It’s a busy life for most of us. And keeping ourselves healthy is all too rarely near the top of our list of ‘things to do’.
Convenience often wins – we are all so busy that convenience is at a premium. We can easily choose less nutritious food, which is quick to prepare. This compromise helps us to fit everything in.
In terms of natural medicines – 9 out of 10 people will pay a much higher price for a product in convenient capsules, when a loose powder version is much less costly. It’s just less hassle to use capsules (and you are more likely to remember to take them).
We want a quick and simple health solution…
Many people have convinced themselves that the essential components of food are a limited number of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements. Go into a health food shop and you will see these same components in supplements on the shelves. But food is very much more than these pills, both in terms of ingredients and of quality.
The British Dietetic Association says that vitamin and mineral supplements (VMS) are “a fraction of the compounds found in fruit and vegetables. Taking supplements is nowhere near as beneficial.”
Don’t fall for the ‘soundbites’
For example, for vitamin and mineral products:
- ‘B6 banishes PMT (PMS)’
- ‘Vitamin C protects against colds’
- ‘Lysine zaps cold sores’
These simple generalisations stick so easily in our minds. We could add some herbal ones:
- ‘St John’s Wort counteracts depression’
- ‘Valerian gets you to sleep’
- ‘Ginkgo for a better memory’
These single sentences hold a grain of truth. What they should all add is ” …when used as part of your healthy lifestyle.”
Devote yourself to a healthy lifestyle
The answer is to make ‘keeping healthy’ a part of our day-to-day living habits. What keeps us in terrific health is what we do throughout the day – our lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is absolutely vital. This should include:
- A great diet
- Good exercise level
- Sufficient relaxation
Good Health is ‘simple – but it’s not easy’. In other words, most of us would accept that the above four points are crucial to good health – in theory. Practising them is not so easy!
The answer is – keep slowly improving your lifestyle in a step-by-step way.
If you add one new health step to your life every two months, for example, in two to three years you will be among the healthiest ten percent of people in the Western world. Improvements do not have to be large steps; take one small step for your health today, keep that one going, and add another one every two months. Have a plan – maybe introduce 6 improvements over the course of a year.
- Go for a country walk every weekend
- Cut out your sweet course 6 days a week
- Do that Colon Cleansing Programme you’ve been thinking about
- Take 3 pieces of fruit to work daily. And eat them!
- Have only one potato with your daily meal
Multivitamins don’t cut it!
So don’t think you can use a multivitamin/mineral supplement and eat badly! These are just chemicals – they are no substitute for food. Once taken in by plant material, a mineral is given life. It becomes part of a living structure – a plant. It is changed during this process.
Humans and animals cannot modify chemicals efficiently in this way. Otherwise we would have roots and end up standing around a lot! Plants do the basic ‘fixing’ of the raw elements into living material; then animals eat the ‘prepared’ elements, which are now in a form they can use.
If you can’t get food – fine; use tablets! But in terms of nutrition, food wins hands down.
If you want a daily supplement – use vegetable juices each day – or limited fruit juices (most fruit contains a lot of sugar, which harms health). If you can ‘juice’ your own – so much the better. ‘Chew’ well and mix with saliva before swallowing, to ensure good digestion.
My recommendation is to aim for 80% of what you eat to be fruit and non-starchy vegetables. Most people have only 20% or so of their diet as these foods, so this would quadruple the amount of fruit and non-starchy vegetables you are getting. You will have lots of nutrients in reserve – and they will be in highly useable plant form.
When you do, occasionally, have a stodgy meal – at least have a side salad with it. This is a great habit to get into.
Keep some growing herbs on your kitchen shelf – in the UK these are available from all larger supermarkets – and add some to every salad you have. This adds to the flavour as well as adding another nutrient source.
Remember – it is important to have a good variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. This makes sure you have a good range of nutrients.
One proviso is to make sure your digestion is working well – otherwise you are not getting the goodness out of your food. One reason for not getting the maximum nutrients out of your food is that your digestion may not be efficient enough.
Certainly, your digestion will become less efficient as you age. If you are over forty years old, assume that your digestion could do with ‘perking up’, even if you have no particular symptoms. One way to do this is by using herbs to boost digestive function. Either see a qualified herbal practitioner, or take a course of herbs specifically for the digestion. Make sure you complete the course.
Keep healthy – and pile that plate high – with salad and fruit! If you want convenience food – pop into the health food shop and get that bottle of fruit or carrot juice. Preferably organic. Now that is convenient! Zero preparation and zero washing up!
Very best wishes for a great lifestyle!
A complete approach to detox, by Calvin Newstead. Calvin applied detox principles to himself with tremendous success, then left a 20-year career to promote his detox approach.
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