In modern days health is going worse, not better. Lifestyle or chronic diseases are going as epidemic. As per WHO’s data, chronic diseases contribute to 71% of all deaths globally. (1)Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, asthma, or autoimmune diseases are rising day by day. You will see these types of diseases were very less in 100 years ago but are common today. All these begin from your lifestyle habits and are built not in a single day but over a period of time. If you want to escape from those chronic illnesses you must need to address the fundamental root factors. If you are going to treat the pain or symptoms only, you can’t escape from those diseases. Here we are figuring out 7 simple steps to achieve perfect health for your information.
Today you must give your time to learn healthy habits as well as healthy foods. Otherwise, you have to give your time for illness. All marketed as healthy may not healthy rather some effects negatively. So you need to understand some basic things to safeguard your health.
7 simple steps to achieve perfect health
Avoid or take control of some foods
I am not very happy to say this. But destruction needs lesser time than to build up. And that’s why you need to avoid or at least take control over some kind of food.
With industrialization three common food villains have come, sugar(know more about how sugar can kill your health, hidden names of sugar ), refined floor and industrialized vegetable oils like cottonseed, safflower, corn, soybean, canola oil (most canola oils are from GMO source). Most vegetable oil contains a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids especially omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Being comparatively unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids are less heat tolerant and vulnerable as well as more prone to oxidation. When oil or fatty acids undergo oxidation they form harmful free radicals and toxic substances. (2)
Free radicals and toxins are leading to promote inflammation and chronic inflammation is the leading factor of most modern chronic diseases, also causes early aging. Saturated or monounsaturated fats have a comparatively higher resistance to heating but oils with a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fats are not good for cooking. (3) You also need to avoid hydrogenated oil or industrialized trans fats. Those refined, bleached, deodorized and heated low-grade industrialized oils mostly fill up the store shelves as well as used in making of those low quality cheap processed foods. (4)
You must take control of these lesser-known health detrimental foods and factors.
Know more about cooking oil guides: how to choose the right cooking oil for you.
Along with the synthetic chemical additives are also coming. Sugar, processed food, refined flour, most industrial processed soy product are not healthy. Most cereals, bread, crackers, cookies, pastries, muffins, fruit juices, fast foods are loaded with sugar, unhealthy oils, refined flour. Refined flour significantly loss it’s nutritional and antioxidant value during processing (5) and contains calorie as major. Also many soft drinks, packaged fruits juices looking as healthy are loaded with a large amount of added sugar.
Know more about the pros and cons of top natural calorie-free sweetener as sugar alternatives
Imagine when these three, refined industrialized vegetable oils with a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, added sugar and refined flour combines and comes to you in a form of processed foods.
Gluten a protein from wheat, barley, rye, and some oats is not only sensitive to people with celiac disease but also participates in the development of intestinal permeability or leaky gut. Probably we may know. Wheat gluten proteins consist of two major fractions: the gliadins and the glutenins. Lectin a carbohydrates binding protein, found in beans and legumes, whole grains, peanuts, and certain vegetables with a higher percentage have both positive and negative health effects. In a smaller amount, they may provide benefits but when consumed in the larger amount they may reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. You can reduce lectins content by cooking, sprouting or fermenting such foods.
Read more about Complete Guide to read tricky food nutrition labels.
A smaller amount of such food may not make you sick but large or excessive amount definitely has the ability to make you sick. And also try to avoid the product from genetically modified organisms (GMO) as far as possible.
Avoid or control exposure to toxins
Toxins affect your body through a number of ways, affects the brain, damage cells leading the numerous diseases including cancer. (6) Modern day’s toxins are not only come from environmental toxins like lead, mercury but also come from sources like foods, plastics, polluted water, some drugs. Smoking and consumption of excessive alcohol increase toxicity. High industrialization, processing alters properties of foods, many of them become toxic to health. High or overheat changes the properties of foods/oil. when it reaches their thermal points and food can become toxic. Apart from those chemicals, pesticides used in farming can negatively affect. Control your exposure to such toxins. Drink more water to cleanse, include food with high antioxidants, improving the body’s natural defense will help. Choose organic as far as possible. Long-distance food supplier uses more chemicals in food to avoid decomposition. So choose locally grown food as a better option.
