies have been carried out all around the world with many different groups of people with varying ailments to try to establish why and how this works.
In these controlled experiments, one group of people is given real drugs which treat their condition whilst another group is supplied with placebos (fake drugs that have no ingredients to affect their condition).
In one ground-breaking experiment carried in 1999 at the Karolinska Hospital in Sweden, 88 patients who needed pacemakers were separated into two groups. Both sets of people were fitted with pacemakers but only one group had their devices switched on. To everyone’s astonishment, both groups showed a marked degree of recovery.
Why the placebo effect exists is purely down to psychological conditioning or the “power of expectation” as some would put it. You expect the medication you receive to be effective in treating your condition and no surprise, it does.
In the same way that a positive outlook can have a favorable effect on your life, it is of little wonder that the opposite is also true. If you live in fear: fear about the future, anxiety about your circumstances, hang-ups about your past and so forth, these things will have an adverse impact on you.
There are those who believe that since you only have one life you should live it fast & live it hard, “empty the tank” and never mind the consequences. Whilst there may be some sympathy with this perspective, one crucial factor comes into play. Although people are living longer than the previous generation, they are not necessarily living healthier lives.
Better hygiene, public health, medicines and nutrition have contributed to this increase in longevity but more and more people are struggling in old age with chronic disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Not only do these conditions have a huge effect on the public purse but it also means that people are being kept alive in ill-health by medicines. Find out more information about health and old age at the National Institute on Aging.
Our interest at Borobudur Health is to keep at the top of our readers mind the fact that we don’t have to go through life suffering the effects of ill-health. How we view ourselves, what we eat and drink, how we treat other people, all of these things have an impact on our health.
We all have a good idea of what a successful person looks like. When you see an individual who you would consider to have accomplished more than most, it usually follows that that person, generally speaking, is enjoying a greater level of good health than the average person. We need good health in order to achieve success in other areas of our lives.
I believe that, for the most part, the things we experience in life come to us because we attract them. Although it may not be easy, a healthy mind, body and spirit is a state all of us can reach. We need to cultivate personal discipline and learn to expect good things.
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Why You Need A Healthy Immune System
In the history of medicine, the diagnosis of immunodeficiency has further reinforced the importance of the human immune system. Whether the lack of immunity has been as a result of a birth defect, genetic factors or acquired condition such as HIV/AIDS, the result is the same. People with immunodeficiency are more susceptible to infections that could potentially cause death unless they are on a specialized treatment such as anti-retroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS patients.
What the Immune system does
Your immune system’s primary job is to keep your body safe from infections and disease. It is your body’s first line of defense against disease causing germs that may find their way into your body from various sources. If you think that the immune system has a fairly easy job, consider this. There are trillions of different disease causing micro-organisms including viruses, bacteria and fungi in our atmosphere. This means that every time you breathe, eat something or even drink a glass of water, you are potentially ingesting millions of disease causing micro-organism as well. Most of the time you cannot control what germs get into your body from any one source.
The immune system’s job is to make sure that all of the micro-organisms you ingest every minute of the day don’t get a chance to make you sick. It is a mammoth task that a healthy immune system will tackle with ease. This is why despite the fact that we live in the same germ infested atmosphere, some of us get sick and others do not. Those who don’t are the ones who have a stronger and healthier immune system.
This is also why immunodeficiency can be fatal. Without a working immune system, the germs in the atmosphere have free reign over your body and can cause maximum damage. Modern medicine has been able to find treatments that can help people with low immunity live with their condition, but the treatments are unable to keep the body from becoming infected.
How to strengthen the immune system
The immune system has a very important function in your body and therefore should not only be kept healthy but you should find ways to strengthen it further. Strengthening your immune system is something that you can achieve fairly easily.
First of all you should know that your immune system requires a lot of your body’s resources to function efficiently. Therefore, nutrition is a major area to improve upon if you want to have a healthier immune system. Make sure your body is getting the necessary nutrients by eating a balanced diet. When your body receives less than adequate nutrition, certain vital organs such as the brain are prioritized leaving other body functions like the immune system with fewer resources. This is the major reason why mal-nourished individuals have lower immunity.
Nutrients with antioxidants are essential when you want to strengthen your immunity. Vitamin C and E are two common antioxidants that have been liked with healthier immune systems. Including an abundance of these Vitamins in your diet can help you strengthen your immunity significantly. Various fruits and vegetables are good sources of Vitamin C and E.
