We all want to be healthy (all of us), but whether we’re successful or not depends on a variety of factors. Here’s the good news: although genetics and environmental components play a massive part in your health outcome, they don’t define exactly what makes us healthy. We have a much larger grasp on our own health than many of us think we do, and your conscious, everyday decisions are the number one predictor of your health.
So, what can you do to increase your odds of living happily and healthfully until you’re in your nineties? Try these suggestions:
Eat Real Food
‘Real food’ is food that contributes to growth and repair of your body. It is fuel from Mother Nature that is designed to keep us alive and healthy.
Foods that do not fall into this category, include heavily processed foods, additives, preservatives, anything with excessive fat or sugar, etc. Basically, if you don’t understand an ingredient listed on the label, it’s probably not good for you.
Foods that are ‘real’ include veggies, fruit, lean and unprocessed meats (with no hormones or antibiotics), water, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains. These foods all contribute to a healthy body and mind.
Drink Plenty of Water
This is so, so important. Your body is made up of mostly water. Without daily replenishment from what we’ve lost through perspiration, urination, and moving our bowels, we can suffer major health consequences.
Examples include constipation, fogginess, severely dry skin, fatigue, and more.
Cook with Herbs and Spices
Why? Because herbs and spices are Mother Nature’s natural remedies. They each contain a completely separate set of health benefits, and when you use them in your cooking, you reap the rewards!
For example, turmeric, a spice traditionally used in Indian cooking, has been proven to shrink tumors. And peppermint? It helps calm your digestive system and reduce inflammation in your body.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is special, because it contains powerful antioxidants, which can help to decimate free radical damage in your body on a cellular level.
What does this mean for you?
It means that when cancer cells begin to form in your body, the antioxidants from green tea form a protective army against those cells, and quickly work to prevent further damage.
Antioxidants can be found primarily in fruit and vegetables, which is why they are in tea leaves. Anything that grows in the sun and needs to protect itself from the sun’s harmful rays will contain antioxidants. (But green tea? It’s super high in them.)
Incorporate natura fiber into Your Daily Diet
In other words, we need a lot of fiber—like, 34 grams a day. What do most of us get? Around 11.
Natura fiber helps us increase our fiber, and cleans out our bowels, naturally. This is SO important from a health perspective. A clogged bowel means major health issues, down the road.
Although breathing in an unconscious activity, it really shouldn’t be 100% of the time. By being mindful and consciously slowing down your breath, you allow for better flow of oxygen, increased focus, and feelings of calmness and relaxation—something that we can all benefit from.
Be Thankful and Show Gratitude
This is actually important for mental health, which is as much a priority (if not more!) than physical health. By being thankful and showing your gratitude towards others on a daily basis, you remind yourself of your gifts and you become better equipped to handle stress.
We all tell our kids to go outside, but what about us? We need fresh air, too! Our bodies crave the Vitamin D that the sunshine provides us with, and the fresh air that clears the fog in our heads and our hearts. Our brains, skin, hair, nails—they all benefit almost immediately from being outdoors.
Better yet? Try earthing! This is the process of placing your bare feet directly on the ground. It can help align you with nature, and bring better perspective to your life.
Exercise on a Daily Basis
Everyone knows this one, but what you might not know, is that it doesn’t have to be hard. Just walk for 15 minutes. Or stretch for 10. Or go swimming.
The point is, move your body. Don’t be stagnant. Our bodies were not designed to sit, and it’s not good for us when we do it a lot. (Seriously—check out the shape of your spine and hips—we’re meant to move upright and bend and be active. Not to sit.)
Make the Decision to Be Happy
This is important, because our perceptions of life become our reality. If you’re sad, your life will be sad. If you’re making a conscious effort to be happy, your life will be a happy one. The choice is yours—choose wisely.