Five Life Essentials for Optimum Health
I recently came across a doctor who through his services in integrative medicines of these five essential life elements everyone must have in their life. His name is Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine.
Life Essential # 1
Dr Weil explains that his number one life essential is Iodine. His reasoning is that women suffer the greatest deficiency of this mineral. One out of three women has a deficiency in America.
Since our bodies can not produce iodine, it must be taken orally through our foods. And the majority of women today only consume packaged and process foods due to their very active lifestyles. These packaged and process foods do not contain any iodine, consequently the deficiency.
Iodine is a key element that regulates your metabolism. It also is essential for your brain functions as well as your heart, your stomach and a host of other body functions. Iodine is a basic regulator of all body functions; your blood cell production, muscle function and the production of hormones.
Several symptoms that indicate a deficiency of this mineral is your sensitivity to cold, fatigue, weight gain, lost interest in sex, as well as mental problems. A deficiency of this can also enlarge your thyroid gland.
One leading characteristic of this deficiency is the puffy eyes. A shortage of this mineral makes your thyroid gland become overworked, which causes it to become enlarged. The thyroid helps creating and regulating hormones in the body. An enlarged thyroid is responsible for an inefficient metabolism, which can affect your skin, your testicle system, brittle fingernails, and even affect your appearance.
Your body only needs a trace amount of this element, which can easily be found in certain foods. Your body needs 150 mg a day of iodine to maintain optimum health. One of the foods that supplies this mineral is dairy products like milk. Another good food group to get this mineral is in fish and seafood, such as mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Shellfish such as shrimp, crab and lobster are also very high in this mineral.
Seaweed is another excellent source of iodine. The Japanese boil down Kelp to make their daily broth. You can also get kelp extract in supplemental capsules.
Life Essential # 2
Asian mushrooms are another beneficial life essential element to include in your diet. Mushrooms benefits health in several different ways. The mushroom has been used by the Chinese for the medicinal properties for centuries. It is well known to be a great stress reliever and promote longevity of life. It is also widely used because of its healing properties of digestive problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Bloating and gas issues.
Maitake is one Asian mushroom that is very popular. A serving of 4-5 maitake mushrooms provides 31 calories, 0 grams of fat and 6 grams of carbohydrates, yet is a good source of the antioxidant selenium; B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid; and copper. Maitake mushrooms also contain more than 2 grams of fiber, nearly 10 percent of the Daily Value.
Shiitake is another Asian mushroom that is great when cooked. It will add a meaty flavor and texture to stir-fry, pastas, soups, entrees and sides. A serving of 4-5 shiitake mushrooms provides 41 calories, 0 grams of fat and 10 grams of carbohydrates, yet is a good source of the antioxidant selenium, providing 26 percent of the Daily Value. Shiitake mushrooms are also a great source of B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid; and copper.
Enoki is the third Asian mushroom that is recommended. A serving of 4-5 enoki mushrooms provides 37 calories, 0 grams of fat and 6 grams of carbohydrates, yet is a good source of the antioxidant selenium; B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid; and copper. And enoki mushrooms have more than 300 mg of potassium per serving, an important nutrient that many Americans do not get enough of. Enoki mushrooms also contain more than 2 grams of fiber, nearly 10 percent of the Daily Value
Another great substance for the use in stress relief, as well as digestive problems is the consumption of Pistachio nuts and the herbal extract known as DGL. These two substances in combinations are essential in regulating good digestion.
Pistachios are not only full of fiber and minerals, but research has shown that they are a great source of prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Just 47 nuts is one serving, 150 calories with unsaturated fats, which is extremely beneficial to your heart.
The dietary supplement DGL, which stands for Deglycyrrhizinated Licorce, is an essential supplement for people who suffer from Acid Reflux disease, heartburn, constipation, IBS and all other digestive problems. Ideal consumption is taken in soft gel caps and chewed and allowed to slowly coat your throat and stomach as you swallow it. What this supplement does is provide a mucus-type membrane coating to your throat and stomach which inhibits stomach acid of damaging the tissue.
Life Essential # 3
Besides the bad diet we Americans are accustomed to eating, the Standard American Diet (SAD), the number two killer of achieving good health is Stress.
Allowing your body to heal itself, which is most efficient way to achieve optimum health, meditation just five minutes a day can restore your bodies natural state in healing itself. What happens when you get stressed is your body naturally secretes cortisol to control this situation. This hormone is toxic to your nerve cells in your brain, especially the cells responsible for memory.
A simple technique used by the Chinese for centuries is to placing your palms out and turned up. Firmly squeeze the area at the base of the thumb, the soft area between the thumb and the index finger, and rub this area. Then slide this rubbing up to the base of the index finger; repeat this to all fingers in that hand. Switch hands and do the same to it as well. In as little as one minute, you have just completed a task in which most pharmaceutical medicines take hours to accomplish, without taking and drugs and doing further damage to your body.
Doing this just once a day will greatly reduce the anxiety and stress your body receives.
Life Essential # 4
Eating of raw foods is essential to optimum health, however, a strictly raw food diet is not recommended. Certain foods are best cooked because it takes heat to release the nutrients within the foods.
Advocates for only eating raw foods adhere to the philosophy that when foods are cooked they lose their nutrients. What they don’t realize is that when these foods are dropped into your stomach acid, the nutrients get destroyed just as much as with cooking.
Some of the fruits and vegetables you eat have protective compounds in them that are more available to your body in cooked form verses raw form. An example of this is tomatoes and carrots. When you cook these foods, there are dozens of more nutrients released from heat. Tomatoes release an enzyme called Licropene that protects the body from prostrate cancer. Green leafy vegetables like watercress or lettuce are better eaten raw. These foods lose their nutrient value if heat is applied.
Some foods that are very potent in raw form are garlic cloves and asparagus. It is best to eat these two foods raw. These are known as superfoods because of the immense amount of nutrients they supply to your body. They are a powerful antibiotic plus they have great affects on your heart and circulatory system.
Garlic cloves when mashed produce an enzyme called “Allison”, which is formed from the combination of the garlic oils and air. Cooking destroys the Allison which is the main reason it is best eaten raw. Since garlic is potent with smell as well as taste, it is best applied in salad dressings or added to tomato sauce after removing from the cooking cycle.
Garlic is also very good applied onto toast with a cheese spread or even in a spoonful of honey and swallowed whole. If you feel a cold coming on, taking raw garlic is one of the best nutrients available to stop a cold.
Asparagus is very high in folic acid, an essential B vitamin for protection of your heart and brain. It helps protect your body’s cells from oxidative stress, plus it is a key element for metabolism.
Life Essential # 5
CoQ-10 is a supplement that you should consider mandatory to take. It is an element that is produced by your body, but as we age less and less of it is made available to use in your body. There are also many medications that inhibit your body from producing CoQ-10, one of which is any Statin drug. CoQ-10 is considered a super-food because it is essential in protecting the heart and your brain.
The dosage of CoQ-19 is 120mg a day preferably taken with a meal that includes fat. CoQ-10 is fat soluble so you need the fat to be able to absorb the CoQ-10. The reason why it is suggested taking CoQ-10 in supplement form is because to get the equivalent amount of CoQ-10 from foods would be to eat four pounds of sardines a day, up to eight pounds of meat a day, or ten pounds of peanuts a day.