Stress can greatly undermine the immune system’s function. This is why individuals with depression have been known to suffer opportunistic infections that have been liked to their mental state. The easiest solution to this problem is exercise. Regular exercise is essential in decreasing stress levels and improving a person’s mood.
Smoking and over indulgence in alcohol have also been known to degrade the immune system’s functions. When combined with poor eating habits and an unhealthy body weight, smoking and alcohol intake can result in serious conditions that would have barely manifested otherwise.
Isolation is also another major cause of suppressed immunity. A scientific study done on infant monkeys concluded that infants that were separated from their mothers suffered suppressed immunity. Their bodies developed fewer antibodies in response to infection causing germs and they were more likely to die from an infection than infants who stayed with their mothers.
Finally, lack of sleep can reduce your immune system’s effectiveness. Proper rest enables your body to regenerate and produce antibodies that are effective in combating infections. Make sure that you are getting adequate sleep as much as possible and you will be less susceptible to simple infections.
Should We be Panicking Over Ebola?
There Are Several Ways To Control An Ebola Outbreak
Many now know the story of Thomas Duncan, who was the first Ebola patient to die in the USA. Thomas was in Liberia, when he helped a pregnant woman who was very sick and was throwing up, get to the hospital. The woman was turned away from an Ebola treatment center that was overfilled, so she went home. This woman died a few hours later. This incident happened five days before Thomas flew back to the United States. Thomas filled out paperwork at his port of exit, stating that he had no close contact with anyone infected with Ebola. Days after he arrived in the United States, he began to have flu-like symptoms that stayed with him for some time. Thomas went to see a doctor, but they thought that he was suffering from an infection so they prescribed him antibiotics, and sent him home. He returned to the hospital days later, and he was diagnosed with Ebola.
Thomas Duncan has set off a chain of events that has now brought disease control under the spotlight. After Thomas was diagnosed with the disease, he was quarantined, along with his fiancee and their children. Although Thomas Duncan had come to Texas to meet the son he had never known, he would never be able to complete this task as he died 10 days after being diagnosed with Ebola. Not only is this an unfortunate incident but it brings to light the need for a more rigorous disease control process in America. Many thought that because Ebola was a half a world away, it wouldn’t affect anyone here in the US; this proves to be incorrect. By Thomas Duncan getting on that plane, and the coming to the United States, he has put many who cared for him at the hospital, as well as family members, in danger. Those quarantined for close contact with Duncan, have recently been released and are Ebola free.
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding Thomas Duncan’s contraction of Ebola did not die with him. Sadly, two nurses who had treated Duncan at the hospital, later contracted the disease as a result of their contact with him. This came to light sometime after his death. One nurse traveled to Ohio from Dallas, Texas, carrying the disease with her. She was in the vicinity of family members, those on the plane, and even people in a wedding boutique. There are hundreds of persons that are thought to have been exposed to Ebola through this nurse, Amber Vinson, while she was traveling. The other nurse who was the first to be diagnosed with Ebola was quickly isolated and treated. She was given blood by a previous survivor, in hopes that the antibodies would help her to get over the disease. Overall, this has been a success as claims are that she no longer has the Ebola virus.
Thankfully, Ms. Vinson has also recently been declared Ebola free. Although this is great news for those fearing for the lives of both of these nurses, disease control is an extremely popular subject now. Ms. Vinson was able to travel from one coast to another and possibly infect others while not even showing symptoms of the disease. She may have even had symptoms sooner than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had initially thought was possible. It’s obvious that this disease is a force to be reckoned with. The incubation time is 21 days and the fatality rate is extremely high. More people die from it than those that survive. The disease can easily be passed from one person to another through fluids. What’s disheartening to know is that the two nurses were in full protective gear at all times around Thomas Duncan. How could they possibly catch Ebola, with all possible precautions being taken?
These concerns have ignited fear that the current disease control and prevention methods are not effective. Thomas Duncan should never have been allowed in the country. Liberia had even spoken about prosecuting Thomas for lying on his paperwork about his contact with an Ebola patient. Although it’s impossible to tell if he knew the woman he helped to the hospital had Ebola, it is reasonable to assume Thomas probably was aware that she had died. He was still in Liberia five days after her death. With this knowledge, it’s safe to say that Thomas thought he was fine to travel, as he was not sick yet, but he was sorely mistaken. The further delay in treating him with antibiotics also, ultimately, led to his demise. If the link was made to the Ebola virus, he might have had a chance to be saved. His family members dispute that he was given all the options needed to save his life, such as having blood donated to him from an Ebola survivor.
