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Top 12 Strategies for Optimizing Your Health

By dsorbello at April 30, 2013, 8:33 a.m., 15542 hits

April 29, 2013
By Dr. Mercola

A recent article by CNN1 lists 25 ways to get healthier. Some of the suggestions certainly have merit, but it was more noteworthy for the many ridiculous tips they included, and some of the crucially important ones they neglected.

Actually, no surprises there, as the media is a mere reflection of the corrupted medical paradigm that focuses on treating symptoms rather than addressing the foundational causes of disease.

So, here’s my own list of the top dozen lifestyle strategies I believe can make the biggest difference in your health as they address most of the disruptions that are at the core of most health challenges.

Sprouts:
Sprouts allow your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats from the foods you eat. During sprouting, minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, bind to protein, making them more bioavailable. Pea and sunflower sprouts provide some of the highest quality protein available. Sprouted sunflower seeds also contain plenty of iron and chlorophyll, the latter of which will help detoxify your blood and liver.

Fermented Vegetables:
Cultured or fermented foods are essential for maintaining a healthy gut. The culturing process produces beneficial microbes, also known as probiotics, which help balance your intestinal flora. Fermented foods are also some of the best chelators available, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals.

Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is now recognized as a major player in overall human health. There are only 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D has been shown to influence over 2,000 of them. That's one of the primary reasons it influences so many diseases, including diabetes, depression, heart disease and cancer. The ideal way to optimize your vitamin D level is from appropriate sun exposure.

Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting helps shift your body from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel. Research has also shown that fasting can boost your body's production of human growth hormone (HGH) by as much as 1,300 percent in women and 2,000 percent in men. Other health benefits of intermittent fasting include normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is key for optimal health, reducing inflammation and improving other biomarkers of disease.

High Intensity Exercise:
Bursts of high intensity exercise beats conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise. It also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone,” which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. HIIT has also been shown to significantly improve insulin sensitivity, boost fat loss, and increase muscle growth.

Sleep:
Poor sleep has been linked to a number of health ailments, including short-term memory loss, behavioral problems, weight gain, diabetes, increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Sleep deprivation also prematurely ages you. If you feel well-rested in the morning, that's a good sign that your sleep habits are just fine. But if not, you might want to investigate your sleep patterns more closely. ZEO is an innovative sleep measurement device that allows you to evaluate how various factors affect your sleep, and can be a valuable sleep-improvement tool.

Grounding (feet on grass or in water/beach):
Walking barefoot; grounding your body to the Earth allows for the transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body. These free electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants known to man. Any free radicals they encounter in your tissues will immediately be electrically neutralized. Grounding also thins your blood, making it less viscous, which can be helpful against heart disease and blood clots.

Drinking Water:
Your blood, your kidneys, and your liver all require a source of good clean water to detoxify your body from the toxic exposures you come into contact with every day. This is easily done by installing one or more types of water filtration systems in your house.

Limit Processed Foods and Replace Non-Veggie Carbs with Healthy Fats:
Two of the most powerful dietary interventions I know of are 1) limiting or eliminating processed foods and 2) replacing non-vegetable carbohydrates and excess protein with healthful fats. Beneficial fats include avocados, coconut oil, olives, olive oil, butter, nuts, and Wild Alaskan salmon. Processed foods are notoriously high in fructose, which drives multiple disease processes in your body, including insulin resistance.

Avoid Toxins:
Toss out your toxic household cleaners, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides and replace them with non-toxic alternatives. Also, specific toxins to avoid include mercury, found in dental amalgams and fish, fluoride, found in toothpaste, fluoridated water, and non-organic food (due to the widespread use of fluoride-based pesticides), Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS), used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, and phthalates, found in soft plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as well as many toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, and cosmetics.

Manage Stress:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 85 percent of all disease has an emotional element. By using energy psychology techniques such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), you can reprogram how your body responds to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life so that “the little things” no longer pose such a great threat to your health. Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and meditation are also important “release valves” that can help you manage your stress.

“Say No to Drugs”
Replacing drugs with natural alternatives, or better yet, addressing the lifestyle factors that are causing your health problem in the first place, are your best bets if you want to avoid becoming a disease- or pharmaceutical-mortality statistic. The vast majority of health problems are in fact responsive to appropriate lifestyle changes — the most important of which are covered in this article.

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