Through all my reading on how to achieve effective health nearly all chronic disease keeps coming back to the same set of underlying causes. Be it cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, dementia, multiple sclerosis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, eczema, allergies… the list goes on and on and on.
The body is a remarkable biochemical machine that works optimally when functioning in a state of balance. It’s a tolerant machine and takes a lot of abuse from its pilots (us!), however continue to push the boundaries it becomes unbalanced and starts not to function correctly. It becomes ill. That’s quite a simplistic viewpoint but there is a growing belief that the body can heal itself… it just needs a push to help it get there.
So what are the 5 main causes of disease and what can you do to address the situation?
1. Too much sugar
2. Lack of vitamin D3
2. Poor nutrition lacking in trace minerals,
4. Lack of oxygen and exercise,
5. Severe shock stress.
Any surprises there?
Well there should be no surprise about point 1. Modern diets are loaded with way too much sugar.
Do you know how much sugar there is in the blood under normal blood sugar conditions? About 1 teaspoon. Our daily recommended allowance is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. One can of Coke has just over 9 teaspoons of sugar in it. So on a daily basis we are consuming more sugar than recommended.
The consequences are that we become insulin resistant. Insulin resistance leads to inflammation which is the underlying cause of many of the ailments mentioned in the opening paragraph.
Sugar is also known to feed cancer cells!
So, for the sake of your health reduce your sugar intake.
2. Vitamin D3 should be taken as a supplement if you don’t get year round sunshine in such places like the UK, Ireland, Nordic countries, Canada etc.
Benefits are numerous but essentially it boosts your autoimmune system. Boosting your immune system helps mitigate against all chronic disease. The rule of thumb is to take 1000iu (International Units) per 25lbs of bodyweight. Note: In addition take Vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 works in tandem with Vitamin D3 to help the body absorb calcium from food then direct it away from soft tissue such as your arteries to your bones. You don’t want your soft tissue calcifying. Hardening arteries can lead to heart disease.
3. The western diet is macronutrient deficient due to our over reliance on nutrient void grains, food processing, over farmed soils and poorly fed animals. In addition depending on where you reside on the planet will also determine your exposure or lack thereof to certain vitamins and minerals that are vital for good health.
Our doctors are not trained in nutrition and traditional beliefs and government and medical rubber stamped recommendations are somewhat now outdated; clearly considering the obesity statistics. Established diet and nutrition theories are being overturned on a daily basis but our food manufacturers and governments (and the World Health Organisation strangely enough!) are slow to respond if indeed they respond at all to latest research findings.
I’ve done a lot of reading and informed myself as to what’s good for me and what is bad. In it’s simplistic form you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods. Avoid pre-packaged foods, white carbs (bread, pasta and potatoes) and snacks!
Focus your diet on whole, ideally organic, unprocessed foods, reducing/avoiding refined sugars and fructose, and increasing the amount of healthy fats will work.
Start eating the good nutritious stuff
- Eating more raw green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, watercress, green beans, beetroot (yes I know it’s not green but humour me a little!) etc.
- Eating more healthy saturated fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, grass fed butter, grass fed beef, oily fish, macadamia nuts etc.
- Organic or pastured eggs.
- Go organic.
Stop eating the stuff that destroys us (anti-nutrients)
- Remove additional refined sugars from your diet. Refined sugar makes us fat. Sweets, fizzy drinks, fruit juices (yes fruit juices! they contain as much sugar as your fizzy sodas) etc. Check food labels for additional refined sugars such as syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, glucose, any added sugar thats not natural to the ingredients.
- Reduce (not eliminate) the amount of fruit you consume as it’s high in fructose.
- Remove or at least significantly reduce consuming wheat and grain products. Bread, pasta etc. (breads and pasta turns to sugar).
- Breakfast cereals. Wheat, grain and corn based plus loaded with sugar.
- Stop taking “diet” or low fat foods. They are loaded with sugar!
- Milk, cheese and yoghurt (the one exception is natural plain Greek yoghurt)
- Stop drinking diet fizzy drinks; aspartame is a nasty product that the body has an even harder time getting rid of more than sugar.
- Polyunsaturated fats and oils such as canola/rapeseed in the UK, corn, peanut, safflower, sunflower, soybean and all other vegetable oils
- Genetically Modified foods.
Why do we need vitamins and minerals?
Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can impair our performance, can cause DNA damage which in turn makes us age faster and in many cases be the underlying cause for many chronic ailment and disease.
Taking the correct supplement at an effective dose can protect our DNA, boost our immune system and allow our biochemical processes to perform optimally.
Here is a list of minerals and minerals I recommend for optimum health.
|Name||Reason & Benefits||Dosage||Recommended Brand|
|Vitamin D3||Vitamin D3 should be taken as a supplement if you don’t get year round sunshine such as the likes of the UK, Nordic countries, Canada etc.|
Benefits are numerous but essentially it boosts your autoimmune system. Boosting your immune system helps mitigate against all chronic disease. Read more here on the role Vitamin D3 has on your wellbeing.
|Rule of thumb is 1000iu (International Units) per 25lbs of bodyweight. I weigh 188lbs and I take 8000iu’s per day.|
Take in the morning.
|Effective Health Nutrition Vitamin D3, 1000iu.|
|Vitamin K2||If you take Vitamin D3 you must take K2 along with it. Vitamin K2 works in tandem with Vitamin D3 to help the body absorb calcium from food then direct it away from soft tissue such as your arteries to your bones. You don’t want your soft tissue calcifying. Hardening arteries can lead to heart disease.||100-250mcg of the Mk-7 subset.|
Take in the morning.