Nourish the organic lives of tiny cells inside your body
Nutrition deficiency is one leading cause of a long list of chronic diseases in the modern lifestyle. Apart from water and oxygen life in your tiny cells needs vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and energy for growth, repair and numerous regulatory functions. Deficiency results in cellular damage, numerous chronic diseases, impaired immune function, premature aging as well as improper psychological function. Omega 3 fatty is essential and very much crucial and also with limited food sources. If your food sources don’t have enough you may consider supplementation.
Don’t just eat, nourish your body.
Quality weighs over quantity. Calorie counting will not help in weight loss for the long term. It is a healthier choice to opt for unrefined, whole-food than those refined foods with low calories. Choose naturally occurring, unprocessed fats, oils than refined fats and oils. Usually, people don’t overeat whole food. Whole foods give you fullness as well as nourish your body. Your body will tell you, it got enough, now stop it. But process foods don’t. You tend to eat more and more. What gives the signal you to eat more, you or bacteria inside your gut?
Not all packaged foods are bad. Read our article about the food nutrition label.
Choosing a wide range of fruits and vegetables along with a good source of proteins and fats helps you to fill the gap in nutrition intake. You will see some foods like beans, legumes, grains, nut, some seeds, buckwheat last for longer periods without decaying. These foods contain anti-nutrients. (7)Anti-nutrients prevent nutrients from being absorbed. A method like water soaking, sprouting, fermenting degrade anti-nutrient properties and make them better consumable.
With the rising popularity of the paleo diet which eliminates grains, peoples are now avoiding grains. Grains were not a major part of the diet of our ancestors and also our close relatives’ chimpanzee. That indicates grains were not a major part of the diet that the human body was designed to eat. Grains became popular after the civilization of humans and starting of cultivation. Also, there were a number of quality studies that had shown the benefits of whole grain. (8,9)
So what you will do?
If you feel good or like grain, you can add to your menu and on the other hand, if you feel bad or sick you better should avoid grains. You can also get the nutrients of grain in other sources of food. So always listen to your body. One food giving better results to one may not give the same result to you.
Today peoples are less exposed to sunshine usually stay major times of the day under shades. So apart from other deficiency vitamin D deficiency is very common in modern lifestyle. Hence it is wiser to supplement vitamin D from a good source with higher bioavailability if you are in deficiency. Read more about the form, sources, along with bioavailability as well as the combination of vitamin D.
Go for whole foods as well as read the label of packaged carefully. And also listen to your own body, one food giving good results to one may give the same effect to your body.
Supplement your body wisely
Why do you need supplement? Modern day’s food is not exhaustive, even most are inclined towards the downside. You need to feed your tiny cells optimally to keep it as far as healthy, disease-free. Some important components decline as you age, even faster rate with a sedentary lifestyle. So, you will step to lifestyle diseases of modern days. So, your body needs supplementation in a proper way if you are getting those nutrients directly from foods.
But beware. With increasing demands of supplements, some manufacturers have practiced the manufacturing of synthetic supplements. So what is the difference? Supplement from the natural source i.e. from food-based are biodegradable, high bio-availability. So your body can break it down more easily and can absorb. Bioavailability refers to the portion of the food absorbed by your body.
On the other hand, a supplement made from synthetic chemical has low bioavailability, your body will get fewer benefits from such. Also such cheap quality will not give you proper results. Apart from that substance made from synthetic chemicals are a foreigner to the organic life inside the body. And even they can create toxicity and some other health problems. (10, 11)
Natural products can help people to live healthier as well as happier life.
Unfortunately, manufacturers can label supplements as natural even if the supplement contains a smaller percentage of natural sources. Also, a natural source of supplements may come with toxic ingredients or contamination from the polluted world. (12) Proper distillation at the manufacturing unit may help such a case.
Each supplement has its own characteristics, right combinations right dose interaction with other food supplements or drugs. Factors like a source of supplement, method of preparation, third party certification matters in selection. In today’s polluted world a good supplement doesn’t come at a cheaper cost. Also, a supplement with high-end prices can’t be always said as good. They may come with extra additive, extra marketing costs. You need to either learn about these or take guidance from an expert.
