Super Health Simply
Gained from years of research and self-experimentation, here's my list of ideals for near perfect health.
These are the things that I see as the “pillars” of health. Of course it's not necessary (nor possible) to do them all perfectly, the body can very well handle a certain amount of less-than-ideal conditions. Please see pages on the respective subjects form more detailed information, and also the reasons behind the numbers.
EXERCISE AND REST
DIET AND NUTRITION
A HEALTHY DIET:
Adequate nutrition is needed to renew the body, to make hormones, enzymes, anti-oxidants and and bodily fluids such as bile, stomach acid etc. Each nutrient has a different role to play in the body, and just one being inadequate will result in cumulative damage to the body.
- It must be properly balanced. Some nutrients balance against each other, and even though there are typically body-systems to maintain homeostasis, those systems aren't meant to be used all of the time. They are for brief periods of dietary imbalance.
- It must be digestible. In order for food to be assimilated and used in the body, it has to be digested. No matter how nutritious the food, without digestion, it may as well be plastic! A disordered digestion causes chronic poisoning of the body. This is because it allows the potentially lethal poisons that the bacteria in the intestinal tract produce to enter the blood-stream.
- Emphasis should be on quality vs quantity. The more nutrient-dense a food is, the better. By nutrient-dense, I mean a high amount of vitamins andd minerals per calorie. There are two issues here, one is empty calories, which cause it to be necessary to consume too many calories in order to get enough minerals and vitamins. The other, is that large amounts of poorly grown, watery vegetables can interfere with the digestion of proteins etc. This is not a problem when juicy fruit, such a watermelon, is consumed alone.
- It should contain both animal and plant foods. Animal sourced foods are more digestible and easier to assimilate. They also provide ready-made forms of certain nutrients that the body makes, but may not make enough. On the other hand, there are certain nutrients that just aren't found in adequate amounts in animal foods.
Minimize harmful chemicals, damaged fats etc.
MACRONUTRIENT BALANCE: CARBOHYDRATES, FAT AND PROTEIN
FAT - about 50% of calories from fat, and that should be: 50% saturated, 45% monounsaturated, 5% polyunsaturated.
Saturated fat is needed to make youth-preserving hormones, Vitamin D, and the immune-suppressing hormone cortisol.
Polyunsaturated fats are extremely vulnerable to oxidation and thus cause oxidative stress on the body. They also tend to suppress the thyroid, resulting in difficulty maintaining proper weight.
PROTEIN: 13-15% of calories Protein is needed to renew the tissues of the body, make hormones, enzymes etc. Protein needs to be adequate in the diet, but shouldn't be used simply as a calorie source. When protein is digested it leaves toxic urea as a bi-product. This has to be detoxified by the liver and kidneys. The potentially lethal ammonia, is half-detoxified urea. Undigested protein in the digestive tract also feeds bacteria; think of fertilizer run-off causing an algae bloom! The digestion of fat and carbohydrate, on the other hand, leaves only water.
Protein should never be consumed without fat. Up to 60% of protein consumed without fat goes undigested.
CARBOHYDRATES: 45% of calories Carbohydrates are needed for “fast-fuel”; they are needed to keep the metabolism up. The liver cannot activate thyroid hormone without adequate sugars.
To get an idea what this looks like, see My Diet
Sodium and potassium balance against each other. Most typical diets are extremely heavy on sodium and deficient in potassium. Natural diets composed of the wrong foods can be very low in potassium.
The Calcium-phosphorus phosphorus should ideally be in a ratio of one-to-one. This seems to be a major issue in human nutrition that is almost completely overlooked.
DAIRY vs. MEAT
In accord with this calcium-phosphorus issue, meat/eggs should be balanced with dairy. This requires keeping meat and eggs very low in the diet. This is the reverse of what people usually do. Three ounces of chicken is considered a serving and one ounce of cheese is considered a serving. Something is wrong here: Three ounces of chicken contains 23 grams of protein, while an ounce of cheese has 7 grams. If you count one egg, one ounce of meat, one once of cheese or 1 cup of milk/yogurt as a serving, then you can get a fair balance quite easily.
Another reason to restrict meat is hemi-iron (blood-source). Iron promotes oxidation in the body. The body can “refuse” extra plant-source iron. Mild iron deficiency is associated with increased longevity
FRUIT, HONEY, MILK AND SUGARCANE vs GRAINS
Replacing the grain in the diet with fruit will correct a lot of nutrition and balance issues in the diet. Grain can cause a lot of issues with digestion as well. Grain is grass-seed that has been selectively bred for thousands of years to become what we know. It has it's place in preventing starvation. But that does not make it an ideal human food, when there is a choice. To this day, grain is favored because it is cheap. It's cheap because it's easy to grow. But when there is a choice, other carbohydrate sources are superior.
Note: These carbohydrate sources contain fructose, which could cause fatty liver, if there is inadequate choline in the diet. Therefore, eggs or egg yolks should be part of the daily diet.
Nuts are a major source of manesium. Research has shown that eating a little under an ounce per day lowers the the death rate and increases longevity.