The Thomas Duncan story is a sad one, as he was doing a good deed to try and help the pregnant woman, but unfortunately he caught the disease from her unknowingly. He further did not give the information, about his possible exposure, to those who needed to know. It’s unlikely that he knew he had Ebola, even while in the USA. Common sense would dictate that the right thing to do would be to go to the hospital and state that he has Ebola and save his life.
There are many ways to control diseases from breaking out in any area. The biggest problem with Ebola right now, is that those who have it can feel no effects from it for up to 21 days before they are show symptoms. This allows for many to travel back and forth, and possibly spread the disease without knowledge. Many have suggested that restricting travel from areas stricken with Ebola is a possible solution. This however, can provide no guarantee to halt the disease because of the nature of global commerce nowadays.
How can you control a disease that is so hard to detect. Ultimately, there is no best way. The Government will need to put in place a number of measures including the distributing information, controlling travel, monitoring those exposed to others with the disease and keeping large stocks of medicines to fight the disease.
When Joints Go Bad
Joints play a major role in your body by forming the connection between bones. They are responsible for providing structure and helping you move. However, when your joints suffer damage from disease or injury, you may experience limited movement and a great deal of pain.
The pain that you feel may range from a mild irritation to debilitating. In some cases, joint pain can be short-lived and go away after a few weeks, also known as acute. However, when it lasts for an extended period of time, this is a chronic condition. No matter how long the pain lasts or the severity, joint inflammation affects mobility and lifestyle. Depending on the cause of this pain, you may be able to treat or manage it through medication, therapy, or even alternative treatments.
Causes of Joint Pain
Many different diseases or conditions can cause painful joints. For individuals who are older, osteoarthritis is a common cause. Another similar cause is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints, causing swelling and chronic inflammation. The location of the pain can also be indicative of the cause. Knee pain tends to be the most common complaint followed by hip and shoulder pain, but you may experience symptoms in any part of your body. Also, as you get older, painful joints become more common as a side effect of simply aging.
While the causes listed above tend to be the most commonly seen, you could also be suffering from bursitis, sprains, gout, strained joints, or other injuries. In any case, seeking out medical attention can help you to determine the root cause and then determine the best course of action.
Of course, the cause of your joint pain is going to determine what triggers your pain. However, if you experience joint inflammation due to arthritis or a similar condition, the most common triggers tend to be diet, exercise, and body weight. Eating a well-balanced diet is important when you experience joint pain. Not only will you be getting a steady supply of nutrients, you’ll also be contributing to a healthy body weight. As you may have guessed, being overweight adds extra pressure to your joints and can contribute to inflammation.
Exercise has been found to be a trigger, but also a benefit so you should always approach exercise cautiously. High-impact exercises such as running and jogging can be a trigger for increased inflammation and pain. However, if you engage in low-impact exercises such as swimming, this physical activity can actually lessen your symptoms and help to maintain a normal life.
In some cases, the triggers may not always be obvious. Your state of mind plays a critical role in wellness, and some people have found that stress and anxiety cause flare-ups. You may also find that you have triggers which are specific to yourself so pay attention to your own signs and symptoms.
For moderate to severe pain that’s accompanied by swelling, an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin or ibuprofen can provide relief. If you only tend to experience milder pain without swelling, acetaminophen is recommended. However, be careful when taking this medication because high doses can cause liver damage.
If your pain is so severe that these medicines aren’t working, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication. However, the side effects from stronger pain relievers can be unpleasant so only take as directed. You may also find relief from medicated creams and lotions Capsaicin is a compound found in chili peppers which has been found to be very effective by blocking pain signals. There are also other fairly effective creams which can be applied directly to the affected joint for relief.
Treating joint pain can help you manage your condition long term, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your options. Physical therapy is a great treatment that can be used to strengthen and stabilize your joints, improving your range of motion. The therapist may use techniques such as cold or heat therapy, manipulation, and even ultrasound to provide relief. You can also follow up with your own treatment at home with a few simple methods. Protecting your affected joints with a brace helps to provide relief. Ice and elevation can also help to decrease symptoms, especially during flare-ups.