Keep your gut healthy
Many years ago father of modern medicine Hippocrates had told-“All disease begins in the gut”.
Your gut is connected with most of the organs of your body. If you have an unhealthy gut then you can be vulnerable to many disorders.
Your gut contains a residence of a huge number of microorganisms which has been estimated to around 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion). All are living with you like an ecosystem. Intestinal bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining immune and metabolic balance and protecting against pathogens and many other diseases. Altered gut bacterial composition (dysbiosis) has been associated with the development of many inflammatory diseases and infections. Antibiotic treatment dramatically disrupts both short- and long-term microbial balance, including decreases in the richness and diversity of the community. (13) So use antibiotics when you need absolute requirements after consultation with a physician.
Apart from nutrition deficiency alcohol, sugar, stress, toxins, inflammatory foods, protein-like gluten, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) negatively affect the gut. Avoid foods, chemicals that can create inflammation and irritates the gut lining.
Probiotics, as well as prebiotics (fibrous food such as bananas, onions and garlic, flaxseed, apple’s skin, oats, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, chicory root, beans, Dandelion greens, and many others) and other fermented food like unsweetened yogurt, kimchi, kefir with friendly bacteria, can help in restoration of gut flora. Usually, fiber moves through the small intestine undigested(if you don’t have SIBO) and fermented in the colon and thus helps in feeding gut flora. If necessary you may supplement with probiotic after consultation with a healthcare provider. However, don’t use a probiotic supplement when you are critically ill. Later we come with details about the best probiotic supplements along with information about healing and restoration of gut health.
Manage stress, sleep properly
Chronic stress is evolved as a major risk factor to human health today including heart disease. Job-related stress, no time with an extremely packed schedule, financial stress, arguments disputes in family, moving through traffic and many others bring pains as well as numerous health-related issues to lives in the present days. The following measure can help you in managing stress.
- Learn to say no. Taking responsibility for everything can make you stressful.
- Limit your watching negative things on TV. In most time news are in negative ways. Limit watching such news.
- Avoid people or talking that negatively affects you. Find time with friends, a good wisher, with whom you can share thoughts.
- Analysis yourself, do some planning for your work but don’t be extremely time scheduled. Do some wise planning for your vacation.
- Find some time for your own activity which gives pleasure to you, can make you happy.
- Yoga, meditation also helps in managing stress, developing peace of mind.
- Don’t be frustrated with your work or goal, behind every success there is a pain. Harder you work, brighter your results.
Your body needs sleep for relaxation, recycle growth and maintenance. Sleep deprivation negatively affects your health in many ways. On average, your body needs 7-8 hr sleep in a day. Don’t stay late at night, go to bed earlier, don’t watch anything exiting before bedtime, use blackout shades in bedtime, if possible turn off your digital devices. Exercises improve daytime activeness and nighttime sleep and also help to drain stress.
Be physically active
A study suggested that sedentary behaviors have been directly associated with all-cause mortality. Television viewing was directly associated with all-cause mortality. (14)Also, data from 222 497 Australian Adults 45 years or older concluded that Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity. (15)
Only doing exercise will not help you enough if you are spending the rest of the time in an inactive way like sitting or resting in bed. Do walking when you have an option, avoid lift if you can climb the stairs. Spend less time sitting, walk or move in the office. Do some exercises 15-30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity five days a week. You can also add some light or moderate weight training in your workout plan.
Cell phone radiation?
Mobile phones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of electromagnetic radiation and your tissues close to the phone can absorb those. The amount of radiofrequency energy that a mobile phone user is exposed depends on factors like the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone and the user, the extent and type of mobile phone use and the user’s distance from cell phone towers. A cell phone has greater risk potential for the case of children than adults in developing brain cancer from cell phones. Their nervous systems are still developing and therefore more vulnerable to factors that may cause cancer. (16)
Some studies suggested possibility of long term high-end use of cell phone may be linked with certain types of cancers, lower sperm count, inactive or less mobilization of sperm, headache, effect in behavior, memory, learning, sleep, etc.(17) Science is still not very clear about effect of long term use of cell phone in adults. That needs more research as well as time to understand better.
