The connection between stress and disease is indisputable. Taking time in the morning to connect with our Creator, through prayer, reading the Bible and journaling thoughts and feelings, will go a long way to lowering stress levels and easing anxiety and depression as we surrender to His control.
- Exercise is non-negotiable when it comes to staying healthy.
Exercise not only strengthens our hearts, joints, muscles and tendons but also improves circulation and releases powerful endorphins, which in turn relieve stress. Begin the day by taking the time to stretch then find an exercise you enjoy and a friend to share it with. Aim for 20 minutes a day minimum. Also lift weights. I was able to reverse osteoporosis by lifting weights three times a week and taking absorbable calcium.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
How many of us actually get the 5 to 9 recommended by the American Cancer Society? The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has proved correct. Apple peel contains ursolic acid, which increases production of a protein that stops muscle breakdown, helping to burn more calories. Ursolic acid is also found in basil, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, prunes and cranberries. Keep healthy fruits and vegetables easily available and limit processed foods. Taking daily whole food supplementation may also be helpful, but be careful of vitamin pills, which can be hard to absorb.
- Get enough sunlight.
Many of us spend far too much time inside. Early morning and early evening sunlight are known to generate Vitamin D for bone health, help strengthen the immune system, prevent cancer, improve metabolism and help heal minor hormonal issues. Use a healthy sunscreen.
- Take an Epsom salt/baking soda bath at least once a week.
This helps to detox your body, prevent disease, strengthen the immune system and improve sleep and concentration. Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, are known to:
- Help muscles and nerves function properly
- Regulate the activity of 325+ enzymes
- Help prevent artery hardening and blood clots
- Make insulin more effective
- Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
- Improve oxygen use and flush toxins
- Improve the absorption of nutrients, and
- Help prevent or ease migraine headaches.
Two cups of Epsom salts should be added to the bath, and if water is unfiltered then 1 cup of baking soda included. Soak for at least 20 minutes. (This is contra-indicated for diabetics and those with severe circulatory issues.)
- Detox regularly, through fasting or eating a raw food diet.
Research reveals the following contamination of our environment:
- 2,100 toxins, including pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, and medications have been found in our water supply
- 80,000 metric tons of carcinogens are released into the air annually in North America
- Over 80% of food has genetically modified ingredients
The EPA estimates the average US citizen has residues from over 400 toxic compounds in their body; 82,000 chemicals are in use today in the US, but only a fourth have ever been tested for toxicity.
If you feel unwell, it is highly likely that your body is toxic and when metabolic waste builds up in our bodies it produces disease. It is impossible to eliminate exposure, but eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, sweating often in a sauna or via exercise, using non-toxic cleaning products and keeping plants in our homes can lessen the effects.
- Laugh more.
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and their infection-fighting antibodies. Just like exercise laughter releases endorphins to produce a sense of well being, and can help with the management of chronic pain. Children laugh around 100 times a day but adults only around 8. Make sure you are spending time with friends who build you up and make you laugh. Plan ahead too; time management can be a great stress reliever.
- Give up artificial sweeteners and educate yourself about food labels.
Look for preservatives but remember labels are not all bad, e.g. E162 refers to beetroot. Diet soda is a chemical cocktail that can wreak havoc on your health. Sugar should also be seriously restricted or eliminated for better health.
- Start your day with warm lemon water.
This detoxes the liver so that it can be more efficient in the metabolizing of food, as does milk thistle or dandelion tea. Switching dairy out for milks like coconut, almond, rice or my latest favorite, deliciously creamy flax seed or cashew, is a good health move.
- Breath deeply.
Our body is designed to remove 70 percent of toxins via breathing. Deep breathing also reduces anxiety and strengthens the immune system.
Not spending hours in doctors’ offices in our later years may well be the reward for applying a few simple health habits now.
Andrea Goff hosts Choosing Joy, a support group for people dealing with ongoing medical conditions, pain, anxiety or depression. For information, contact [email protected]