In order to stay fit and healthy, it is important to eat a balanced and responsible diet and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many natural ways to stay healthy and the key is in prevention.
This article aims to give you a solid foundation for identifying your body’s greatest allies and a few of its sworn enemies. Don’t be too concerned about exactly how you will integrate these into your life just yet. The most important thing right now is becoming aware of some of the best choices you can make for your health.
1. Choose Organic Foods
You may still be skeptical in regard to the health benefits of organic foods and whether or not they are one of the best natural ways to stay healthy. Those flavorless, tough tomatoes you bought in the grocery store last week were probably genetically altered and grown in a greenhouse with the use of multiple pesticides.
You might not be able to taste these chemicals, but their carcinogenic properties remain regardless of the number of times you try to wash them away. When you choose organic produce instead, there are no harmful chemicals and the food simply tastes better—it has more nutrients, too.
2. Dark & Leafy Greens
Green veggies are the number one food you can eat regularly to help improve your health. ‘The darker the green the better’ is a good general rule of thumb when choosing greens. Spinach and kale are great examples of healthy, delicious greens with powerful nutritional properties.
3. Drink Alkaline Water
While you probably already know that you should consume eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day as one of the best natural ways to stay healthy and hydrated, let’s face it: tap water often doesn’t cut it and bottled water can be expensive. Most department stores sell filters that attach directly to your tap and are designed to remove impurities from the water, but an alkalization filter is even better.
Studies on cancer patients have shown that their bodies are usually highly acidic. By choosing alkaline water over standard tap water, you can improve immune system function and help balance the pH within your body which may reduce your cancer risk.
4. Eat Slowly and Chew Properly
Swallowing large pieces of food before they have been properly ground and mixed with saliva forces the digestive tract to secrete larger amounts of powerful digestive enzymes, which can cause excess gas and bloating, and over time damage the stomach. Properly chewing your food can improve digestion and aid in nutrient absorption. So take your time and eat slowly while making sure you are chewing properly.
5. Stay Away from Wheat
If you are like most people, you probably enjoy several wheat-containing products each and every day. In fact, wheat may be hidden in some foods that you would never even suspect. Something many people don’t know is that wheat contains a protein known as gliadin that can increase your appetite because it causes the body to crave more wheat.
Who would have guessed? Instead of bleached, refined wheat products like white bread and cereals that will provide you with very little nutrition and an insatiable appetite, you should opt for healthier options like oatmeal, millet, barley, rye and quinoa because these are some of the best natural ways to stay healthy.
6. Use Coconut Oil
Not only is it great for cooking and baking but it’s also much healthier than margarine and butter. The myth about fat-free being the better option is completely false; even some saturated fats play an important role in your health. Naturally occurring saturated fats are often referred to as trans-fats and should be avoided at all costs. Coconut oil is chock full of healthy fats that are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy without the insulin spikes caused by consuming carbohydrates.
7. Add Ginger
Studies have suggested that ginger possesses strong cancer prevention and possibly even cancer killing properties. In addition to being great for improving circulation and blood flow, ginger is known to be effective for nausea and vomiting. A great home remedy for a sore throat is to cut and peel raw ginger, boil it in a tea or chew on it (if you can handle the spiciness). The ginger gives a soothing burn that provides relief surprisingly fast.
8. Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup
A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but when you consume high fructose corn syrup on a regular basis, the likelihood that you will actually need medicine for things like diabetes, liver disease and other health problems increases dramatically. High fructose corn syrup, commonly abbreviated HFCS, is essentially concentrated sugar that is cheaper to produce than cane sugar or beet sugar.
If you regularly choose products with HFCS in them, you are likely consuming twice as much sugar as people who avoid HFCS. It is best to avoid products with HFCS completely and instead choose natural sugar sources. Raw sugar that has not been processed and bleached is the best choice.
9. Introduce Flax Seed
Bowel irregularity is no laughing matter, and neither is the stomach pain, flatulence and other side effects it can cause. Simply ensuring that you get enough fiber in your diet is one of the best natural ways to stay healthy, and it can improve or even eliminate bowel trouble. Since a good portion of your body’s immune health comes from the bowel, ensuring that everything stays on track is imperative.
A single teaspoonful of flax seed can provide you with three grams of fiber as well as a full day’s supply of Omega-3 fatty acids, which promote lower cholesterol and good bone health. Flax seed absorbs the flavors that surround it, so you should have no trouble incorporating it into your favorite recipes.
10. Eat More Blueberries
Blueberries have been touted as one of the world’s most powerful ‘superfoods’ in the media due to their concentration of resveratrol, which is an antioxidant and natural immune booster that can fight cancer, slow the aging process and lower blood sugar. While you can also find resveratrol in things like chocolate and red wine, these are not the best natural ways to stay healthy for obvious reasons.
In order to get the amount of resveratrol found in a large serving of blueberries from red wine, you would have to drink half the bottle—and this can have some undesirable consequences. Dark chocolate and red wine in moderation is fine, but healthy blueberry smoothies every morning are even better.
11. Eat Avocados
Avocados provide a whole plethora of health benefits ranging from excellent skin complexion, lowering cholesterol and weight loss. The soluble fibre helps you feel fuller for longer and contains healthy fats your body will thank you for. Half an avocado several times a week will aid your digestive system and help the breakdown of carbs in your body.
