Although you are living longer in years, the quality of your lives is deteriorating with chronic diseases on the rise. If you look back at the diets of traditional cultures such as the Eskimos of North America or the Mediterranean diet of the Italians, you see several things in common. Despite wide variations in diet, they all ate fresh, local, seasonal and largely unprocessed foods.
You are constantly under the burden of physical, mental and emotional stress. At a cellular level, stress ages cells by accelerating telomere shortening.
What Can you Do?
Diet and lifestyle are without a doubt the most important factors to avoid chronic disease and improve health and well being.
Eat at least three cups of fresh vegetables per day and two pieces of fruit, with two palm sized portions of healthy proteins such as eggs, oily fish, lean grass fed meat and legumes such as lentils and chickpeas. Healthy oils such as olive oil, avocado, raw nuts such as almonds should also be included since these are essential for healthy cells, cholesterol and joints. Aim for a handful of nuts or seeds and 2 tablespoons of healthy oils. Drink two litres of pure water per day. Also don’t forget to chew your food slowly and avoid overeating.
Secondly, you can take supplements to counter the deficiency of nutrients in our foods as well as slow the ageing process. A typical naturopathic “Wellness Prescription” would include:
- A good multivitamin/mineral/antioxidant to prevent deficiencies, support against the harmful effects of stress and support the body’s detoxification pathways.
- Fish Oils or a good omega 3 supplement due to its anti-inflammatory effects which helps maintain healthy joints, brain, cholesterol and heart function
- Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus are essential to maintain good digestive function and immune support as 80% of our immunity is in our digestive system.
- Phytochemicals such as resveratrol, maritime pine bark, grape seed extract, green tea and turmeric.
Thirdly you can exercise regularly. Studies have shown that 30 to 60 minutes 4 to 5 times per week reduces morbidity and mortality associated with heart disease and reduces cognitive decline. Try to include some exercise conducted outdoors as this will help promote vitamin D production as deficiency of this vitamin is at epidemic levels.
Fourth: aim to live life to the fullest and treat every day as though it was your last. Nurture your spirit by spending time outdoors in nature, bush walking, gardening, swimming, etc. Make it a priority to spend time with friends and loved ones, meditate, pray, sing, get involved with community groups or just take up a new hobby. Whatever takes your fancy! It’s never too late!
Finally as well as regular dental and medical check ups make it a habit to regularly visit your naturopath, osteopath, chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist to promote wellness management rather than waiting until you are sick or are in pain.