How to Improve Your Health

In last week's health tip, I defined what health is according to the World Health Organization. You may agree with that definition or have one of your own but in either case, in this issue I will begin to discuss the main areas that you can look at to improve your health.

The first one is diet because it generally is the most important. We are designed to digest, assimilate, and utilize very specific nutrients. Without the proper nutrients, which include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and water our bodies will not run at even a normal level never mind at optimal levels. The organs that make our bodies run, have very specific nutritional needs so that the cells of those specialized organs can do what they are intended to do. When those needs don't get filled, the organs start to malfunction and your body begins to break down and that is when conditions such as anemia (iron deficiency) or osteoporosis (calcium deficiency) occur. In my opinion, processed or junk foods aren't produced to keep you healthy, they are produced to make a profit. Year after year the scientific research is showing that most conditions and diseases are caused by nutritional deficiencies. Health promoting foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts, meat, poultry, eggs, and water provide the VITAL nutrients that you need. Be very wary of any food products that say they're enriched. For example, take a loaf of bread. The wheat kernels that are turned into flour have had all of their dozens of nutrients, that are in proper combinations and proportions, stripped away during the refining process. Then a few synthetically derived vitamins and minerals are put into the dough, it's made into that loaf of bread, and they then label it enriched. If a thief takes a hundred dollars from me and then gives me back ten dollars, I wouldn't call that enrichment.

If you are wanting to improve your health, then eat more fresh fruits and vegetables--they provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and anti-oxidants. Eat fresh raw or cooked fish--they provide proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Eat a variety of chicken, turkey, and limited amounts of red meat, which also provide essential amino acids (proteins which the body can't manufacture). Lastly, raw nuts provide healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.

If you are wanting to improve your health then you need to completely eliminate or greatly reduce the following: soft drinks, coffee, refined sugars (as found in most cakes, cookies, candies, ice creams). You may not believe it, but I saw a statistic that catsup is 30% refined sugar! Avoid all refined flour products, such as pastas, breads, rolls, doughnuts, bagels, hamburger or hot dog buns, crackers and dry cereals. This list could go on and on. What is important to remember is that these foods simply do not provide you with the nutrients that your body needs. Occassional usage of these devitalized foods shouldn't harm your health in any significant way, but if this group makes up the bulk of your diet, then I advise that you seriously reconsider what you are doing to your health.