THE FOUR CORNERSTIONES OF GOOD HEALTH
To achieve a clean bill of health, all humans must abide by some features which are the markers of a healthy body and mind. These features tagged “the four cornerstones of good health” work in unison to attain the highest state of health. Without one, the others will crumble, hence there is need to ensure that each and every one of these four cornerstones are maintained.
The four cornerstones which determines good health are;
An optimistic mental attitude
A healthy lifestyle habit
An adequate diet for good health
OPTIMISTIC MENTAL ATTITUDE
Research has proven that your emotions and thought patterns have a direct link with your overall health and quality of life. While life may be saddled with lots of ups and downs that we cannot control, it is important to know that we can control how we react to them. Everyone including you and I will be happier and healthier if we adopt a high level of optimism towards life instead of a pessimism.
Your attitude determines your cognitive functions, personality and immune functions. A cheerful demeanor causes an improvement in the immune function of the body while pessimistic emotions like sadness, anxiety and depression causes your immune system to experience a decline.
In addition to boosting cognitive and immune functions, a positive lifestyle improves your cardiovascular health, this fact was proven by the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study which showed that “happier” men had a 45% lower risk of developing a plethora of cardiovascular diseases than their pessimistic counterparts.
Individuals who are happy have a higher tendency to lead lives that are fulfilling and they are more motivated to pursue their dreams.
STEPS TO DEVELOPING A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
Set out to become an optimist
Awareness of self-talk
Cultivate the habit of asking better questions
Positive affirmations should be your strongest suit
Always set positive goals
Make it a habit to always practice positive visualization
Laugh at everything
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS
The etiology of many diseases can be traced to poor lifestyle habits which include smoking, lack of sleep and sedentary lifestyles. Research has proven that smokers are susceptible to cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. Smokers die 8-10 years earlier than their nonsmoking peers.
There are over 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, approximately 2% of these chemicals are cancer-causing agents. For these reasons amongst others, it is important to ditch cigarette sticks completely instead of tapering down.
Also, persons who live sedentary lifestyles are very vulnerable to diseases because a life devoid of exercises can predispose one to diseases like obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, through the action of increased endorphins in the brain caused by regular workouts, exercise helps to alleviate mood by dispelling negative emotions like tension, depression and anxiety. Exercise also affects the muscoskeletal system, a variety of processes that takes place in the body, maintenance of the health of the heart and blood vessels and other mental activities that takes place in the body. If you want to live long, get involved in a fitness routine and you will be thankful for it.
While engaging in regular workouts and avoiding cigarette smoke can do a ton of good for your health, your efforts will be abortive if you do not rest and sleep properly. A third of the population in the United States suffer from insomnia, and a high percentage of the population depend on sedatives before they can get some shut eye. What many of us do not know is that a wide array of the ingredients in what we eat and/or drink cause an interference in our normal sleep patterns.
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated, sleep is the main channel through which the body produces Growth Hormone which has been dubbed the “antiaging” hormone.
ADEQUATE DIET FOR GOOD HEALTH
One of the basic necessities in life is food and without a diet that promotes good health our quality of life will be reduced. During the mid-20th century, a Basic Four Food Group Model was created. It was quickly abolished because it was discovered that some food items like meat, refined carbs and fatty foods were consumed in excess.
To measure the adequacy of food consumed by humans on a daily basis, an Optimal Health Food Pyramid was formulated. This high-end food pyramid comprises of the classic Mediterranean and the Classic Asian diets. Below are the principles of the healthier diet pyramid;
Consumption of a multi-color mixture of fruits and vegetables: Ensure your platter is filled with lots of green, red, yellow, lemon, orange and purple fruits/ veggies like cucumbers, apples, pineapple, carrots and aubergines respectively.
Curb exposure to toxins from heavy metals, food additives and pesticides
The amount of pesticides sprayed on food crops is alarming, little wonder the rate of cancer is skyrocketing. The carcinogens in pesticides can get absorbed in the body to mimic the female sex hormone; estrogen. Poisonous estrogen-like substances are the cause of breast cancer. Food additives like fragrances and coloring have been fingered as culprits in quite a number of diseases. Heavy metals like boric acid and mercury are also guilty parties.
Beat down your blood glucose levels: reduce your consumption of sugary edibles, processed foods and refined carbohydrates which are packed with empty calories.
Reduce consumption of animal products: Animal products like red meat should be consumed with discretion because they predispose the body to various heart diseases and certain cancers.
Eat Healthy Fats: Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad. It is quite surprising to know that there are some fats you can consume to burn fats and stay healthy. These fats called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are gotten from fish and some plant oils.
Balance your electrolytes: Sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium are needed for bodily processes, but in excess they can have deleterious effects. An increased consumption of table salt can cause a spike in your blood sodium levels. Keep the edible salt shaker away.
Stay hydrated always.
Ever since it was discovered that the Recommended Daily Intake values (RDI) was simply not enough to meet nutrient requirements for bodily functions, the need for an alternative means to supplement dietary intakes arose.
Nutrient supplements also referred to as nutriceuticals comprise of minerals, amino acids, vitamins, fish oil and botanical extracts that are formulated to form a powerful blend that can help augment depleted nutrient stores in the body. The most frequently used vitamins in supplements are the fat-soluble vitamins and the water-soluble vitamins. Minerals commonly found in nutrient supplements are; calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, iodine, selenium and iron.
The most popular extracts in nutriceuticals are green tea extract, milk thistle extract, bilberry extract, ginkgo bilboa extract and hawthorn extract. Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil has been applauded for being an all-purpose compound that combats quite a number of diseases. While Americans consume lots of Omega-6 fatty acids which is unhealthy, they are lagging behind in consumption of Omega-3. Hence, the reason to meet their requirements by taking supplements.
The four markers of health as mentioned earlier are very important for longevity and an improved quality of life. Abiding by these rules will give certainly add years to your life and of course, life to your years.