The full discussion is beyond the scope of this guidebook. As some say we become what eat. Food is more than calories - it could harm us or keep us healthy. Most of us lead a sedentary life – we can not live on a menu of bacon and steak meant for hardy life with heavy physical. Work. Some foods harbor many ingredients that have preventive powers. Time magazine (1/21/2002) selects the best 10 foods for their potential benefits.
Contains the most powerful anti-oxidant.
Released best when cooked.
Iron, folate, phytochemicals*
Heart disease, macular degeneration
Breast, colon, stomach CA
Heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Alzheimer’s
Heart disease, antibacterial, anti fungal
Stomach, liver, esophageal CA, antibacterial
Heart disease, cancer, boost brain power.
* phytochemicals : chemicals produced by plants
One should also curtail salt consumption, because it is the best way to prevent and lower high blood pressure.
Genetics (obesity genes) play a significant role in controlling our body weight. Some of us who are borne with “bad” genes need to try harder to control weight with diet and exercise. Even a few calories of over intake/ a day would eventually result in a significant weight gain. Studies have shown that short term weight loss programs are not effective. One needs to go on a long term program that includes an appetite control approach.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetable especially the one listed above.
- Good source of protein: nuts, soy, fish, chicken and turkey.
- Good source of fat: unsaturated fat such as olive oil.
- Use fillers such as celery and carrot sticks.
- Avoid junk foods such as cookies, chips, etc.
- Learn to control appetite by; meditation, positive thinking, acupuncture, etc.
- Exercise every day; Walk for an hour a day: Please read exercise section below.
Time magazine (1/21/2002) lists walking as the perfect exercise, quoting Dr. Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard, “ If everyone walks in the US were to walk briskly 30 minutes a day, we could cut the incidence of chronic disease 30 to40%.”
Some of the areas where health benefits are demonstrated are;
- Heart disease: Exercise lowers blood pressure and decrease coronary heart disease.
- Stroke: One study showed those walking more than 20 hrs/wk decreased their risk of stroke by 40%.
- Weight control: Waking not only consumes calories but also boosts the metabolic rate for the rest of the day.
- Weight loss: Walk at least an hour a day: Exercising too intensely can work against you by interfering with the body’s ability to pull energy from fat cells.
- Diabetes: Walking may be more effective in preventing diabetes than some medicines.
- Osteoporosis: Walking during young age can prevent osteoporosis later in life.
- Arthritis: You may need to exercise every other day to give joints time to recover.
- Depression: Walking may prevent relapse of depression for those on medication.
- Cancer: May lower the risk of colorectal cancer by facilitating bowel wall movement.
- Best result is obtained when one stops smoking on will power alone.
- Nicotine patches may be helpful and are available over the counter.
- Zyban, oral anti-depressant, is also shown to be effective.
- Chantix (Varenicline), a new drug, has been also used with success.
- Facilitator devices such acupuncture needle insertion may be helpful to some people.
Many studies have shown that mental relaxation and happiness bring good physical health.
- Studies have shown that relaxation program can lower blood pressure.
- Nervous and immune system are shown to be communicating at various levels.
- Emotion can trigger many chronic diseases including asthma.
- Prayers and religious experiences have shown to have a healing power
- We are borne with tremendous healing powers, which can be augmented by positive thinking.