Ask Health

Why You Should Try Massage

MassageWhat is a massage and why you should try it. The object of a massage is to: – Relax tension in the muscles and other parts of the body – Reduce stress and strains of the day – Relax the mind and encourage total receptivity to relaxation – Improve blood flow throughout the body – Increase overall feeling of well-being and relaxation

This is done by manipulation of the muscles and connective tissues in certain prescribed ways. What a lot of people sometimes forget is that an amateurish bad massage from a friend can be worse than no massage at all and in some cases can in fact cause damage to muscles and the body. Always ensure that any person you allow to massage you is fully trained and has the necessary competence to carry out the technique that you require.

This does not however stop you from having fun with your partner using massage oils that are available in drugstores.

Numerous people swear by body massages for the reduction of back pain and aches caused by over exertion during sport. It is now commonplace to see during International sports matches various trainers and physiotherapists running on to the pitch at half time or the end of a game and start to massage the legs and backs of their sportsmen before muscle cramps and the pain sets in. In fact when it comes to sportsmen and women they are far ahead of the game when it comes to understanding the benefits of massage therapy.

Many massage techniques have been imported from Europe to the US because of their obvious benefits. Massage in its present form has mainly been adopted form the practices prevalent in the early 20th Century in Sweden and the Nordic countries. However massage itself has been around for thousands of years. Both the ancient Roman and Greeks were firm believers in the restorative powers of massages and there are numerous mentions of massages in many old texts from that time. However not just the Europeans understood the healing powers of oil and massage but also the Chinese Emperors and their courts too understood that a great feeling of relaxation and wellbeing emanated from the judicious timing of a full body rub down. Many people are fully aware of the ancient Turkish Bathhouses but how many know that it was not just hot steam available but also a fully body massage too. The art of Massage has a long and noble history and only now are we just beginning to fully appreciate the benefits that were second nature to the ancients.

There are many types of massage from the normal generally accepted body rub, commonly known as Swedish massage, to the rather more esoteric Lomi Lomi massage of Oceania.

The Swedish, or classic massage is the most widely used and enjoyed massage and when carried out by a competent well trained masseur is a joy to receive. In Europe it is usually carried out with the recipient naked with a towel laid over their lower parts for modesty. There are different types of oils used depending on the reason for the massage and quite often there will be certain aspects of aromatherapy included too. This can be the burning of certain oils of a particular aroma which have their own restorative qualities and also using certain ambient light colours. Indeed these are also used in the saunas in Europe as they are now becoming more and more accepted as part of mainstream healthcare.

The Swedish massage consists mainly of five different types of strokes, which are: 1. Sliding, rubbing the hand along the body, 2. Kneading, in a similar manner to kneading bread before baking, 3. Tapping in a rhythm, something similar to what you see doctors doing to patients in old films where the doctor puts two fingers on the patients’ body and rhythmically taps them, 4. The friction stroke where instead of flowing with the grain of the muscle the hands of the masseur go across the muscle, 5. And finally the vibration stroke.

In the Swedish massage the client usually lies face down on a table about waist height with a towel around the waist. If necessary cushions or pillow can be used to ensure the client is lying comfortably. There are many different oils that can be used and it is entirely up to the customer to choose whatever is their preference. However it is always a good idea for the masseur to warm the oil before starting so that right from the beginning the client is comfortable and does not receive any shocks from cold oil that can ruin the ambience and feeling of relaxation.

Another good idea if you are having the massage at home is to light candles in the room to increase further the feeling of relaxation. Quite often the masseur will bring an oil burner so that the room is suffused with the aroma of essential oils which also helps with the relaxation and mood setting. Then the masseur starts on the shoulders and works all over the back and spine. For a lot of people this is the best part of the massage as it is the back that gives the most trouble and pain. Then the legs and arms are completed. After the client has turned over the front of the body is then massaged. Quite often the feet are massaged separately as this is a specialized area in its own right and there are practitioners in the East that make a good living just from being an expert foot masseur.