Read also: Fibre – What You Need To Know About It
Great news for all you chili fans, this cancer fighting, powerful antioxidant is found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables. A study on heart disease found that men with high levels of lycopene in their fatty tissues had a 50% reduced risk of heart disease.
In addition to being a common ingredient in anti-aging creams, lycopene seems to be effective against stomach, colon, lung and skin cancers. Surprisingly, cooked tomatoes have higher levels of lycopene than raw tomatoes due to the cooking process breaking down the cell walls, making the lycopene more available.
13. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners should always be avoided like the plague. The commonly used aspartame is one of several toxic substances disguised as delicious consumables. Originally denied FDA approval
due to flawed data, studies have shown aspartame can cause tumors and brain damage. Stevia and Xylitol are wonderful natural alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners!
14. Avoid Soy
One of the greatest marketing deceptions in the health industry has been convincing the public that soy is a health phenomenon. Aside from over 90% of soy in the United States being genetically
modified, it has been linked to thyroid problems, premature puberty, cancer, brain damage and weakened immune systems – to name a few. Although not all soy is bad, it is best to simply avoid it.
15. Walk at least 20 minutes a day
Attempting to integrate long workout routines seem unrealistic to most people but many important health benefits can be acquired from a simple 20 minute walk each day. When it comes time to
working out, new studies have suggested shorter and more intense workouts to be most effective. Quality, not quantity!
16. Get a Good Sleep
Your mental and physical health directly impacts your sleep quality. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can have a significant impact on your daytime energy, productivity and emotional balance as well as your health. Meditation and yoga are great relaxation methods if you have trouble falling asleep.
You can also eat a small snack at bedtime that contains foods proven to shift the body and mind into sleeping mode, such as whole grain cereal with milk or oatmeal, cherries, or even chamomile tea. Make your room dark, to block out light, use heavy curtains or shades. Or you can try a sleeping mask.
17. Break a sweat everyday
When you sweat, your body excretes toxins that have built up in your pores. Releasing those toxins helps keep your skin nice and clear. The reason why getting a fever makes you sweat excessively is
because that is your body’s natural way to fight off sickness and dispel toxins. The best ways to break a sweat are through exercise and using a sauna. Get out there and sweat, baby!
Doing shots never felt so good before wheatgrass came along. Beta-carotene, calcium, iron and amino acids are part of a few of the powerful vitamins and minerals that are replenished by the green super food. Although claims of wheatgrass being the nutritional equivalent of eating two pounds of veggies might be overblown, there is no question that it packs a punch that’s worth keeping on your side of the ring.
Chlorella has become a popular detoxifying substance because of its unique ability to bind with mercury, lead and cadmium. It is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E as well as important minerals like potassium, iron and calcium. The cell wall surrounding chlorella is indigestible by human bodies so it is important to get “broken cell wall” chlorella to obtain any health benefits.
20. Take a Massage
Massage is one of the oldest healing practices. Massage was used to treat many ailments by ancient peoples such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese. Did you know that massage can increase your immune system by increasing natural killing cells, a type lymphocyte? Something as simple as a leg or back massage can promote relaxation and increase antimicrobial peptides, which act as a first line of defense against pathogens.
21. Maintain Dental Hygiene
Maintaining dental hygiene is not only about beautiful smile. Poor dental hygiene can lead to other serious problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease and even your heart. How many people floss after a long day? Studies show that flossing regularly can increase your life expectancy by as much as 6 years.
Read also: Healing Cavities Through Natural Foods
22. Omega-3 (Essential Fatty Acids)
Essential fatty acids are necessary fats that you can’t make internally; they must be obtained through what you eat. Omega-3 deficiencies have been linked to decreased memory and mental abilities, nerve tingling, poor vision, increased tendency to form blood clots, diminished immune function and a variety of other issues. Great sources for omega-3 range from flax seed, walnuts, salmon, pumpkin seeds and some dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, collards).
23. Vitamin D
Go outside and get some sun to soak in all that Vitamin D. Most of us are deficient in this crucial vitamin as many spend their days indoor. Taking a supplement is also a great way to get the
day’s worth of Vitamin D. Not only is it great for bones but it has proven to be great immune system support as well.
Read also: Vitamin D and Kids – What You Need to Know
24. Larch Tree Extract
The larch tree is potentially one of the best-kept secrets in the health industry. The inner bark produces free arabinogalactan, a complex carbohydrate that helps the tree recover from injury caused by lightning, freezing and conditions experienced in the high altitudes of the Pacific and Inland Northwest where it grows.
Products containing larch tree extract can significantly support your immune system, digestive systems and potentially even fight cancer. The power of the larch tree has even been embraced by the famous Harry Potter series, appearing as the wood of choice for Harry’s magic wand.
Experiment with new ways to integrate these foods, exercises and habits into your lifestyle one at a time. You don’t need to go overboard and try to change your entire kitchen to the items listed here in this report, although that would be great!
Staying healthy is a lifestyle and you need to make it work for you. Take each of these suggestions and make it a weekly goal to integrate it into your routine. Whether it’s a round of squash, adding greens to your morning smoothies or switching your cooking oil or butter with coconut oil – make
the change fun and interesting for you or you will simply abandon it.