|Life Extension's Super K|
|Magnesium||This is as important as vitamin D. Magnesium is used in over 700 enzymatic processes including ATP, those that transport chemical energy within cells for metabolism. It's also vital for the proper functioning of our DNA and RNA.|
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include heart arrhythmias, tachycardia, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, migraines and a whole host of other undesirable condition. It's almost impossible to get the magnesium you require through your diet. Check here for more information on magnesium.
|600-800mg/day of magnesium citrate, malate or orotate. |
Take before bed.
|RnA Reset's ReMag|
|Omega-3||The eagle eyed amongst you will recognise that this isn't a vitamin or a mineral; it's a fat. This is, however, an important supplement to take. |
These fatty acids improve your cells' response to insulin, neurotransmitters and they reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers, arthritis and a host of other autoimmune diseases.
The main way omega-3 works is by reducing inflammation throughout the body.
|1000mg/day Krill oil.|
Take with food.
|Effective Health Nutrition Superba Krill Oil|
|Selenium||A heavy metal with numerous benefits. It boosts the immune function, can help prevent neurodegenerative disease and protects against thyroid dysfunction. |
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant itself, it also helps your body make an even stronger antioxidant, glutathione.
Studies have also shown that selenium has anti-aging properties as it protects and lengthens telomeres.
|200mcg/day taken at any time of day.||Life Extension's Super Selenium Complex|
|Ubiquinol||Coenzyme Q10 is used for energy production by every cell in your body, and also helps protect against cellular damage from free radicals. |
Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10 – the effective form your body naturally uses to transfer free electrons – and research shows that this reduced form is superior for your health in a number of ways, primarily due to its superior bioavailability if you’re over 25.
|200mg/day with food.||Jarrow Ubiquinol QH|
|PQQ||Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a nutrient that can increase your number of mitochondria, the tiny generators in your cells that give your body energy. PQQ acts as the “spark plug” inside your cells helping you make new mitochondria. This combined with Ubiquinol helps each individual mitochondria make energy. in a nutshell it improves performance both mentally and physically; and two, it has anti-aging properties.||10mg/day at any time of day.||Life Extension's PQQ Caps with BioPQQ|
4. Getting oxygen into your cells is just as important as eating the right foods. We take breathing for granted but it is our most fundamental need as oxygen is the fuel for our cells. Modern conveniences, pollution and generally speaking less physical movement means we are not getting enough oxygen. One of the ways you can overcome this is to undertake deep breathing exercises.
Try this one. It’s a simple exercise that can help you retrain your breathing:
- Sit up straight, and place one hand on your chest and one hand on your tummy. Spend a minute or so breathing normally. Observe your inhalation and exhalation. Breathe through your nose for both the inhale and exhale.
- As you observe your breath, apply gentle pressure t0 your chest and tummy with your hands. You want to create a slight resistance that slows down your breathing so that you breathe less than you did before you began.
- You know you are doing it correctly when you feel a tolerable need for air, similiar to what you would feel if you went for a brisk walk.
- Try to continue breathing in this way – feeling an increased yet tolerable, need for air – for three to five minutes.
- If your breathing rate gets faster or your body feels tense, stop the exercise for half a minute. Return to it when your breathing has calmed.
- Two or three minutes into the exercise, you may notice an increase in the temperature of your hands or other body parts. Your nose may have become clearer, and your mouth may be producing more saliva. These immediate effects are due to the slight accumulation of carbon dioxide in your blood, which opens your blood vessels and airways and activates the relaxation response. Ironically, to improve blood flow and body oxygenation, we need to breathe less, not more.
Breathing through your nose during the day will help your body effortlessly find its balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide. And by practicing the above technique, you’ll teach yourself how to breathe more efficiently, so that even when you are exerting yourself, you’ll be able to maintain breathing through your nose and won’t feel the need to gulp air through your mouth.
From a physical exercise point of view the best means of getting oxygen into the body is to undertake anaerobic exercise such as interval sprint. Here’s an article I wrote about sprint training.
5. Stress comes from negative emotions; it comes from not forgiving, it comes from bitterness and resentment and all negativity in your mind and in your life. It raises your anxiety and that translates into your body. It raises your stress hormones to cope; adrenaline and cortisol. Those hormones are immunosuppressant (an agent that can suppress or prevent the immune response).
Cortisol tells your liver to dump sugar into your bloodstream to give you energy; that’s what that nervous energy is, stress energy. It’s because cortisol is dumping sugar into your bloodstream, but then it causes intense sugar cravings to replenish.
This is why the term “comfort food” was coined, because people that are stressed seek high sugar foods because they’re living on stress energy; they’re depleting their glycogen reserves. So in our world the nearest source of sugar is soft drinks and junk food such as pizza and ice cream. This leads back to point 1 and becoming insulin resistant.
Address those 5 points and you will improve your odds considerably in not succumbing to the nasties that life can throw at us as we get older. I believe these are relatively easy practical steps to take however the biggest hurdle is getting your mind wanting to make the change. For me it was a snap decision that I was in the age range for things to start going wrong, I was overweight and I have young family. If I want to see them grow up and eventually see them have their own children I had to change. That was the kick up the backside I needed. Believe me it’s worth it!
If you have anything to add or questions to ask please leave a comment. I will reply to it.
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