When the massage is completed the client should sit and relax for a while and take in some fluids.

Drinking fluids will help release toxins from the body. Read a book for half an hour or sit and listen to soothing music and you will feel all your cares recede as your body relaxes and unwinds.

If you have never had a full body massage now is the time to consider it. For the undoubted benefits it brings it is surely a cheap way of improving your health and lifestyle.

Quit Smoking Products

Quit Smoking ProductsThere are many quit smoking products on the market which are designed to help people who desperately want to stop smoking do so in a safe and hassle free manner. Unfortunately it is very difficult to just quit smoking on your own without any sort of product to help you out because the withdrawal symptoms are almost unbearable at times. Some of them include anxiety, irritability and sometimes even depression. In this article we will review two of the most common quit smoking products and really assess their weight in gold.

One of the most common quit smoking products on the market is NRT. NRT stands for nicotine replacement therapy. These products basically are supposed to give you a dose of nicotine daily which will satisfy you and get rid of your nicotine urges. You will then be free to not smoke and you can go about your daily routine without experiencing any withdrawal symptoms. You will also not be inhaling any toxic substances from tobacco because you will not be smoking cigarettes. It’s not all positive with this method though because you are not really treating your nicotine addiction properly. All you are doing is substituting cigarettes which contain nicotine with nicotine patches and nicotine gum. Another problem with this is that there are some pretty nasty side-effects that you may experience when using one of these products. Some of them include very vivid nightmares, rashes, sleep-walking and irritability. Also nicotine patches and nicotine gum do not really always get you to quit smoking.

Another common quit smoking product uses a complementary disease treatment system called homeopathy. It involves using only natural substances and these substances are designed to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting the smoking habit. One of the most famous and widely used quit smoking products is smoke deter. Smoke deter uses only natural ingredients which basically help the body heal the damage that has been done by years of inhaling nicotine fumes. Many people have reported that they stopped smoking using products like smoke deter. Some of the disadvantages of using smoke deter are that it can take some time for the product to arrive to your doorstep as it can only be ordered through the official smoke deter website. You may also need to order a sizable amount of carry you through the period of 8 weeks in which you will experience the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. After that period of time it should be smooth sailing. The product is quite easy to apply also.

Can You Lose Weight Without Dieting

Lose Weight Without DietingDid you know that dieting actually has a 99% failure rate? I bet you didn’t. Despite all the media, magazines and chat show hype, dieting is actually the least effective way to lose and maintain weight. Studies show that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat for good health. So yes. You can easily lose weight without dieting.

A study as recent as 2009 took two groups of people who wanted to lose weight. One group was put on a low calorie plan and the other group was told to just eat healthily. The second group could eat as much as they like but were told to eat healthy options. Fruit, vegetables, salad smoothies etc.

After one year the group who were eating for good health had by far the best results. By eating for good health they were inadvertently taking a low calorie, high nutrition route. Doing this meant they did not have to starve themselves. They did not feel the need to binge like many dieters do. They were giving their body’s all the necessary nutrients to function so calorie burning worked optimally also.

The ‘dieting’ group felt under pressure because what they could eat was heavily restricted.People in general find this style of diet very hard to stick to and as I said 99% fail before a year is up.

Other studies going back as far as 1971 questioned the value of the dieting mentality and suggested that a small reduction in calorie intake would better for weight loss in the long term. Even back then before dieting became so massively popular studies were showing that diets don’t work.

In the 1980′ and 1990’s studies showed that dieting was the cause of many eating disorders. People who had normal eating behaviors became food addicts, or binge eaters caught in a cycle of one diet failure after another. This was because of the pressure that going on a diet puts on people.

The diet mentality is one of extreme deprivation and trying to lose as much weight as fast as possible. This puts a lot of pressure on people and the body responds by slowing its calorie burning right down. So losing weight actually becomes harder and harder when on a ‘diet’. The psychological effects of depriving oneself of food create many problems also. Hence the binge eating and food addictions that dieting creates.

