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Eight Essentials for Good Health….. NEWSTART
There are so many people out there telling us what to do to regain health. At times these offer opposite advice. We are faced with a dilemma. NEWSTART is an acronym. Each letter stands for a word. These are basic health principles, that if incorporated into the life with the help of God, will not only prevent much of the stress and lifestyle diseases that are so prevalent in our country today, but these health principles will also work, bringing healing and restoration to our worried minds, diseased bodies and broken down immune systems.
It is obvious that our lifestyle is catching up with us. One in three deaths can be attributed to cancer. More than 85% of cancers are caused by two factors, smoking and diet. Research at Harvard Medical School places meat eating as a very high risk factor.
Heart disease affects so many Australians. This is because of the high fat diets many are consuming. Diabetes, arthritis and many other diseases can all be related to lifestyle and diet, along with too much sugar, animal fat and animal protein, and too little fibre, fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables.
Many people are eating diets that are lacking in the essential nutrition we need for good health. Even though they may be eating plenty of food, they are suffering from malnutrition. Others have problems with weight gain and so they mistakenly reduced their intake and are really eating an impoverished diet. Refined, mass produced food do not have the qualities in it that rebuild and restore our bodies, but actually break down and destroy our health.
God has designed a diet. We call it The Designer Diet – it is bursting with wonderful advantages. Plant foods contain powerful “phytochemicals” which not only prevent cancer, but also fight it.
Our body was designed the same as herbivores. Carnivores have claws, no skin pores and perspire through their tongue. They have sharp front teeth for tearing and no molars for grinding. Their intestinal tract is only three times their body length, so any rapidly decaying meat can pass out quickly. They have strong hydrochloric acid in their stomach to digest meat. Herbivores and humans have no claws, perspire through pores, have no sharp front teeth having molars instead. Their intestinal tract is twelve times their body length and their hydrochloric acid is twenty times weaker than meat eaters.
Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables each day – but not at the same meal. A plant based diet will dramatically reduce all degenerative diseases. Simple vegetable meals centred around beans and legumes, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are nutritious and are very filling.
Many deaths can be attributed to lack of exercise. Children are becoming alarmingly sedentary. Numerous studies show that exercise boosts the ability of both young and old to pay attention and learn. Exercise enhances memory, concentration, cognition, creativity and word fluency.
Lack of exercise is a major contributor that promotes depression, tension, and anxiety. Regular exercise significantly boosts mood. One study showed that a ten minute brisk walk will yield one hour of increased energy and reduced tension, whereas a sugar snack will ultimately result in fatigue and tension.
Regular daily exercise increases overall health.
- It increases circulation
- Increases oxygen intake and efficiency of the lungs
- Normalises blood pressure
- Increases tone of the muscles and blood vessels
- Increases cardiac muscle tone and heart size
- Increases haemoglobin in blood
- Charges brain and nerve cells with electrical energy
- Aids in prompt digestion
- Strengthens muscles, bones and ligaments
- Lowers cholesterol and fats in the blood
- Burns unwanted fats
- Balances endocrine system
- Slows aging process
- Promotes endorphins
- Promotes good sleep
- Cleanses blood stream and body
If we want good health, it is most important to have regular exercise. We need to exercise from 30-60 minutes at least three or four times each week, preferably in the open air. Morning exercise is best as it increases metabolism for the rest of the day. Weight bearing exercise is good as it uses all muscles. Walk up hills to get the heart rate up. Walk briskly for maximum benefit. Stretching before and after avoids strains and increases flexibility.
Ever so many people are drinking soft drinks and fruit juices. These are not healthy. We need to drink pure water. This is the drink God gave us to drink.
Some of the ingredients in many drinks can cause frequent urination and subsequent dehydration. When you are dehydrated, your body is stressed. It can cause mental confusion. Our bodies are unable to secrete toxins and salts and so tends to become bloated.
Many Australians are dehydrated. Dehydration increases the risk of kidney stones, cancers, obesity and many more diseases.
We need to drink about eight glasses of water per day. These are important some reasons why
- It balances nutrients, it helps in digestion to break, soften and transport food.
- It controls body temperature through perspiration
- It lubricates, insulates and protects
- It gives flexibility to muscles, ligaments and joints
- It minimises dehydration saves kidney workload
- It reduces stress on the circulatory system
- It improves circulation
- It heals, cleanses and relaxes
- It improves circulation, thus improving the immune system
- It replenishes blood volume
- It helps relieve constipation and excretion of wastes
- It aids in building and repair of body tissue
We need to drink pure water. Avoid town tap water that has fluoride, chlorine and other additives added. Avoid drinking with your meals as it dilutes digestive juices. Wait at least a half hour before and one and a half hours after meals.
