By Dr. Paul Bruce
A wellness approach to health is focusing on the underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption within the body and making interventions and lifestyle adjustments that optimize the conditions for normal function. The main difference between wellness care and standard conventional medical care is that wellness care seeks to turn on the body’s natural healing ability. Wellness care does not add something to the system (medication), instead it removes anything that might interfere with normal function. Wellness care trusts that the body would know what to do if nothing were interfering with it. Standard medical care, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside – a medication, a surgery or procedure.
Regular chiropractic care, eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin supplements, keeping your weight under control and stress management are all part of an overall wellness lifestyle that, if followed, results in a longer, healthier and pain-free life. The following tips focus on improving nutritional intake to help you optimize your overall wellness.
Drink More Water
Water is the single-most abundant nutrient in the body, accounting for around 60% – 65% of your total weight. It is also the least forgiving of all the nutrients you consume. You can survive for weeks without food, but for only a couple of days without water. Water is responsible for the transport of nutrients, oxygen and waste products, as well as for regulating your body temperature and serving as the medium in which all of your body’s chemical reactions take place. Most people do not drink enough pure clean water.
Drinking an adequate amount of clean water every day is one of the most overlooked, but simplest ways of keeping your body healthy. Water is used to help the body cleanse itself of toxins and metabolic waste. Although drinking water has become more popular over the past several years, many people still do not consume enough water. Instead, they drink coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks and figure that they get enough fluids. It is true that when you drink these things you are consuming water. However, along with the water, you are also consuming a lot of other stuff that the body will need to ultimately eliminate, so the potential beneficial effect of the water is somewhat negated.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
People know that they should eat more fruit and vegetables in their diet, but most people don’t do it. It seems lately that the four major food groups of the American diet have gone from dairy, fruits and vegetables, grains, and meat to sugar, fat, salt and caffeine. Because of the easy availability of fast foods and snack foods, we have lost our taste for fruits and vegetables; especially vegetables. It is not uncommon for many people to go for weeks without consuming a single serving of fresh vegetables. This is not good.
The human body evolved with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and is dependent on many of the compounds unique to plant foods in order to operate correctly. If you don’t consume enough of these plant compounds, your energy level will suffer along with your overall health. Most people are shocked at how much better they feel when they cut down on the fast foods and snack foods and increase their fruit and vegetable intake.
If you find it difficult to work in several servings of fruits and vegetables into your routine every day, you may find it helpful to supplement your diet with what is called a “greens” supplement, which is a highly concentrated powder of fruits, vegetables and antioxidants.
Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables is an important way to improve your overall health. The key is to make it part of your lifestyle – to make it a new habit.
This high level of sugar intake is very unhealthy and contributes to obesity, Type II diabetes, heart disease due to elevated triglycerides, kidney stones, dental caries, chronic tiredness and reactive hypoglycemia. Decreasing your sugar intake is as simple as avoiding foods which are high in refined sugars, such as soft drinks, candy, cake and donuts, as well as most condiments. When you purchase sweetened food, look for products that are sweetened with apple juice or stevia, rather than sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
Take a Multivitamin
Many people don’t think that they need to take vitamin supplements because, after all, the human body did not evolve to need supplements – as long as you eat a balanced diet, you can get everything that your body needs, right? While it is certainly true that people living a thousand years ago did not have multivitamins, they also did not have thousands of tons of toxic chemicals being pumped into their environment every year; they were not exposed to a constant man-made electromagnetic field from power lines and cell phones; they did not eat highly processed foods that contained artificial colors, flavors and preservatives; they were not sedentary; and they were not under constant stress at work and at home. Our bodies were simply not designed for a fast-paced, high-stress, highly processed lifestyle.
The reality is that we need to give our body some help in order to stay healthy in the world today. That’s where supplements come in. Supplements help to ensure that your body gets all of the extra vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and probiotics necessary to function the way it should.
Cut Down on Sugar In a recent study done by the USDA, it was reported that the average American consumes 134 pounds of refined sugar every year, or approximately 20 teaspoons of sugar per day. As hard as this may be to believe, consider the following facts:
. A 12 oz. can of Pepsi™ contains 10 teaspoons of sugar
. A 2 oz. package of candy contains 11 teaspoons of sugar
. A 16 oz. cup of lemonade contains 13 teaspoons of sugar
. A cup of Frosted Flakes™ contains 4 teaspoons of sugar
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Wellness from the Inside Out vs. Outside In
By Dr. Paul Bruce