health, diet, nutritional supplementation

In Pursuit of Wellness: What You Put Into Your Body-Part 2

In Pursuit of Wellness: What You Put Into Your Body-Part 2

We live in an imperfect world. It is a hostile environment, not as foreboding as the bleak landscapes of science fiction worlds as the desert planets Dune or Tatooine, but perilous nonetheless. Some threats to health are visible, but most are not. I have read that every cell of our body is attacked by free radicals up to 10,000 times each day. The wonder is not that we face health challenges occasionally; the wonder is that we are able to survive at all.

Like the ever-elusive carrot dangling just outside of a donkeyís reach, perfect health will forever remain beyond our grasp. That is why I have entitled this series In Pursuit of Wellness.

Why pursue wellness if perfect health is an unattainable goal? Because wellness is not a single point, it is a continuum. Our state of health is either improving or declining, it is not static. If we do nothing to address the challenges to our health our level of wellness will steadily decline and illness will follow. If we would improve our state of health we must actively pursue wellness.

The first two articles in this series have addressed the quality of the air we breathe and the importance of not putting toxic or damaging substances into our bodies. This article will address putting beneficial things into our bodies.

Next to good air, pure water is the substance most needed by the body. I addressed this in detail in the first issue of this newsletter. Adequate hydration will prevent or correct a seemingly endless number of health challenges. Thirst is not a good mechanism for judging your bodyís need for water. If you wait until you are thirsty to drink you will go through life in a state of chronic dehydration.

To estimate the amount of water you should be drinking each day divide your body weight in pounds by two. The result represents the minimum number of ounces of pure water needed to promote optimum health. Illnesses, activities, and hot weather can significantly increase the demand for water. Urine that is pale in color is one of the best indications that the body has an ample supply of water.

The foods we eat also affect our state of health. In the second issue of this newsletter I described in some detail my seven rules for healthy eating. Iíll repeat them briefly here. Keep your diet colorful; itís the fruits and vegetables, which are low in saturated fat and empty calories that provide most of the color to your meals.

Stick to unrefined foods; limit white sugars and flours and put items that have ingredients that are hard to pronounce back on the shelf rather than into your body.

Avoid items that would not remain edible at room temperature; itís the unhealthy congealed fat that makes food unpalatable when unheated.

Include vegetable oils like olive oil and flax oil; these provide the fatty acids that are essential building blocks for many body constituents.

Include soy, unless you are allergic to soy or have porphyria, which limits its use. Studies continue to demonstrate that people who include twenty to forty grams of soy in their diet regularly significantly lower the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, or symptoms related to hormonal imbalance.

Vary what you eat; you will develop fewer food sensitivities and be more likely to obtain needed nutrients.

Be flexible. Enjoy life. Itís not the special occasion that will do you in; itís your daily routine.

Provide your body with comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplementation. I believe that approximately ninety vitamins and minerals are needed by the body if it is to function optimally. It is impossible to give your body the nutrients it needs in the amount it needs by diet alone.

Optimum supplementation means providing an adult weighing 150 pounds or more with nutrients in the following ranges: Vitamin A or beta-carotene 20,000 IU, Vitamin D 400 IU, Vitamin C 1000 mg., Vitamin B1 50 mg., Vitamin B2 50 mg., Vitamin B5 100 mg., Vitamin B6 50 mg., Vitamin B12 100 mcg., Folic Acid 400 mcg., Niacin 50 mg., Biotin 300 mcg., Calcium 1000 mg., Magnesium 400 mg., Iodine 150 mg., Zinc 18 mg., Selenium 100 mcg., Copper 2 mg., Manganese 6 mg., Chromium 200 mcg., Molybdenum 150 mcg., Potassium 99 mg., 72 plant based trace minerals, and assorted phytochemicals from sources such as barley green, Siberian ginseng, spirulina, green tea, and grapeseed extract.

A petit lady of 105 pounds does not require the same level of nutrients as a 175-pound man. Fortunately, formulations are available that allow individuals to adjust the dosage to their personal body size and weight. The idea that basic supplements must be made up of different constituents for men and women, however, is nothing but a marketing hoax.

When considering supplementation, quality counts. Bargain-priced supplements are priced that way for very good reason. Quality has been sacrificed. This may have been in the source of the ingredients. For example, minerals from inorganic sources, with telltale names like carbonate and oxide, can be put into a formulation very inexpensively. The problem is that while young children occasionally do so, our bodies are not designed to eat dirt.

Inorganic minerals are very poorly absorbed and utilized by the body, typically at a rate of approximately 10 %. Chelated minerals, with names like citrate, hydroxyapatite or aspartate are absorbed at a rate closer to 40 %, and plant-source minerals are absorbed and utilized at a rate of over 90 % and are extremely well utilized within the body. After all, we were designed to eat plants rather than rocks.

Quality may be sacrificed in the manufacturing process. Synthetic rather than food grade nutrients may be utilized. There are times when a synthetic nutrient makes sense, but nutrients should be derived from food grade sources whenever possible.

Quality may also be sacrificed in monitoring the end product. While it is considered an acceptable practice to spot check a lot of product quarterly or semi-annually, I have never forgotten that one contaminated lot of L-tryptophan from a single Japanese manufacturer resulted in a number of deaths.

I use and recommend only products that are manufactured according to pharmaceutical standards, by plants that are in voluntary compliance with FDA regulations, that contain food grade nutrients whenever practical, that do extensive testing to assure that the nutrients can be absorbed and utilized by the body, and that have an independent analysis performed on each lot before it is accepted for shipment.

If the person from whom you are purchasing the product is unable to provide answers to your quality control questions, contact the manufacturer directly. Reputable companies welcome inquiries into their product standards.

High quality supplements are available at reasonable prices. Adults should be able to provide optimum levels of comprehensive vitamin, mineral and phytochemical nutrients for $2.00 per day or less and a child should be able to obtain optimum supplementation for $1.00 per day or less. If that sounds like a lot of money, consider that a pack-a-day smoker spends more each day destroying his or her health than you will be spending to support your health.

Is putting good things into your body cost effective? Let me put it this way. If I can convince you to drink pure water, eat good food, and provide your body with optimum levels of vitamins, minerals & phytochemicals my job as a physician will become easy, for at least 85 % of the health challenges you would have faced in your lifetime will have been eliminated. As the mechanic on a TV commercial for a particular motor oil used to say, ďYou can pay now or you can pay later. Itís your choice.Ē

© 2007 Wellness Clubs of America.com

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