In answer to can you lose weight without dieting? I would say yes. Absolutely. But how can you lose weightwithout dieting? I would say give up diets for good. Start to eat for good health and you will be amazed at what happens to your body. You will be forming good habits for a lifetime so the weight loss will be permanent. You will feel no need to deprive yourself or starve. This makes success so much easier.

I came across this information about a year ago. I had failed at diets many times and I guess I was one of those people the studies were talking about. I would overeat every weekend with the thought that I was starting a diet on the Monday. I would always have given up within a couple of days. It wasn’t until I sat down and asked myself the question ‘can you lose weight without dieting? that I woke up to the truth. I researched and found out about all those studies. I then started to eat for good health. I have lost a great deal of weight and kept it off . I now realize that ‘can you lose weight without dieting’ was the best question I had ever asked my self.

Better Power Than Coffee And Energy Boosting Vitamins

Energy Boosting VitaminsIf you want to have the same high energy levels all throughout the day, what is your healthy choice for a boost? Can you imagine a better healthy brain power stimulant than coffee? Coffee is accepted as a tolerable, tasty, convenient and not too expensive product, if you need something to wake up with.

Coffee, if freshly ground, and brewed within twenty minutes, provides some antioxidants. But, it will not give you energy all day, without depleting your brain’s levels of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which creates mental energy and mental clarity.

So don’t we love coffee! French roast, Italian roast, Fair Trade, Organic, Espresso coffee! Latte, Vanilla, double-shot, iced… we are hooked. But here is the problem: caffeine depletes acetylcholine! Decreases our brain power! Leaves us high and dry. Unless…we have more coffee.

Can’t Sleep All Night?

You may need something with better power than coffee to get your brain going every morning. It doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite coffees and the different roasts and flavors you love. You can get almost anything decaf.

So do you have any nutrition options? Coffee imitations? Coffee imitations are usually made from grains. They are calorie intensive. Maybe better to avoid.

Energy Boosting Vitamins

Always, number one choice, a whole food Vitamin B Complex. This is an ongoing recovery of your better brain powers, and overall health. Definitely start now. But for better power than coffee, understand some basics about how your brain powers up. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is triggered by choline, other important nutrients…and caffeine!

However, over the hours following a great cup of your favorite, or vending machine, coffee, acetylcholine is depleted – used up. That’s when you start feeling morning brain fog and sluggishness all over again. So you have another cup of coffee.

A while later, your acetylcholine is even more depleted, so you have another cup of coffee. But…later…you can’t sleep all night.

If this is your experience, here is one of your nutrition options. Guarana. Guarana is like caffeine – coffee – in that it is also a natural, plant product. The main difference with guarana, or guaranine, is that it also provides some omega 3 fatty acids in its makeup. Omega 3 oils are true brain boosting nutrients.

Guarana is also a brain stimulant, like caffeine. The presence of omega 3 oils results in the drink, or supplement, processing more slowly and steadily than caffeine. That means you will receive a more sustained affect, over more hours. This is WAY better power than coffee.

Here is another nutrient among your many nutritional options that helps get your brain going. Choline. Choline also contributes to the release of acetylcholine. Your brain power gets a good restart periodically if your choline levels are high enough.

Which gives you energy all day. When you’re young, your choline levels stay higher, the same for many nutrients. As you get older, your choline levels decrease. So, no problem. You just need to supplement with choline to boost your brain power.

There is certainly much to know about energy boosting vitamins. I hope I have explained a little. And here’s where you can get a nutritional supplement that is a better power than coffee.

Organic Foods

Organic FoodsIn several countries of the world today many people are becoming more health conscious, and as a result of this, many have chosen to shift from conventionally grown food to the organic foods. The consumer’s requirement for this type of food is on the increase, and so this has motivated farmers to increase their production.

