Can you control Disease?
Do you know you have almost complete control over whether or not you ever get a disease throughout your lifetime? Do you know you have almost complete control over whether or not you will ever get cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, or any other disease that will eventually take your life? Many of us are still young and do not think about our long term health and whether or not we will be living with a chronic disease 20 years from now.
As our health care system begins to crumble, with more people sick then well and fewer and fewer people getting well once sick, we have to turn our attention to the power of prevention and learn the key areas to concentrate on now to prevent sickness from ever entering our life.
Work towards a disease-free life:
Disease processes take many years, even decades to develop. Many diseases we are learning begin their process early in life, when we are children and teenagers. In the US you have more then a 75% chance of getting, having to live with and eventually dying from a chronic degenerative disease. According to the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, of the 2.4 million deaths that occur in the United States each year, 75% are the result of avoidable nutritional factor diseases.
This means you only have a 25% chance of dying from old age or natural causes, the way most prefer to leave this life. In fact, 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. A chronic degenerative disease is a disease that by Western medical terms will never get better, will continue to get worse throughout your lifetime and will eventually kill you.
However, it is what your are doing NOW that will determine what your health will be in 20 years. If you are anything like me, disease is not something I want now or at any time throughout my life. I picture my later years of life as beautiful and relaxing, retired, living my life on my own terms, healthy and able to do all I want and desire. However, statistically speaking, unless I take steps NOW this vision of mine will not occur, because I will be limited by the disease/s that continually eat away at my body and will eventually end my life.
Health is not the absence of Disease…It will catch up.
We often speak of these diseases as effecting us in our later years of life, but we know this is now no longer the case. It used to be you would not encounter a degenerative type disease until retirement age or beyond. However, today we see people in the early 30’s, 40’s and even some times in their 20’s contract the very same diseases that we did not use to see until later on in life. In 2005, 133 million Americans—almost 1 out of every 2 adults—had at least one chronic illness.
What is the most interesting about these statistics is that these diseases are the result of AVOIDABLE nutrition and lifestyle factors. That is right. The diseases you may most greatly fear are completely avoidable and within your control. You have complete control over your health, and that is good news! These Chronic Diseases are caused by Four Factors you can easily control through Nutrition and Lifestyle changes.
The Four Factors That Determine Sickness & Disease
#1 Tobacco Use
The CDC reports, “Since 1964, an ongoing series of Surgeon General’s reports on smoking and health has concluded that tobacco use is the single most avoidable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.” We know smoking is terrible for our health. We mainly think of the effects smoking has on the lungs and respiratory system but we often neglect to think about is how quickly it ages everything on the inside of the body. Looking at a long term smoker you can see the effects on the outside of the body, aged, weathered skin, deep lines and flat oxygen less skin are all easy to see. This same effect occurs on the inside of the body. Smoking brings in an enormous amount of free radicals that attack healthy cells, cause them to age rapidly and eventually break down and degenerate tissues, organs and entire body systems.
Smoking can be one of the most difficult addictions to break but it can be done especially when you are motivated and determined. Align Holistic Health & Well Being uses the methods of Ayurveda to restore balance, create a deeper connection between you and your body’s signals, wean the body off the addictive substances while at the same detoxifying and restoring gaps in nutrients which makes cravings less severe and helps to repair some of the damage done by smoking.
#2 Poor Food Choices and Over Sized Food Portions
Currently less then 1/4 of the population gets the “recommended” number of servings of fresh plant based foods. The recommended amount is SIGNIFICANTLY lower then the optimal amount. When taking that into consideration it is probably safe to say less then 5-10% of the population is getting enough plant based foods. Why are plant based foods so important? The body needs vitamins and minerals to restore, repair and grow but it also is highly dependent upon enzymes, water, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are biologically active chemicals, naturally occurring chemicals, found in plant foods whose various functions are too numerous to completely know at this point. Their actions range from hormone regulation, to cancer prevention, to immune stimulation, to tumor regression. Phytochemicals functions are diverse and plentiful. They are one of the main reasons why food is able to work as medicine inside the body. Plants are abundant in these chemicals. For instance one apple has more then 10,000 active plant chemicals. Plant foods are the only foods that contain phytochemicals.
Enzymes are active living forces commonly termed “The Power of Life.” Enzymes contain energy which directly enhances biochemical reactions within the body. It is fresh plant foods that come “pre-packaged” with these living enzymes, which support every process in your body, helping to keep you vibrant, youthful and at your most healthy. Fresh plant foods, are in fact, the ONLY food group that does contain active enzymes. If your nutrition is primarily cooked, boxed, packaged or canned dead foods, you are taking in no enzymes. Over time your body’s own reserve is depleted and body processes slow, become less efficient and eventually disease is given fertile ground to grow.
Antioxidants are also only found in plant foods, Their job is to reverse the damage done by toxins in the foods you eat, products you use and environment in which you live. They also help protect you from having any damage done by these toxins. They are what keep you young on the inside and outside!
There are other problems with our food choices including the two most deadly unhealthy fats and sodium. Sodium destroys cellular balance. In fact, too little potassium (which is plentiful in plant foods) and too much sodium (plentiful in processed foods) is the beginning of all chronic disease.
Why is portion size included in this list? Because of the importance of digestion to your overall health. Your body uses up to 80% of all its energy on the digestive process. When you over tax this system, and more then 80% of your energy is required for digestion, energy is taken away from vital other processes such as healing, cleansing and regenerating. When your body is not able to supply energy for these purposes degeneration begins, immunity decreases and your internal environment becomes fertile ground for disease.
#3 Lack of Exercise
Activity is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Exercise and activity help to balance internal processes, cleanse the body regularly and activate important body transmissions. More then 1/3 of all adults do not get enough exercise each day. Physical activity helps control weight, reduce risks for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancers, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mental health and mood, and improve ability to accomplish your daily activities.
We often overlook or down play the role stress has in our health and well being. Stress, in fact, is a key factor in determining whether or not you will be plagued by sickness or disease. Biologically stress actually begins to tear apart our body from the inside out. During stressful periods of time, the inside of your body is actually 32 years older then your calendar age!
That means if you are 35 years old, your heart, lungs and brain, during stressful periods of time, are close to 70 years old! Stress ages your body rapidly, very rapidly in all ways and in all areas. We know how bad stress if, but what can we do about it? Some stress is inevitable in life, some stress can be down sized and the rest of it must be managed through healthy stress management practices.
Stay Healthy all your Life:
By being aware of and controlling these 4 Factors that Determine Sickness & Disease you decrease your risk of getting sick or contracting the most common diseases Americans die from each year. By taking a preventative approach to your health, you ensure your later years of life are filled with happiness and peace and not pain and disease.
You also help ensure you are able to accomplish all you want throughout your life and are not limited in any way by your health. What you do NOW determines what your health will be tomorrow, 10, 20 and even 50 years from now. These 4 Factors are not complicated. You can take control of your health.