There are also some dietary supplements which have been shown to help with joint pain. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to provide long protection against a range of auto-immune diseases including joint inflammation. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are components of normal cartilage which can help to protect joints. While these supplements are not effective for every person, they do not have any significant side effects and are safe to try.
Foods that May Contribute to Pain
In addition to common triggers, avoiding certain foods may be beneficial as a long-term treatment option. These foods have been found to have inflammatory affects when eaten regularly. The most common food that contributes to joint pain is fried and processed foods. Fried meats and prepared frozen meals are the biggest offenders so cut these foods out and you’ll start to see an improvement as your body’s natural defenses restore themselves.
High amounts of sugars and refined carbohydrates also increase inflammation in your body. To avoid these foods, cut out candy, processed foods, white flour goods, and sodas to reduce arthritis pain. In addition to sugar, salt and preservatives have also been linked to increased pain. It may be worth trying to reduce your sodium intake to a modest amount. To follow this tip, read labels and try to make as many of your own foods as possible to cut down on both salt and preservatives. This is a key way to naturally reduce any harmful compounds in your food.
Although joint pain can be debilitating, you have a wide range of therapeutic options available. After determining the root cause of your pain, find out the best treatment option that will allow you to maintain your mobility. Adjusting your diet, avoiding certain foods, and exercising regularly are just a few lifestyle modifications that can help. So, use this advice to build a healthier lifestyle for yourself with a few simple changes.
Understanding Holistic Health
If you’ve ever heard of holistic health, but are unsure of what this term means, it’s an approach to wellness that addresses the body, mind, and spiritual aspects of a person. Traditional areas of medicine often treat the mind or body separately and fail to see the person as whole but rather separate entities. However, the philosophy behind holistic health is that it looks for underlying causes of symptoms and tries to treat the root cause while also viewing the complete aspect of a person.
Another aspect of holistic health is that it changes the idea of health. For many years, health was seen as being simply the absence of disease. This idea meant that if you were not sick and having to see a doctor regularly, then you must be healthy. In contrast, the holistic approach is founded on the idea that your health is a dynamic process that considers much more than an absence of illness. Other factors from your strength, diet, and even your level of happiness are considered when assessing health and overall well-being. This patient-centered philosophy drives holistic medicine and all of it’s practices.
Why is Holistic Health Important?
The reason why holistic health is important and continues to grow in popularity is that your body, mind, and spirit are not independent of each other. Studies have shown that a person’s mental state can have a huge effect on their physical wellness. By looking at your patient as a whole person and not just targeting one area, holistic health practitioners can truly understand and treat the root cause. Any treatment approach chosen by the patient and practitioner can be a single form or treatment or used in addition to a traditional medicine. For example, a person going through radiation can enjoy a complementary treatment that helps to decrease signs and symptoms of that treatment.
There are many benefits of holistic medicine approaches. The main benefit is that holistic medicine recognizes the person as being more important than their illness. Also, their lifestyle, observations, beliefs, and habits are honored throughout the treatment. Treatment methods which are the least likely to cause harm are first used in this type of treatment and the goal is to achieve healing on all levels, even if the cause is physical.
Partnership with Traditional Medicine
Many doctors practice holistic medicine or may even refer you to one. A holistic health organization often assists practitioners and provides complementary services. The types of therapy that you may experience can include counseling, education, massage, dietary changes, exercise, herbs, and oxygen therapies as well as many others. One example would be a patient going through cancer treatment might be receiving radiation from a medical doctor but also work with a holistic health practitioner to help manage symptoms and improve emotional health or treat other related areas.
Holistic health has been shown to be very effective and greatly improve every area of wellness. This approach encourages you to engage in your own self care and educates you about your health. Instead of being passive, you are encouraged to be an active participant in your treatment and health care. Studies have also shown that many holistic health treatments are more effective, economical, and less invasive than traditional treatments. Because of this realization, there is a growing number of people who are open to trying holistic health and desire to be treated as a person and not just as a diagnosis.
Holistic Health Practitioners
You may be surprised to learn that many medical professionals either use holistic health in their practices or have more traditional degrees. Mental health counselors chiropractors, naturopaths and homeopaths are commonly found in the holistic health field. You may even find medical doctors, dentists, registered dietitians, massage therapists, and nurses engaged in this area of care. Holistic health does not exclude traditional approaches, but takes a broader approach, so don’t be afraid that you won’t be seeking out skilled medical professionals when you turn to holistic health. Many of the holistic health centers employ MDs and other highly educated and skilled professionals. Learn more about how a naturopathic physician could help you.
