As you may or may not know, I am back in school with a cadre of amazing holistic and medical practitioners. It’s extremely rewarding to be a life-long learner. No matter your chosen path in life, I highly encourage you to “never stop training.” Here’s a snippet that may be of some use:
The Top American Deficiencies Are:
Magnesium: My favorite foods that have magnesium are avocado, chickpeas, spinach, almonds, flaxseed (I use whole toasted flaxseed and flaxseed flour in my daily protein smoothie.) Others might like tofu, dark chocolate (don’t go wild), bananas, leafy greens.
Omega-3 fats: Wild Fatty fish, sardines, plankton eating fish or supplement with True Omega-3. This cellular building block is elemental but must be ingested. The body doesn’t make it in any of the organs or tissue. If you don’t get Omega-3 in your diet, the body will use other fats which generally are inflammatory to the immune system, that includes all baked goods, fried foods. The oils found in processed foods are all damaging and are inferior to anti-inflammatory Omega-3. The body will work with what you give it but think of a building built with too much sand in the concrete, when the winds come, it cannot stand. Same is true for our bodies. Think clean, eat clean, sleep clean.
Vitamin D3: We absolutely are deficient because we cover up from the sun and in Winter there isn’t much sun. In order to get Vitamin D from the sun, you have let your skin get a little pinkish. Easier to supplement. North of Florida? Take 2,000 – 5,000 IU daily. (It’s super inexpensive)
- Meat. Meat is an excellent source of zinc (4). …
- Legumes. Legumes like chickpeas, lentils and beans all contain substantial amounts of zinc. …
- Seeds. …
- Nuts. …
- Dairy. …
- Eggs. …
- Whole Grains.
- Glucose metabolism in the brain increases during deep sleep, supporting short-term and long-term memory and overall learning.
- Deep sleep is also when the pituitary gland secretes important hormones, like human growth hormone, leading to growth and development of the body.
Other benefits of deep sleep include:
- energy restoration
- cell regeneration
- increasing blood supply to muscles
- promoting growth and repair of tissues and bones
- strengthening the immune system
How to get it? DO NOT WATCH TV or any light emitting screens an hour before bed. We mess with the circadian rhythm when we do. Read a book with light coming over your shoulder. Converse with your spouse or partner. No controversy or arguments before bed. That is a robber of deep sleep. Darken the bedroom and no phones or clocks in the room. Learn deep breathing, yogic meditation or even self-hypnosis to help get “right” with your inner being before sleep.
Movement: You bet. Most Americans are deficient in movement, in other words, exercise. I hope that is not a dirty word for you. Blood flow and the lymph system are both dependent on movement. There are many fun ways to move. Dance, walking, sprinting, rowing, yoga, body flow, squats, stomach crunches, jumping jacks, to mention just a few. Sprinting in place for 30 seconds, rest for a minute and repeat a few more times means you don’t have to go to the gym or go outside. There a millions of exercise videos on Youtube, and it’s free. When in doubt, go for a walk. If you can break a sweat, all the better.
Joy: The body and even the cells in your body follow the mind. I used to teach that 80% of health is in the mind. I’ve revised that. Now I believe that it’s 100%. It’s wound up in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Are you in fight or flight, or rest & digest mode? Clinically, it’s proven that 30% of trials yield a positive result from placebo. However it’s also true that nocebo (disbelief) yields illness just as much. Joy negates negativity. Closely tied to joy is gratitude. Do you write down the things, incidents, encounters, experiences that make you happy? Joyful? Grateful? Resentment and bitterness over the past creates or may allow cancer to overwhelm the physiology. The immune system if cared for can take care of threats and pathogens if the environment is cared for. It can be somewhat of a vicious cycle of feeling bad in that physiology, hormones, can make you feel down, but choosing to eat clean and take care of the physiology helps us to feel better and do well in life. You have a choice in all the elements: Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually. Choose happiness and health. It’s not a one minute fix. We can’t climb the mountain in a single minute but we can take the first step.