Natural health is a seemingly new term, but truly it has been around for centuries. Unfortunately, many people have gotten away from what encompasses natural, healthy living. Now, what does all this mean? What is natural health?
Put simply natural health it is a lifestyle that helps you restore and maintain your health and wellness through diet, exercise, and the use of a variety of alternative medicine treatments. Okay, that sounds good, right? But how does one do all of that? Where do you begin?
A good way to start is from the inside out. Here are a few examples on how to get started:
• The power of H2O – We have all heard it. Drink plenty of water, but it is not just another marketing campaign from a bottled water company. It's true that water is an actual nutrient. It helps move vital substances through the blood stream and into your cells. It also helps regulate the body's temperature. Most people are dehydrated and don't even know it. A person should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day or more if they consume caffeine or alcohol.
• Whole is truly better – Whole foods and fresh foods are what our bodies are built for. Any time a food is touched, it looses vital nutrients. For example, white flour and white sugar have been processed so much that when ingested, it is like taking empty calories. Then our bodies are still requiring the necessary vitamins and we eat more to try to gain that; which, in turn, causes unnecessary weight gain. How do we know what we are getting? To start, check the labels. Every packaged food has a label and it is best to understand what those labels mean. Also, eating local produce and products insures that you are getting the most pure food out there.
• Balanced diet – We have heard our mothers tell us to eat a balanced diet for years, and it is true that this time mother does know what is best. We need foods from all the food groups and we need to eat them in a balance for our bodies. A good example would be in meat. Meat does contain essential amino acids but too many have been linked to higher cancer rates and poor cardiovascular health. Our bodies cannot handle too much and if forced to do so, then the effect is negative, so adding whole grains will help combat the acid and help the body break it down. See, a balance.
• Fat, fat, and more fat – Fat is bad, right? Well, not in all cases. Trans fats and too many saturated fats are evil. They are too often consumed in large quantities. However, there are essential fats that maintain your brain's metabolic levels and needs. How do you get the fats you need? Start by adding olive oil to your grocery list along with walnuts and flax seed. These items are readily available and adding them to your diet can be extremely beneficial.
• Simple is better – Do you know when you read the label on your foods and there are those words that you need a PhD to understand? Well, those are the things that you should stay away from. If you can't read it or understand it then you truly do not need it. Foods that are processed (luncheon meats for example) are filled with nitrates to do so. These aid in keeping foods fresher for longer periods. However, these nitrates and other preservatives have been linked to certain cancers and other maladies in the body.
• Nurture nature – Which quite simply means to stay as natural as possible. Stay away from pharmaceutical drugs as much as possible. If you have to be on them, try working with your doctor to go on the least dose possible. Having too many drugs in your body can lead to toxicity and many drugs strip your body of essential vitamins. Whenever possible, ask if you can try a natural nutritional remedy instead of the processed version. A good example would be taking Vitamin E, flax, and garlic will reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and keep important body fluid levels where they need to be.
There are many more ways to benefit your body from the inside out. Combining some of the above with exercise, mental health, and spiritual health will give you the best chance of combating those ailments that flood an ill balanced body.