Each day we void about five and a half glasses of water as urine, two in breathing, another two in perspiration, and a half by way of the bowels. If we drink less than this we will become dehydrated. If we wait until we are thirsty to drink water, we are already dehydrated. So drink those eight glasses of water throughout the day, not just at one time.
Most are aware of advertising urging us to keep out of the sunshine. It is true that chronic exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is associated with premature skin aging and skin cancer. However, recent studies indicate that vitamins C and E have been found to protect against skin malignancy, wrinkling, photosensitivity reactions, and immune-suppression. Sunscreens can decrease the incidence of skin cancer by up to 30%. However sunscreens contain titanium dioxide, which can accumulate in the skin and may be carcinogenic. Using too much sunscreen is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis, osteomalacia and bone fracture.
The benefits of sunshine include
- Improves alertness and mental ability
- Decreases depression and fatigue
- It increases oxygen content of the blood, thus increasing muscle strength and endurance
- Decreases our resting heart beat
- Helps set and maintain our internal body clock that regulates hormones, sleep patterns, mood and appetite.
- A major source of vitamin D, essential to the calcium metabolism necessary for strong bones
- It decreases certain types of cancer
- Sunlight is helpful in treating many diseases eg TB, infection, bronchial asthma
- It lowers blood pressure and has a cholesterol lowering effect
- Lowers blood sugar – acts like insulin and lets glucose into cells
- It speeds the body’s circulation which enhances the elimination of toxins
- It stimulates immune system
- It promotes wound healing and kills many bacteria after short exposure
- It penetrates deep in the tissues for healing
- Improves appetite, assimilation, elimination, and digestion
- Chemical and toxins are eliminated 10-1000 times faster than artificial light
- Stimulates our pineal gland
Our pineal gland is deep within our brain. This produces a hormone (metatonin) at night which modifies behaviour and thyroid function. It changes levels of seratonin and inhibits other glands in the body. The sunlight acts on our retina, supresses the sympathetic nervous system, calming, soothing, resting. Then the pineal gland is supressed during the day, to allow other glands to do their work. Dark nights and bright days help keep the hormones functioning properly. Using sunglasses diminishes this function.
To be healthy we need small exposures (about twenty to thirty minutes) in the sun each day. A word of precaution is recommended. Do not sunbake in the hottest part of the day, and use your common sense and do not allow yourself to get burnt.
Another word for self control is temperance. This can be defined as “abstaining from that which is harmful, and using wisely that which is good.”
Many have made resolutions to give up bad habits. Sometimes these last for a few days but most have the same result – temporary success that leads to ultimate defeat and discouragement. Many people force themselves to reform in one area of their life by sheer will power.
True self control is not making an isolated effort in one area of your life, but is a divinely implanted principle, or character trait which permeates the whole life. It affects all areas of our lives.
God will give us strength to give up our bad habits, but we have to CHOOSE to do so. This will be on-going. All through our lives we will have to make choices to choose those things that will build up our health and not break it down.
We need to be temperate in eating, exercise, recreation, sport, sleep, work, and say no to using alcohol, tobacco, sugar, meat, dairy, tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, sugary foods, artificial foods, stimulating foods, vinegar and refined foods.
To think clearly our brain needs lots of fresh air. There are other factors which can tend to deprive the brain of adequate stores of oxygen, such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, sugar and a high fat diet. Poor posture and lack of exercise can also contribute to the problem. Chronic brain oxygen deprivation increases the risk of memory deficit, mental decline, and even dementia.
When we sleep, respiration increases. For this reason, it is important to keep windows open at night so we can breathe in fresh, vitalised air. Every organ of our body requires fresh air for optimum functioning. Our blood transports oxygen to the body tissues (provided that you’ve had enough water to keep the blood flowing freely).
We need to learn to breathe deeply. Many breathe only using the top portion of their lungs. Correct posture is essential at all times. The abdomen should expand when inhaling to fill the lower parts of the lungs. Exhale fully to allow stale air to exit. When feeling any sickness or headache coming on, go outside and take ten deep breaths, repeating three times during the day. Correct deep breathing moves the lymphatic system, which is responsible for waste elimination. Deep breathing massages the liver as well as the bowels which stimulate peristaltic movement. Oxygen is essential to tissue health. In the absence of oxygen, cell death begins to take place. Cells deprived of oxygen are most susceptible to malignant change – cancer.
Air pollutants, smog, cigarette smoke are a threat to health. Stove heat affects air quality. We need to get out and breathe fresh, clean air every day.
Fold back the bed covers to allow the bed to air out each day. Make beds at midday. Do not allow dust to build up in house, especially behind the bed. Keep the air around the home clean – no mouldy, rotting or smelly substances giving off germs, mouldy spores and poisoning the air. Do not allow any animal odours inside your home. It is best to keep animals outside the home.
