We all have the potential to lead a long, healthy, energetic life full of vitality: 70% of your health is in your own hands – genetics only contributes to 30%.
There are 5 key areas in our lives where we can make some small changes, and with the right knowledge, this will have a huge impact on our health and vitality by helping us to age slower and stay energetic for longer.
The centre of our digestive system is our gut and its diverse microbiome (gut bacteria). 70% of your immune system is in your gut and around 90% of your serotonin (happiness chemical) is produced in your gut. This is why the food we eat has a direct impact on our mood. Microbiome cells outnumber human cells by about 10 to 1 and microbiome DNA outnumbers our human DNA 100 to 1. What does this mean for us? If you want good health, you must have good gut health! Most brain dysfunction conditions like anxiety, depression, brain fog, Alzheimer’s and many more are caused by inflammation in the brain. This means that if we have a leaky, inflamed gut, we have a leaky, inflamed brain.
How do we prevent inflammation in the gut and brain? We rebuild a healthy gut. We can do this by avoiding inflammation-causing foods like sugar, refined flour, dairy and gluten. We must also avoid things that kill our good bacteria like antibiotics. Medical anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen, pesticides and herbicides are used in the production of non-organic crops. Try and buy organic whenever you can.
By taking care of these FIVE areas in my life, I am giving myself the best chance to live a healthy, vital life with abundant energy to cope with the demands of being a wife, a mother of three boys and entrepreneur.
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Great Health is not the absence of disease
Sometimes you don’t have anything wrong with you diagnosed by a professional, but you just don’t feel great and are lacking energy and vitality. With modern medicine, doctors are very good at diagnosing and treating conditions, but very little thought goes into why we have the problems and what we can do to prevent them in the first place. If we had more knowledge on good nutrition and lifestyle habits, we could prevent having to go to the doctor in the first place.
Sleep is when your body rests and regenerates itself – great sleep is the foundation of good health. 70% of your growth hormone, also known as your anti-aging hormone, is produced while you are sleeping. Sleep deprivation interferes with your collagen production so there is definite truth to the saying that you need to get your beauty sleep.
Try cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, have a warm bath, avoid blue light (electronic devices) an hour before bed, or keep a journal to jot down your worries and write down what you are grateful for.
All disease begins in the gut (Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine), and this is true for at least 90% of our modern health problems like auto-immune and chronic conditions. We can promote a healthy gut by avoiding certain foods that cause inflammation like sugar, refined flour, dairy and gluten. Likewise, the best food you can feed your gut bacteria is prebiotics, which is the fibre found in fruit and vegetables. In order to have a healthy and diverse microbiome (bacteria), you need to eat a diverse range of fruit and vegetables.
Exercise is a great way to improve your health and boost your immune system. It gets your lymphatic system moving which flushes out toxins, and also improves your cardiovascular system, metabolism, and lean muscle mass. Getting daily movement also reduces stress and improves sleep quality.
It is very important to exercise at least 30 minutes a day to improve your health, and your daily movement could be anything from gentle yoga or stroll in a nearby park to a vigorous spin class, weight -training, dancing, tennis or running. The important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing. Then you will see the benefits to your sleep, mood and overall health.
Stress directly affects the gut which is 70% of your immune system. It also reduces the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens. There are many ways to reduce stress; you must choose a way that works best for you. Studies show that your brain actually changes (for the better) after a time of doing meditation consistently. For beginners, you can try a guided meditation to start, so all you need to do is relax and listen to a soothing voice. Mindful movement like yoga or tai chi are also great for reducing stress. Healing practices like Reiki, Pranic Healing and massage are very helpful, too. Self-care is something you can carve into your day, like a bubble bath or a face mask, uplifting music or reading a good book.
If we lived in a pollution and toxin-free environment and ate perfectly, we would not need supplements. Pollution and toxins in your food and products oxidise your cells which basically rusts them from the inside.
Most people in the UK are vitamin D deficient from around November to May. The best vitamin D supplements are in a spray form mixed in oil as it is a fat-soluble vitamin. You can have a quick spray under your tongue in the morning with your breakfast. To help with good health and immune function, it’s good to take vitamin C, natural anti-inflammatories, and antioxidants as well. There are some good daily multi-vitamin supplements on the market that incorporate everything you need to get through the day and have a restful and regenerative night.