If you’ve tired of being treated as a disease and having only a short time with your doctor, you may want to look into visiting a holistic health practice. These centers take the time to truly understand you and can have a positive impact on your well-being even if you are not sick. Treating the whole person is gaining ground and more people are seeking out holistic practitioners.
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Healthy diet: Easy Tips to Choosing a Diet Plan that Works for You
Healthy eating is more than just about observing strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically skinny and denying yourself the foods you truly love. Instead, it is about having more energy, feeling great about yourself and achieving, and maintaining, a stabilized mood. If you feel overwhelmed, and probably confused, by the different kinds of nutrition plans out there, you are certainly not alone. It seems that for every nutrition expert who tells you a certain diet plan is right for you, there is another saying quite the opposite. However, by using these simple tips, you can wade through the confusion and learn how to create a healthy and tasty diet plan that works for you.
Tip 1: Set your mind up for success
In order to succeed, it is important that you consider planning your diet plan in a number of manageable steps rather than one drastic change. Through gradual change, and with discipline, you will adapt a healthy diet plan without much hassle. Here are a few tips to help you set out for success:
Be simple: Instead of preoccupying yourself with paying attention to portion sizes or measuring calories, look at your diet through the lens of freshness and variety. This way, it will be easier for you to make the right decision. Put more focus on the foods you like and simple recipes that incorporate fresh ingredients. Over time, your diet will get healthier and much delicious.
Start slow and change your eating habits over time: It is neither smart nor realistic to make your diet healthy overnight. Making drastic changes usually leads to giving up or cheating on your diet plan. Instead, make small steps like giving up butter for olive oil when cooking or adding salad full of different vegetables to one of your meals. As small changes become a habit, you will find it easy adding more healthy ingredients to your diet.
Tip 2: Moderation is important
Most people think of healthy nutrition as an all or nothing proposition. However, you need to note that the key building block for any healthy diet plan is moderation. This, in essence, means eating only as much food as your body needs. Focus on getting satisfied rather than stuffed at the end of every meal. Moderation is all about balance. It is important that you have a balance of proteins, carbs, fat, vitamins, and fiber to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
Always remember, your goal is to develop an eating plan that you can maintain for the rest of your life, not just a couple of weeks or months, or until you achieve your desired weight. To achieve this, avoid thinking of some foods as “off limits.” Instead, reduce your intake of unhealthy foods until you find yourself no longer craving for them.
Tip 3: What you eat matter, and so is how you eat it too
There is more to healthy eating than the food on your plate. It also has to do with your general perception towards food. You need to think about food as nourishment rather than something you get to gulp on your way to work or in between meetings.
Tip 4: Fill up on vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are the foundation of any healthy diet plan. They are low in calories and nutrient rich, which means that they provide the body with lots of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber. Consider adding a range of fruits and vegies to your daily meals. For a start, aim for a minimum of five portions per day. Add berries to your breakfast cereals. Instead of processed snacks foods, try snacking on vegetables such as snow peas, carrots or cherry tomatoes
Tip 5: Add calcium for strong and healthy bones
Calcium is one of the minerals that your body needs to stay strong and healthy. It is a crucial building block for lifelong bone health, as well as many other physiological functions. Thus, you will benefit greatly by incorporating calcium rich foods while limiting intake of foods that deplete the body’s calcium reserve. You can also obtain calcium from mineral supplements. Just be sure that you do not exceed a daily dose of 1000mg per day.
Tip 6: Include Omega-3 supplements in your diet
Not all fats are bad for your health. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the vital types of fat that you need to incorporate into your diet plan. These fatty acids offer several health benefits including lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, management of dementia, depression and arthritis among other medical condition. Unfortunately, your body cannot process these fatty acids, hence you have to ingest them from foods such as fish, olive oil and soybeans. Additionally, you can take Omega-3 supplements to get these fatty acids.
There is no shortage of advice and information when it comes to healthy eating. Check any magazine rack or browse the internet and you are bound to come across all kinds of diet plans, from diets that burn calories to those that vouch for super foods and supplements. With so much information out there, it is important that you know the right diet plan that will work for you.