Many people complain about being sleepy during the day. Drowsy driving causes crashes. Yet many others have problems falling asleep during the night. Others find it difficult to get to bed on time. Many “burn the midnight oil”. Research has found that modest levels of sleep deprivation resulted in a 30% drop in immune function.
Then there are others who complain of being unusually fatigued. This can often be caused by a fungal overgrowth in the body. We need to educate ourselves to see whether an anti-fungal diet would be of benefit to us. A diet high in fruits, carbohydrates and refined sugars feed fungal overgrowth. Many have proved that a normal life can be resumed by eliminating sugar based food for a time. It is not normal to be abnormally fatigued.
Studies have shown that going to bed early does actually give health benefits. It is in sleep, primarily in the hours before midnight, that information learned during the day is transferred from the hippocampus area of the brain (short-term memory bank), to the permanent storage area of the neocortex. This deep sleep time occurs before midnight.
There are essentials to establishing good sleep habits.
- The average person needs eight to nine hours of sleep daily (for proper immune function, tissue repair, and nervous system and hormone balance)
- Have a set bedtime and rising time, as well as for eating, exercise, study and work.
- Go to bed early. Sleeping the hours before midnight are twice as beneficial to us as the hours after midnight. Staying up late unbalances our body clock
- Eating late, sugary foods, lack of exercise, smoking, the use of caffeine as well as certain drugs can cause sleep problems
Just as the body needs a daily rest, we also need a weekly rest. Our body has a daily body clock (circadian rhythm), but it also has a weekly body clock (circaseptan rhythm). We have 7-day cycles, 28-day cycles and many more that depend on lifestyle and regularity for proper functioning.
Medical research connects rhythms with
- Heart rate
- Natural hormones in breast milk
- After surgery, swellings increase on the seventh and fourteenth day
- Rejection of transplanted organs
- Human and animal responses to treatment of cancer eg Fibrinogen, a blood clotting compound, has a seven day rhythm
- We were created to have a weekly cycle. It is a built-in feature of our physiology. God commands us to remember to keep His Sabbath day holy. God blessed the Sabbath day, so when we keep this day holy, not working or even shopping, God promised us that He will revive our bodies and minds and give us true peace
- During the French Revolution, a law was passed to change the weekly cycle from seven to ten days. The country publicly rejected God. Animal dropped dead, anarchy was rife. Three and a half years late this law was rescinded because France was in chaos
Another type of rest we need is true relaxation. Many think they obtain this in front of a TV. This does not really relax us. Spend time in nature, gardening, walking, sharing time with loved friends, leaving worries and cares behind.
Trust in God
Health depends on having a good attitude. Worry, anxiety, anger, hostility, grief, negativism, fear and mental stress depress the immune system. Those who direct their anxiety and tension inwards are more susceptible to an early death. Every thing revolves around their lives and their health.
Anger affects more than the person who is the target of the emotions. It suppresses the immune system. It is implicated in sudden stroke. It doubles the risk of heart attacks after outbursts of anger, the danger lasting for two hours after the outburst.
Hostility increases the risk of atherosclerosis and early death. Stress, depression and guilt also depress immune system; we are prone to heart disease; we suffer memory impairment, dementia and early death. Pessimism, an unpleasant by-product of brooding over real or imaginary troubles, has a worse effect on killer “T” cells of immune system than depression.
Having a cheery attitude is vital to good health, yet we need not wait for a good mood to “hit” us. Recent psychological research suggests that deciding to have a cheerful countenance can also create a merry heart, and generates amazing changes in the brain itself. Deliberate decisions to smile actually generate the same positive brain activity in the frontal cortex as a spontaneously happy smile. We can cheer ourselves up, as well as others around us, simply by “putting on a happy face.”
Many people are living lives of despair and emptiness. There seems to be this emptiness that material things just do not fill. Others are all stressed out trying to keep pace with modern living. Many are lonely, some sinking into depression that affects not only their lives, but the lives of friends and family.
There is a void in each one of us that only God can fill. When we surrender our lives to Him we can have peace, contentment and even joy in an unstable, inconsistent world. Learning to trust in God completely, in all situations, brings a peace of mind that will keep us calm, promote health and prolong life. A contented mind, a cheerful spirit is health to the body and strength to the soul.
Trust in God, faith and prayer all provide a significant boost to mental as well as physical health. If stricken down with a serious illness, they positively influence your chance of recovery. Grief, discontent, remorse, guilt, distrust, bitterness, all tend to break down the life forces and invite decay and death.
God’s own Book tells of the wisdom, instruction, and power is that is given to all who take the first step and “Come” to Jesus. As we learn more of Him we see that learning of Him is the highway to health. This is the answer to all the problems that perplex and annoy, the answer to the great void in the human heart.
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There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man, which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only through Jesus Christ. – Blaise Pascal, French Philosopher