by Kathie Gonzales, ARNP-BC
Nutrition is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health. Good nutrition is more than just following the traditional food pyramid guidelines. My advice is to eat organic, non-GMO varied fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Grass-fed meats and fresh caught fish. One of the main reasons for spending the extra money on organically grown foods is to avoid the ingestion of pesticides. One of the most common pesticides is glyphosate and can contribute to many health issues with chronic exposure. This one herbicide is found in hundreds of agricultural products and causes disruption in the intestinal microbiome. The adverse effects on the intestine can lead to mood disorders, altered glucose metabolism, food sensitivities, and autoimmune diseases. One of the easiest ways to clean your fruits and vegetables is with an ozone generator. Ozone is three loosely held oxygen atoms that can clean and disinfect organic materials from viruses, bacteria, and fungus.
Sleep has many overall health benefits and almost more importantly sleep deficiency, especially chronic insomnia, can lead to cardiovascular problems like weight gain, mood disturbance, memory problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Everybody, without exception, needs quality sleep. The average adult needs 7-8 hours of interrupted sleep. Sleep provides restoration of all the body’s most important processes. Your daytime well-being is directly related to the quality and quantity of your sleep. Instituting good sleep hygiene starts with shutting off all electronic equipment 1-2 hours before bed, sleep in a darkened, cool environment, maintain a stable bedtime and avoid eating and alcohol within 4 hours of bed. Some natural products to help induce sleep if needed include magnesium, GABA, and melatonin.
Stress affects your health by decreasing your joy and lowering your overall quality of life. Everyone has stress, but it’s how we manage it that determines its effects on our bodies. Uncontrolled or prolonged stressors can cause weight gain by increasing cortisol levels, especially at night, which can lead to interrupted sleep causing increased fat storage. The daytime fatigue then leads to poor nutritional intake or “stress eating” that causes increased insulin release which can contribute to weight gain, further increase of cortisol, and mood disturbance. Learning what works to alleviate our stress and incorporating those techniques in our daily routines, will improve your quality of life. Most common stress-relieving techniques include meditation, deep breathing, yoga, essential oils, exercise, music, and guided imagery to name a few. Find out which one or two works best for you and your body will be happier for it.