However, you may some preventive steps:
- Use a hands-free device, which places more distance between the phone and the head of the user.
- Keeping cell phones away from the body as far as possible and also when not in use.
These are some basics information. All of us are bound to give our time to our bodies, either in better health or sickness. And finally, the choice is our own. It is your health and it is your choice. Be happy my friend, be happy. Happiness matters a lot.
Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information for entertainment purpose only, not intended to provide one to one health consultation or replace practice of a qualified practitioner. Different people may have different health condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence it has been advised to consult with health care provider before application of any of above information References: 1.Noncommunicable diseases, World Health Organization,1 June 2018 2.Toxic Substances In The Oxidation Of Fats And Oils, Elhuyar Fundazioa Science News, June 17, 2005 3.HEALTH EFFECTS OF OXIDIZED HEATED OILS,MARTIN GROOTVELD CHRISTOPHER J.L. SILWOOD,PAUL ADDIS, ANDREW CLAXSON, BARTOLOMÉ BONET SERRA MARTA VIANA, Journal Of Foodservice,30 June 2006 4.Formation of Modified Fatty Acids and Oxyphytosterols during Refining of Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed Oil,Pierre Lambelet, André Grandgirard, Stéphane Gregoire, Pierre Juaneda, Jean-Louis Sebedio‡, and Constantin Bertoli, J. Agric. Food Chem., 2003, 51 (15), pp 4284–4290 5.Effect of Refined Milling on the Nutritional Value and Antioxidant Capacity of Wheat Types Common in Ethiopia and a Recovery Attempt with Bran Supplementation in Bread,Heshe GG, Haki GD and Woldegiorgis AZ, Journal of Food Processing & Technology,2015 6.Health Effects of Toxic Chemicals, University of Toronto 7.The Dietary Intake of Wheat and other Cereal Grains and Their Role in Inflammation,Karin de Punder and Leo Pruimboom,Nutrients. 2013 Mar; 5(3): 771–787 8.Putting the Whole Grain Puzzle Together: Health Benefits Associated with Whole Grains—Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium,Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Lisa Harnack, Rui Hai Liu, Nicola McKeown, Chris Seal, Simin Liu, and George C. Fahey,J Nutr. 2011 May; 141(5): 1011S–1022S 9.Greater whole-grain intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain,Ye EQ, Chacko SA, Chou EL, Kugizaki M, Liu S.,J Nutr. 2012 Jul;142(7):1304-13 10.Cancer incidence and mortality after treatment with folic acid and vitamin B12,Ebbing M1, Bønaa KH, Nygård O, Arnesen E, Ueland PM, Nordrehaug JE, Rasmussen K, Njølstad I, Refsum H, Nilsen DW, Tverdal A, Meyer K, Vollset SE., JAMA. 2009 Nov 18;302(19):2119-26 11.Unapproved Pharmaceutical Ingredients Included in Dietary Supplements Associated With US Food and Drug Administration Warnings,Jenna Tucker, Tessa Fischer, Laurence Upjohn, et al,JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(6):e183337 12.Omega-3 Fatty Acids versus Heavy Metals: A Quantitative Estimation of the Benefit-Risk Ratio for the Consumption of Commonly-Consumed Fish and Products in Metro Manila,Dave Briones,Nancy Lazaro-Llanos,KIMIKA Volume 26, Number 2, pp. 40-51 (2015) 13.Introduction to the human gut microbiota,Elizabeth Thursby and Nathalie Juge,Biochem J. 2017 Jun 1; 474(11): 1823–1836 14.Television Viewing, Computer Use, Time Driving and All-Cause Mortality: The SUN Cohort,Francisco Javier Basterra-Gortari,Maira Bes-Rastrollo, PharmD, Alfredo Gea,et al.,J Am Heart Assoc, 2014;3:e000864 15.Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222 497 Australian Adults, Hidde P. van der Ploeg, PhD; Tien Chey, MAppStats; Rosemary J. Korda, PhD; et al,Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(6):494-500 16.Health risks associated with mobile phones use, Zahid Naeem, Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2014 Oct; 8(4): V–VI 17.How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control,California Department of Public Health