5 Simple Ways to Improve Health
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
The health and wellness world can be a confusing place. With new health trends popping up weekly and countless arguments for and against each trend, it can be difficult to know what may or may not work for you. Is it worth the effort (and money), or not?
As a Holistic Nutritional Consultant with a background in the health science field, I’ve been confronted with my fair share of health fads and I, too, often feel confused when teasing out what may work for me. As much as we’d all love a quick fix, a one size fits all model seems impossible to find in the world of health and wellness. I’m sure all of us can agree that we’d like to be in better health, but most of us have specific goals in mind. How can I lose weight? How can I achieve clear and glowing skin? How can I fix my digestive issues? How can I improve my energy levels throughout the day?
Companies have capitalized on these siloed health needs, and for good reason - there’s a lot of money to be made. For every complaint, they can conjure up a cure. Often, these 'cures' only serve to mask the symptoms and don't get to the root of the issue. They can also contribute to further imbalances in the body, which end up producing other symptoms that we then set out to find a solution for. We get so focused on our specific health complaints that we end up seeing them each in isolation. But our body is a complex, closed system and each part is intimately interconnected.
Assuming that we need separate solutions for each health concern does not take the body’s inherent wisdom into account. What if there are a handful of simple things we can all do that address several concerns at once? What if you didn’t have to address each health concern in isolation? Instead, can we trust that the body knows how to heal itself when it's provided with the right inputs and environment? In most cases, I think we can, and the solutions to many common health concerns are much more simple (and inexpensive!) than we think. When we get to the root of our imbalances, all areas begin to improve and the best way to begin dealing with these imbalances is to get back to the basics - our diet and lifestyle.
I've compiled a list of 5 simple practices that are easy to begin incorporating into your daily routine. These strategies may seem obvious, but that is simply because we've been made to believe that we need complex, sophisticated solutions for all of our health woes. The reality is that it is the cumulative effect of many small changes that translates to good health, and the following list is a great place to start.
5 Simple Ways to Improve your Health:
Drink warm lemon water each morning - This simple practice helps to encourage clear skin, improve digestion, increase energy levels, kickstart your metabolism and support liver detoxification. Lemon is a great source of Vitamin C, which supports the health of the adrenal glands, immune system and reduces free radical damage through its role as an antioxidant. It is also beneficial to start the day by hydrating the body before consuming caffeinated beverages such as coffee or black tea.
Add fermented foods to your diet (or a probiotic supplement) - Adding a dose of probiotics through diet or supplementation helps populate our gut with healthy microorganisms, which support healthy mood balance, improve digestion and support the immune system. A healthy gut can also help contribute to a healthy hormone balance, thereby assisting in everything from supporting healthy skin to increasing energy levels.
Cut out refined sugars - Cutting refined sugars from our diet helps to balance blood sugar levels, which helps to control cravings, balance mood and stabilize energy highs and lows throughout the day. Avoiding refined sugars also assists with weight loss, hormone balancing and reducing inflammation in the body. One simple way to do this is to avoid processed foods when possible, and/or reading the label and looking out for the sneaky ways in which refined sugars are disguised in processed foods (consult this list to help identify hidden sugars in the foods you eat). Choosing natural sugars in the form of whole fruits is a healthier option as that sugar is complexed with other nutrients and fiber, which offer their own benefits.
Drink more water! - So simple, yet so effective! Consuming ample amounts of fresh, pure water is one of the best things we can do to encourage healthy skin and improve digestion. Sufficient water intake also helps to increase energy levels throughout the day, helps with weight management and helps reduce food cravings.
Eat more fruits and veggies - What can I say? The foods we add to our diet are often just as important (if not, more important) than the things we avoid, and there's no replacement for a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods provide essential micronutrients and phytonutrients that support countless enzymatic processes throughout the body. These nutrients play a vast array of roles, a few being:
supporting healthy skin and collagen production
supporting the immune system and our body's ability to fight disease
improving digestion through the addition of dietary fiber
supporting a healthy microbiome through supplying prebiotic fiber to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut
preventing oxidative damage throughout the body (which contributes to aging) by supplying antioxidants, and the list goes on...
No pill, supplement or 'miracle cure' can replace the benefits of eating a variety of fresh, whole, organic and locally-grown fruits and vegetables. One of my favorite things to do as a Holistic Nutritional Consultant is to show others how they can boost their daily dose of fruit and veg in easy, inexpensive and satisfying ways. Trust me, it can be done! Once the body is given the right environment and provided with what it needs, it begins to balance itself in amazing ways. We soon find that many of the issues that plague us - low energy, skin problems, poor digestion, low motivation, etc. - begin to resolve.
Whatever our health concerns or symptoms might be, we can all benefit from an individualized nutrition plan to help promote healing, increase energy levels and support our overall wellbeing. Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how holistic nutrition can support you in achieving your own health goals.