The general belief is that this food type is more nutritious, healthier, and is more environmentally friendly. Perhaps the only disadvantage it might have is that it is more costly. Most organic foods can be identified in the supermarkets in the USA by the USDA organic label, an indication that the food meets the government standard.

The methods of growing and caring of plants and animals for food can have a positive effect on our health, the soil, and more so the environment, if it is done the proper way. However,with the increase of the world’s population one wonders if there can be a constant and regular supply of this type of food.

One has to conduct soil test when doing organic farming. This is to ensure that the soil is free from pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, and other fertilizers. It is well known that pesticides have certain effects on children, even when they are unborn and can pass from mother to child. Non- organic or conventionally grown food contain residue from chemical weed killers and insecticides, and as we eat these foods the chemicals are taken into our bodies. Also in non- organic farming the animals are given antibiotics, growth hormone and the scientific altering of their DNA. These can cause serious damages to our bodies. Organic foods are produced with natural fertilizers, such as compost manure. Weeds are controlled by crop rotation, mulching, and their removal by hand. Animals are fed on grassy pastures and on hay and not with products from other animals.

The latest finding has shown that organic fruits and vegetables are richer in vitamin C. The trace minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and iron which are needed to build healthy strong bones and teeth, to make haemoglobin, and for the proper functioning of the nerves of the body are found in organically produced foods.

There are other benefits that can be derived from organic foods such more antioxidants, especially vitamin E which prevents damages to our body cells. Most allegies become minimal when one uses foods that are organic. If one hates preservatives on foods and needs tastier, a stronger immune system, and food that remains unspoilt for a long time, it is better to use foods which are organically produced.

One does not have to worry about the availability of these foods, because farmers are aware of the great demand and are producing a wide variety of these organic foods and related products. The food departments in supermarkets have meats, eggs, milk and grains which are organic. There are also clothing materials and prepared foods that are also organic.

How sensible it is for each person to have their own home garden where they can practice organic farming during the late spring and the summer months. Thus, they would be able to save some money from growing their own fruits and vegetables. Your own harvested fruits and vegetables are the best. Those without facilities for home gardening can locate a farmer’s store from which they can purchase their required food items.

5 Tips to Maintain Your Health for Long

Maintain Your HealthHealth is something that will be with you for long only if you take care of it. Never neglect your health because it can determine your productivity and efficiency. With improvements in medicine, it is important to pay enough attention to health as well. Otherwise there will not be any use of this technological improvement. Below are 5 tips that can help you to safeguard your health for a long period of time.

1. Get plenty of restful and quality sleep

A minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep is required for every adult. While some might require 6 hours, for others even 9 hours of sleep might not suffice. It is recommended to sleep before 12 midnight for sufficient rest as it is better than sleeping after 12.

2. Drink clean water in plenty

Water is extremely critical for your healthy functioning as it is involved with all your organs. Without sufficient water, our bodies will become a bit sluggish and also slow both on the outside as well as inside. Thus you must aim for at least 10 full glasses of water.

3. Engage in movement activity and exercise

Exercise is extremely important for the proper up keeping of your body. It keeps your heart pumping and can also help you to avoid other cardiovascular diseases. It can also increase your strength and can keep your body flexible and fit. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise is required on a daily basis.

4. Eat vegetables and fruits

You need to be creative and consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. You need to try your best to include these nutritional powerhouses in your diet and in every meal. These are full of flavor and fiber. They improve your digestion and have plenty of energy containing substances.

5. Protein content

Your diet must have a sufficient amount of protein as well. This means that there must be enough protein to fit in your physical needs as well as your lifestyle goals. You also need to decide whether you require a non- animal source or an animal source of protein or both. A minimum of 45 to 60 grams of protein is required in one day.

The above tips if followed can help you reap great rewards in a very less amount of time. Thus make sure you follow these tips. It is one of the important things to remember.

