Health and Wellness Series – Part 3
Welcome back. I hope you have enjoyed this series. At the end of this post, I have provided a link to a cheat sheet of the important information we have covered over the past three weeks. Please save it to your computer and use it as a reference!
So far we have covered:
changing our thoughts toward prevention and away from treatment
advocating for our own health and wellness
creating a health mantra to encourage you to make better health and wellness choices
Healthy lifestyle habits to adopt now
Now, let’s cover two other important areas that will help you gain optimal health and wellness – Supplements and Tests.
There are differing views on the need for supplements. Some experts say that you should be able to get all the nutrients and antioxidants you need from your food. Others believe you need supplements. I believe you should being doing both to get all the help you can to safeguard your health and wellness.
You can get a lot of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from your food. However, the food you choose is key. Our food today has changed so much from what our ancestors ate. In the past 50 years with the introduction of processed foods and factory farming – some foods are barely recognizable. Our soils are depleted (less nutrients) and our food is so over processed that one has to wonder if it is really food or some sort of food type substance?!
In order to get the most nutritional value from your food, you need to eat as many whole foods as possible and know where your food is coming from, if it is sustainable and ethically treated. I will talk about food in an upcoming post. I will be doing a review of the book “Food – What the heck am I supposed to Eat” by Dr. Mark Hyman.
Here I want to discuss important supplements and how they can be beneficial to your health and wellness.
In order to truly safeguard your health and wellness, the following supplements are recommended as part of your overall eating plan:
Multivitamin – this is simply insurance. When choosing a multi make sure that all the B vitamins are covered including niacin. Make sure it is a clean vitamin and you know the source. If you eat healthy 95% of the time, you don’t have to take a multivitamin every day. Every other would work well too.
Selenium – it protects against thyroid and autoimmune diseases, is great for your metabolism and protects against cancer by boosting your immunity and defending against free radicals. It is recommended to take 200 mcg per day.
Magnesium* – our soils are so depleted that magnesium is not easily obtained from food and with the amount of stress in our lives, it is also hard to absorb. Magnesium helps regulate sleep and digestion and keeps muscle spasms at bay. Magnesium deficiency is often overlooked as the root cause of restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and anxiety. I take 325 mg of Natural Calm most nights. I mix it in a bit of warm water.
For additional “insurance”, I take the supplements above and the following:
Extra Vitamin C during the cold and flu season – this is in addition to what is in my multivitamin. I take 1,000 mg.
Glucosamine or Hyaluronic Acid – if you run, lift weights or do other high impact sports, either of these are a must for joint health.
Tumeric* – has many benefits including controlling cholesterol, fighting diabetes and helping with weight loss. I take it to fight inflammation.
Red Yeast Rice – As I have gotten older, my cholesterol has started to rise. I went from the 180’s about 10 years ago to 219 at my recent physical. My husband takes this daily (600 mg) and I started taking it about 2 months ago three times per week. Red yeast rice is a natural statin that helps lower cholesterol. I take it along with CoQ10 for extra heart protection and to reduce the chances of muscle cramps from the red yeast rice.
*As with anything new you introduce to your system, take it slow. Start with one-quarter to one-half of the normal dosage. Use it for one week. If you don’t have any issues from it, start to move it up, slowly, toward the normal dose.
For all persons over the age of 50, you should have the following tests:
A colonoscopy – I know, I know. I am dreading this myself but colon cancer is one of the easiest cancers to detect and treat. If your first test is negative – you don’t typically have to do it for another 5 years!
A calcium score – This is an amazing and easy test (CT Scan) of your heart. It tells the healthcare professionals how much calcium/cholesterol that may have built up in the arteries in your heart. It is not typically covered by insurance but costs under $50. Well worth it to have a baseline and know where you need to make changes to your diet and exercise. I recently had this test and my score was “0”. I don’t normally like to be a “0” but in this case, I was very excited. My husband will have this test this winter.
An annual or bi-annual physical – this one is a no brainer. Work with your healthcare professional to have blood work, chest X-ray and any other tests they deem necessary for your health and wellness (or at the very least, the test your insurance covers).
For women over 50
Pap smear – you have probably been doing this most of your life. Keep doing it until your healthcare professional tells you that you don’t need to anymore. I had a hysterectomy in 2012 and I still go every year for breast exam, pap and to talk with her about hormones, etc.
Mammogram – take care of those Ta Ta’s ladies. An annual breast exam is critical for early detection and I know from my own experience, I don’t do my own monthly exams as recommended.
For men over 50
Prostate exam – I can’t really speak much to this and I know my sweet hubby dreads it but again, early detection is critical.
Each day our physical and mental health is challenged by an array of issues that are out of our control. Toxins, stress, pollution, chemicals and unnecessary additives in our food, and unhealthy factory farming practices that contribute to less nutrients in our food – to name a few. But there is hope! As you can see from the information that I have shared with you, you can take control of your own health and wellness. It will take some serious planning, implementation, dedication and changes to your thoughts, diet and exercise. With each of these changes, you can evolve your health toward disease prevention that will benefit you and your loved ones. I encourage you to begin making these changes and taking steps toward your best health and wellness today.
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Photos courtesy of my hubby, me and Unsplash.
The information contained in this blog post is my own opinion and is not sponsored in any way.