Chapter Ten things to do for better health

Modern Ayurveda

Ayurveda the Science of Life

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Ten Easy Tips to Better health NOW! It really is possible.

I will start with a very simplified list of 10 things to do to improve your health with diet. (Each of these ten topics will be covered in more detail later in this book. You can also find more on Many of us are trying to be healthier. It really is possible and much easier than you would imagine. Better health now means a better diet and proper exercise. You do not need a lot of pills and magic cures. Most of the highly advertised pills and quick fixes are ineffective at best and many are potentially dangerous. The best prescription for better health is a better diet. I found out the hard way. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes and had gotten to a point where death was imminent. By changing my diet, my health greatly improved and I now have labs comparable to non-diabetics without using medications. I was told to adopt a low fat, low carb, and low sodium diet. I thought my days of enjoying food were over. Much to my surprise, there are actually healthy meals that taste very good.

Ten tips for a healthier diet now.

1. Get plenty of Omega3 DHA/EPA. There are three forms of omega 3, ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (Docosahexainoic acid). The ones you need and probably the single best thing we can do for an improved diet and better health is getting enough EPA and DHA. These are the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in deep cold-water fish and seafood. If you do not want to eat a lot of fish the essential fatty acids are readily available in a capsule. You need at least 1000 mg per day and possibly up to 4000 mg per day if you are arthritic or suffering from joint discomfort. Omega 3 EPA/DHA affects too many body systems to mention in this article.

2. Eliminate saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. Fats are very calorie dense. (9 calories per gram compared to 7 calories per gram for alcohol and 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates.) Saturated fats and cholesterol clog your arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Trans fats present a problem with free radicals, which damage body cells. Replace the bad fats with the good fats. The good fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

3. Replace processed grains with whole grains. A simple rule is, if it is white don't eat it. This would include white bread, sugar, white rice, and potatoes. Every time a food is processed something is lost. We do not eat nearly enough whole grains and whole grains open new adventures in good eating.

4. Drink enough water. This may sound a bit silly to a lot of people, but something as simple as not getting enough water is causing a lot of health issues. Just about every body system is water dependent. The most common symptom of chronic dehydration is not thirst. Most people suffering from chronic dehydration find themselves afflicted with a plethora of debilitating conditions such as gastritis, heartburn, arthritis, headaches, depression, weight problems and accelerated aging. Drink at least 2 quarts of water per day and more if you are in a situation where you are sweating a lot. Many people are chronically dehydrated.

5. Eat lots of dark and brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The darker brighter colored fruits and vegetables are loaded with anti-oxidants and other phytonutrients. They also tend to have good levels of fiber. Good choices include avocado, artichoke, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, guava, and the other bright, dark colored fruits and vegetables. An example of a poor choice would be iceberg lettuce. It has very little in the way of the good nutrients.

6. Get plenty of soluble dietary fiber. Most of us do not get nearly enough fiber. As a result our dietary tracts are unhealthy. It is far easier to increase fiber than you might imagine. Start with unprocessed whole grains, and the good fruits and vegetables. To add even more fiber, include psyllium husks to your diet daily.

7. Properly balance the intake of Protein, carbohydrates and fats. This is known as your PCF ration. Most people will do best with a ratio of 15% calories from lean protein, 55% calories from low glycemic carbohydrates, and 30% calories from good fats. For diabetics I recommend 20% protein, 50% low glycemic carbohydrates and 30% good fats.

8. Limit the red meats to no more than two small servings per week. Best choices for lean protein are Chicken breast without the skin, fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, legumes such as beans and surprisingly some vegetables such as spinach.

9. Some herbs and spices have been shown to be great aids for better health. Garlic, cloves and cinnamon are especially beneficial. Raw garlic is used by some to treat the symptoms of acne and there is some evidence that it can assist in managing high cholesterol levels. Garlic is high in anti oxidants to counter the effects of free radicals. Cloves and cinnamon both help lower blood glucose levels for diabetics and help lower the bad cholesterols. There are also other natural herbs that used wisely can improve your health.

10. Cut down on the salt. The human body needs between 250-300 mg per day to function properly. 1500 mg of sodium per day is generally considered a severely restricted sodium diet but is actually very achievable and is quite adequate to maintain electrolytes for most people when properly balanced with potassium. The typical sodium consumption is often over 5000 mg per day, which is way too high. Stop eating canned foods and you will instantly see a large reduction in sodium consumption if you do not add a lot of salt to what you replace the canned foods with.

Recently there have been news articles suggesting a low sodium diet may have health risks. The problem is not in lowering sodium but iodine. Iodine is added to salt and is better acquired through other diet choices such as seafood.

The bottom line is we need better diets to be healthier. When shopping, the best choices are on the outer isles of the grocery store. This is where you will find the healthier produce, meats, dairy and other food choices. If there is something on a label promoting the food as a healthy choice, be cautious. Food manufacturers are using deceptive advertising practices to try to fool you. Most of the "healthy" choices promoted on packages are not healthy on closer inspection. If you want a breakdown of what your healthy diet should be, there is a free diet assessment at

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