“Prevention is better than cure.” This old idiom has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s always preferable to nip a health problem in the bud before it manifests in the body.
The Financial Cost of Treating Health Issues
Living a healthy life is just not confined to the body, the psychological health of people is equally important. The body must be treated as a whole entity to prevent future health problems from arising. There are many inexpensive options for the health conscious person who wants to cut down on future trips to a healthcare practitioner. Let’s examine some affordable options available that anyone can implement on a daily basis to ensure health and wellness. Preventative medicine is the future of health care.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin.
Avoid Refined Sugar
Today refined sugars can be found in almost all processed food and beverages. The following foods all contain refined sugars.
Western food is highly processed with refined sugar. A major reason for the high rate of diabetes and obesity is because of excess sugar intake. Refined sugar comes from cane sugar which grows prevalently in the Caribbean. Sugar is processed using sulfur dioxide. The bleaching process of raw sugar is known as “mill white”. The outer coating of the raw sugar is washed away leaving raw syrup. Phosphoric acid and calcium hydroxide are combined to precipitate calcium phosphate. The impurities are removed before the whitening process is filtered traditionally using bone char.
The filtering process leaves refined sugar devoid of any nutrients. Studies have shown excessive sugar intake has a detrimental effect on the brain leading to impaired cognitive function. Sugar is an empty refined starch that leaches vitamins and nutrients from the body. The process used to refine sugar is toxic to the human body and should be avoided if at all possible. Refined starches and empty calories have no business being in the human body.
Drink Alkaline Water
Reducing your alcohol intake is a no-brainer. Not only is alcohol bad for your liver but it changes the body’s pH level to acidic levels. The liver is the second largest organ in the body responsible for cleaning the blood. A healthy liver can break down alcohol when imbibed, however excess liver consumption will overload this vital organ. Fatty liver disease results in a buildup of fat in the liver cells. Another fatal disease is cirrhosis which can cause liver failure.
The first step in remedying liver damage is to eliminate alcohol immediately. The second step is a complete change of diet, this means drinking alkaline water and eating organic food that is not sprayed with pesticides. Reversing certain types of liver damage is possible with the aid of a healthcare or naturopathic practitioner. Choosing to shift to an alkaline diet that will not tax the liver and getting of certain pharmaceutical drugs that are toxic is also necessary.
Avoid or Reduce Dairy Consumption
Dairy can be found in most processed foods. For the lactose intolerant it can be difficult to avoid dairy products.
Dairy derived products
Cheese a byproduct of milk
Casein a milk phosphoprotein used as a binding agent in many processed foods
Whey found in many protein supplements
Mono diglycerides found in chocolate bars the by product of milk
Recaldent a casein derivative found in dental products
Lactose used in many processed foods
“The focus of natural health is to find the cause of disease not simply to just treat it. The body mind and soul must be treated as one. “- naturopath quote
Eat Organic Fruits and Vegetables
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is the common phrase mentioned by great grandmothers. The antioxidants present in many fruits repair the damage to our cells. The antioxidant value of foods is expressed using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value system. Old school wisdom was around long before modern medical science caught up. Antioxidants are the key to protecting our bodies from free radicals produced by the oxidation process.
Fruits have a cleansing and energizing effect on our health. Eating organic fruits and vegetables on a regular basis does the body good. Eating fruit early in the morning cleanses the body and the vegetables you eat during the day maintains your energy levels.
Bend That Spine
The flexibility of your spine is the key to retarding the aging process. Doing an entire series of Hatha Yoga or Ashtanga Series asanas is not necessary upon waking up in the morning. A few simple downward dogs, planks and uttanasana (standing forward bend pose) performed every morning and before going to bed will do wonders for your posture. The more flexible your spine is the better you will look and feel. Yoga and Pilates are the fountain of youth for people who don’t mind a quick workout in the mornings.
The definition of a drug is any substance taken by the mouth, injected into the muscle, the skin or a cavity of the body to prevent a disease or condition. Drug induced liver toxicity is the leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF) according to the FDA.
Setting up a consultation with a naturopath can give you some options when it comes to reducing or eliminating certain pharmaceutical medications. A word of caution people who are currently taking medication should only see a naturopath after consulting with their healthcare practitioner first.
Just like you change the oil in your car every 3 months your body also needs to be detoxified of waste products and the pollution we face everyday. Detoxing by going on a temporary or permanent raw food diet while temporarily using certain herbs like dandelion root to cleanse the liver is just one of numerous ways people can cleanse the body.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy
You can keep your teeth healthy in a number of ways. The obvious one is simply brushing your teeth. But also teaching your child to floss properly is important. The time to start flossing your child’s teeth is when they first come in. Brushing alone can not remove all food particles in the mouth left over after a meal. The more teeth your child has the more crevices can be found where plaque can hide. Getting your child acclimatized to the idea of flossing sooner than later will prevent those painful trips to the dental office for fillings. To make this laborious action fun consider the purchase of an eco-friendly dental flosser made especially for children.
After flossing is complete you can appeal to your child’s taste buds with a Listerine Smart Rinse mouthwash. Kid’s Listerine mouthwash comes in berry and bubblegum flavours, providing up to 12 hours of dental protection. Remember keeping a dental health routine fun will pay off in dividends for your child’s future dental health.
There you have it a few economical ways to maintain your health that have been practiced by people worldwide.
Dr. Michael Layton (DDS) is a South Surrey dentist for Peace Arch Dental, a dental office in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life. You can follow him on Google+.
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