 

The Impact Of Shift Work On Health

Shift Work On HealthThe health and motivation for shift work has been known to have its own peculiar demands. This has set it apart from jobs that have traditional hours of work. Shift work has its own health merits. The shift work has been created to aid workflow processes between employer, employee and tasks at hand. Over the years, it has been noticed that workers identified in shift work often receive better health plans, health products and remuneration and by this, give shift workers time to do other tasks or personal chores while being watchful of individual mental health.

However, the scientific and medical communities report continually that shift workers concerned stand an increased risk of certain health disorders and mental health challenges that have severe negative impact on the general well-being of work shift staff which may not be achieved until the right health products are used.

There is a concern for the 9 to 5ers, as one sees a case of the health of those who barely get by with the hard life of routine which most times is viewed to compensate only the boss at the top. Furthermore, we sought to consider those who work less conventional hours that include working shifts at night. Any way it is looked at, an adequate welfare plan should be in place for them while introducing supplements of health products.

Researchers have discovered that those more at risk of suffering certain mental health challenges and chronic ailments or diseases, are shift workers, such as flight attendants, police officers, doctors, bartenders, nurses, and the like. Shift work can be classified as any type of work schedule that involves hours that are uncommon, or unusual when comparing this type of work schedule with the traditional work schedule that occurs within the day between 6 am and 6 pm.

For clarity, the term shift work can refer to rotating shifts, working overnight, evening shifts and other flexible shift patterns desired or arranged by the employer that also addresses the challenge of mental health in shift work platforms. In other to assist shift workers, first aid boxes can be kept handy and filled with health products for shift workers.

It’s been recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), that over 16.8% salary workers and full-time wage workers are employed to work alternative shifts. Another interesting discovery made is that evening shifts are the most common alternative shifts, which have their working hours starting at between 2 pm and midnight. Work schedules may also constantly change as a result of irregular work shifts that also result in mental health and hormonal imbalances.

In this article, we take a look at what the resultant effects of what shift work are, what shift workers can potentially do in other to lower their risks of diverse health problems and what salient reasons could possibly be behind these findings. The mental health and prescribed health products of shift workers should not be left unaddressed as this plays an important role in the health and total well-being of the workers.

At first glance, it appears as though shift workers have and work different hours compared to the regular workers’ typical 9-to-5 routine. Reports also show that this is not the only underlying factor, as one key factor also is an increased risk of some diseases.

Some medical associations such as the Medical News Today have reported on studies that relate lack of usage of health products and increased risk of certain health problems with shift work. These relationships have seen discoveries ranging from the predictable to the most amazing jaw-dropping situations.

A reputable medical journal published a meta-analysis in 2014 which suggested that shift workers face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This is a red flag. Taking into consideration, shift workers rotating shifts also face an increased risk of 42%. So we see a need for the inclusion of health products as ready supplements for shift workers.

Interestingly, shift workers who rotate night shifts for 15 years and above were found to potentially increase the health risk of lung cancer mortality and poor mental health. The use of health products will aid these situations enhance longevity and maintenance.

 

Can Drinking Too Much Water Kill You

Much Water Kill YouNowadays, we hear people mention the 8×8 rule more and more often. We don’t only hear it on TV or at the hospital, but also in the park, at the supermarket or even at the gas station. Everyone seems to know that drinking eight 8-ounce glasses per day is a necessity if you want to stay healthy.

But is it really so? Do our bodies really need that certain quantity of water everyday? Or it’s just an invention whose purpose is to make us more careful to what we drink?

Well, scientists have finally come to a steadier conclusion: It doesn’t matter how much water you drink daily, as long as your body is properly hydrated and you don’t feel the need to drink more.

And after all, there’s no reason to question this, we all know that the human body is capable to make us aware of our deficiencies. Don’t we feel the need to eat when our stomach is empty? Or don’t we start shivering when we’re cold? It’s the same with water, we feel thirsty every time our body needs more liquids.

There’s no point filling up our body with water if there’s no need for it. There’s actually a big reason why we shouldn’t.

