Some things in life are very simple, yet we make them complicated. Good health is one of those things and the answer is simply: Balance, Moderation, Movement.
Adopt a nutritious, balanced diet.
The tremendous increase in ill-health has paralleled the ever-mounting consumption of refined foods, fast foods, sweets and soft drinks and the corresponding decreased use of fresh vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and quality protein. The missing nutrients, which allow illness to develop, have been discarded in processing and refining foods. I know many of you (if not all) have heard this before, but do you really know how important it is? If you did, you would have changed your diet already. But, it’s not your fault because nobody ever told you why it’s so important, or explained the way it all works.
Once we understand something, we are more apt to make changes based on that knowledge. If you were to read about the individual vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the body needs to live, you would start to see what each one does for the body and why they are so important. Every nutrient does a specific job to keep you healthy, and most of them depend on the others to perform these jobs. Each system in the body affects every other system, and when one becomes deficient in necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it causes malfunctions in all of them that leads to illness and disease.
Consuming a poor diet doesn’t kill you quickly, nor does it have to make you ill in a week, a month, or even a year (although it can in certain instances). However, rest assured, it’s doing damage. It breaks down your body little by little, year after year until it’s irreversible and shows up in conditions like heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, out-of-control cholesterol, and many, many other conditions. Most people think of illness and disease as inevitable, unavoidable, heredity, or simply luck-of-the-draw, and sometimes it is, but we have a lot more control over it than we realize. One of the most important ways we control our health is simply getting the proper amount of vital nutrients every day.
A good example is how you take care of your car. If you keep up the maintenance regularly like changing the oil, topping off the fluids, flushing, greasing, rotating the tires, using the right fuel, etc. it will run smoothly, be reliable and give you good service for a long time. Giving your body the proper nutrients on a regular basis is the first step toward good, life-long health. That’s pretty simple, huh? It consists of eating lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, beans, and low-fat dairy every day, and in moderation – quality food = quality fuel. And, portion-control is important.
Having said all of this, it is important to understand that no matter how diligent one is with regard to a healthy diet, it is still not easy to get the proper amount of nutrients for optimal health. For one thing, the fresh foods we buy at the grocery store (unless certified organic) contain the residue of pesticides, toxins and hormones, which are not good for us. Another problem is that we cook most of our foods. Cooking, most times, diminishes or removes most of the nutrients from foods. Steaming vegetables is the best cooking method, and having plenty of fresh raw vegetables and fruits is vital for the nutrients and enzymes they provide. Buying organic is best, but not always possible. In that case, it’s still better to eat a balanced diet and supplement with a quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement every day.