Omega-3: The Wonder Supplement?
Doctors and healthcare professionals around the world are talking about omega-3 fatty acids supplementation. On the whole the dietary supplement industry is big business. In this year alone more than $25 billion will be spent on dietary supplements in the US. Over half of all Americans regularly consume multivitamins, minerals, herbs, hormones and other pills as part of their dietary intake. On one level this can be seen as a good thing since it could be argued that people are becoming aware of their health deficiencies and are taking steps to eliminate them. On the other hand, what has happened to food to bring about this need to supplement? The ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” If we could live in such a world, the supplement industry would disappear overnight. Our world is much different from this and people will be taking dietary supplements for a long time to come.
Pop into any health store and take a look at the range of dietary supplements on the shelves. It’s mind boggling and slightly disconcerting to think that we need such a vast array of products to stay healthy. The fact is we probably do need these pills, powders, shakes, capsules and other potions to maintain our wellbeing.
Clearly as an individual, you can’t take every vitamin, mineral, protein or herbal supplement out there, no matter what your condition is. So what is the best supplement to take? Dr Oz and other healthcare professionals regard Omega 3 Fatty Acids as “the single most important supplement you can take”.
Our bodies need good nutritious food in order for us to stay healthy and to go about our day to day business. Both macro and micro nutrients are essential for maintaining optimal health. We get the energy we need from macronutrients such as meat, fish, cereals, etc. whilst micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) regulate our many biochemical processes.
Things start to go wrong with our health when we don’t get enough nutrients from the food we eat. Over the past 100 years or so, there has been an average of over 70% depletion in the nutrients in soil across the globe. The nutrient values of the food we harvest are directly linked to the soil it is grown in. It is of little wonder therefore that as the nutrition derived from food has declined the use of supplements has increased.
Of equal importance as the issue pertaining to soil depletion are the problems which stem from food processing and making it last for longer on supermarket shelves. Food producers see their job as supplying goods which are going to last as long as possible before they go off. For them, this means selecting and manufacturing products for their “smoothness” of taste which are easier to sell. Invariably, this means adding agents to the food production process which introduce color, sugar, salt and fats to “enhance” taste and prolong shelf life.
Polyunsaturated Omega 3 fatty acids, to give them their full name, is a group of proteins which form the membrane of the cells in our body. They are essential to life itself because for human beings to be healthy we must have healthy functioning cells. The Omega 3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). DHA and EPA are derived from marine oils whilst ALA are found in plant oils.
Perhaps the oddest thing about Omega 3 in human physiology is that although we need Omega 3 fatty acids to sustain good health, our body cannot manufacture it. We have to ingest what we need. Our daily intake of food must supply what our bodies require. This is where things start to go wrong because if we are not eating food with adequate levels of omega 3, over time, we will see the effects of this dietary deficiency and our health will suffer.
The clue to why omega-3 is beneficial to your health lies in what it is; its makeup. Omega-3 fatty acids also known as omega-3 fats fall into a group of good fats. Rather than being detrimental to your health, they are positively essential for your survival. So what is it about omega-3 fats that makes them so extraordinary? These fatty acids are integral to the cells that run throughout our body. They form part of the membrane, the makeup of the cells and thus influence the receptors in the cell tissue. Omega-3 fats manage the initial process for making the hormones that control blood clotting, the narrowing and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also provide another crucial purpose: they help to regulate genetic function by binding to receptors in those cells.
Probably because of these effects and the unique role they play in human physiology, it is no wonder that omega-3 fatty acids have demonstrated their effectiveness in helping to counteract heart disease and stroke. They may also aid and provide ease in the control of rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and lupus. They may also be a defense against cancer and other chronic diseases.
People who ingest adequate levels of omega-3 also benefit from lower heart rate and blood pressure, better blood vessel function and if they take higher doses, they could see reduced triglyceride levels and a lessening of inflammation which is linked to the development of atherosclerosis.
The most natural way to take on Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is to eat marine-based food. DHA and EPA are harvested from the oil of marine animals such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, bass, anchovies, krill and squid. Most Americans do not eat enough omega-3 rich food and that’s why regular supplementation with the correct doses of omega-3 fish oil pills is essential in modern society.
Although plants such as spinach, walnuts, soybean, flaxseed, mustard greens, wheat germ and canola oil are excellent sources of Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), they do not deliver the same omega-3 nutritional value as fish.