LEAFY GREENS Without at least one serving of leafy greens per day, it is virtually impossible to get enough Folate. Folate comes from foliage! Folate is needed to remove homocysteine from the blood. Homocysteine build-up is a cause of heart disease, as well as dementia.
BALANCE OF EXERCISE AND REST
The body has two basic states, which both must have adequate time for the body to be healthy. There is the active state and the rest/digest state. Exercise has a profound effect on health. The stress is usually put on cardiovascular health, but in reality, it affects pretty well every aspect of a person's health – from mental health to eyesight. Too little exercise over-tones the sympathetic nervous system and can result in what is called the “metabolic syndrome” the classic combo of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
On the other hand, too little rest results in adrenal exhaustion (or maybe it's just shut-down), low blood sugar, low blood pressure, allergies and histamine issues, and breakdown of the digestive system. Nowadays, since 80% of the world's population is sedentary, it seems that there is no such thing as too much physical activity. However, that is not the case. Are cancer and heart disease at two opposite ends of the spectrum? I think it's plausible.
So, how much is optimum?
On feet 10-11 hours per day (sitting less than 6 hours)
Walk about 5-7 miles per day (total, using pedometer)
7-8 hours physical work (indoors or out, includes any light activity)
Exert hard enough to get out of breath at least 3 times a week, but not more than 4-5 hours per week.
About 7 hours of sleep per night.
SLEEP - Of course, there's the question of how much sleep! That's certainly not the more the better, either. Between six and seven hours seems to be ideal. There's actually a higher mortality rate among those who get the long-recommended 8 hours of sleep, particularly for men.
High levels of Vitamin D have recently been shown to improve sleep, and eliminate disorders.Vitamin D and Sleep
Just like exercise, body weight can be too high or too low, and either is damaging to the bodoy. Ideal weight is generally lower than people think. Waist measurement should be less than half one's height. Men naturally carry less fat/more muscle than women, and being over-weight is more dangerous for them. Men centenarians are almost always very thin, while some women centenarians are a bit hefty.
A body-fat scales is a good way to find out if you're underweight; Women's body weight should not be lower than 10%, and women's not lower than 18%.
Over-consumption of calories seems to give sugar no where to go, resulting in higher than ideal blood-sugar levels. High blood sugar is a major cause of oxidative damage (diseases of aging).
KEEP STRESS HORMONES LOW:
Chronic elevation of stress hormones erodes and ages the body! Cortisol, a major stress-hormone is also known as “the death hormone”.
The stress hormone cortisol causes catabolism (breakdown). Anything that puts excessive stress on the body, either physically or mentally, makes the body produce cortisol. Lack of exercise also causes high cortisol, because it is part of the normal exercise/rest cycle. It rises during rest/sleep and should peak in the morning and cause us to wake up, then fall with the activity of the day. If a person "rests" all day, be it in the office or wherever, then there's nothing to bring the cortisol back down. High cortisol causes break down of tissues. It's obvious, that effect is not good in excess!
Fibrosis is caused by another stress hormone, serotonin. It is the opposite of the excess breakdown of high cortisol. It is caused by excessive growth - tissue growing in the heart etc. High serotonin levels goes part and parcel with immune responses. So, it is very important that they be controlled. Cortisol is generally low when there are auto-immune diseases (high histamine and serotonin); allergies etc: these go more with excessive physical activity and exhaustion.
Stress is commonly regarded as something emotional. But actually anything can cause stress: inadequate food intake, lack of sleep, excessive work - either mental or physical, emotional distress, excessive heat or cold, immune responses; from many sources, but bacterial toxins reaching the bloodstream from a disordered digestive system is a major one. A high phosphorus diet; Light deprivation increases stress hormones; positive ions in the air are said to increase stress hormones etc. In short, anything that put the body in defense mode. Over-scheduling one's day or not having any schedule at all causes a person to be always in a rush and running into chaos.
There's good evidence that cancer is caused by stress, especially local stress. Radiation is local stress.
NOTE: A little stress is good! Some moderate fasting, sweating, and heat and cold exposure all have been shown to have health benefits. So, penitential practices need not harm the body, but rather they can benefit it.
SUNSHINE: Sunshine without sunscreen or sunglasses. Sunshine reduces stress hormones. Sunshine is needed to make Vitamin D. Sunshine on the skin also benefits the body's hormones beneficially, and sunlight in the eyes helps regulate the circadian rhythm.
Note: the conventional recommendations for Vitamin D are being shown to be grossly inadequate. While the body makes Vitamin D from the sun, what you're getting may not be enough, so it's good to get tested and supplement as needed. It takes 48 hours for the body to absorb all of the Vitamin D produced on skin by sunlight. So, hot, soapy showers after sun exposure can rob the body of Vitamin D.
NATURAL LIGHT BALANCE - Light should be bright during the day- natural sunlight, lower in the evening, and dark at night, comparable to moonlight, not necessarily pitch dark. This is needed for proper homone balance.
Computer monitors are normally blue light, however there is software that changes the monitor's color to red light as the evening progresses. You can download this software for free here