It’s a known fact that too little water can lead to dehydration, and dehydration can easily kill you. But have you ever thought that too much water can also have the very same effect?

In everyone’s body, there is a certain balance between the electrolytes (the minerals from the blood together with the fluid that carries the electric charge) and water. Once this balance is destroyed, that person’s life may be in a real danger.

Physicians call this health issue “hyponatremia”, but it is widely known as “water poisoning”. It may sound funny, but it is a very severe condition which, if not treated properly and rapidly, can lead to renal failure and afterwards, death.

How does this happen? Well, once the quantity of water from our body becomes much higher than normal, the quantity of electrolytes will become too low for it, therefore an imbalance between these 2 would be unavoidable.

And once that imbalance appears, the person will start to experience muscular cramps, dizziness, nausea and even convulsions. If these aren’t treated, they can rapidly lead to death.

Therefore, is water poisoning something we can often deal with? Is it something we should try to avoid as much as we can?

Well, fortunately for us, it’s pretty hard to play tricks on a pair of healthy kidneys, even by mistake.

This means that water intoxications aren’t as common in average people as they are in professional athletes. The latter are actually known for consuming a much higher quantity of water, but for good reasons, right?

Well, the results of a 2005 study published in New England Journal of Medicine claim that almost 1/6 of the 2002 Boston Marathon participants have experienced a certain level of hyponatremia.

Another study, published in the 2006 British Journal of Sports Magazine, states that physical exercises are frequently associated with hyponatremia because of the excessive water consumption.

In that article, Timothy Noakes and Benjamin Speedy, two sports medicine doctors, claim the biomedical community is in a process of admitting the risks of the over-hydration in professional athletes.

However, these examples aren’t something we should worry about too much, as they are pretty rare cases in average people. The most important thing is to drink a proper quantity of water after physical exercise or effort, without exaggerating.

So, now you’re probably wondering “Okay, too much water isn’t good at all?”, but can drinking too much water actually kill you?

Yes, it can, in theory. But just like I said before, it’s not really the case to worry, because you couldn’t normally drink so much water that would lead to water intoxication. Your body would show you clear signs and would make you stop.

However, be careful how much water you consume after a high effort and make sure you don’t drink a much higher quantity than you feel your body needs. As long as you respect this, you will never have to ask yourself if drinking too much water can kill you.

The Benefits Of Protein

The Benefits Of ProteinProteins are long chains of amino acids that can be found in a wide range of foods. They are stored within our body by a multitude of peptide bonds. If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, you will have to deal with a deficiency of various amino acids. The results are unfortunately very bad, because you will face a low concentration, memory loss, mood swings, a low energy level, a low muscle mass, an unstable blood sugar level and at the same time it will be hard for you to lose weight as well.

There are 20 types of amino acids out there and some of them are more useful than others for the human body. It all comes down to finding the right protein category for your body, but usually having one with lean meat can help. When it comes to the benefits of protein, there are quite a lot of them, as follows:

* You get to improve your muscle mass, because proteins are helping your ligaments, tendons and other body tissues build up and work properly. If you lack amino acids in your diet you will not have strength and energy, however once you add proteins into the mix the result is a lot better.

* You can easily manage your weight. Thankfully proteins are known to help address one of the many issues that most modern people have, and that’s fat accumulation. As long as you keep yourself within the recommended amounts, you will have no problem enjoying their benefits and lose weight!

* They also help stabilize the blood sugar levels, which does make it easier to cope with diabetes. It can also help prevent diabetes as well which is a major plus.

* Numerous proteins are required in order to naturally balance hormones. They give a much better mood and that’s very helpful especially when you are stressed for example.

* On top of that, proteins are required in order to maintain a healthy brain functioning and it can also boost learning as well. They help create hormones, neurotransmitters and enzymes that are very important for proper cognitive functioning.

* Better bone strength is another protein benefit. Thankfully with help from proteins you have the ability to prevent fractures, bone weakness and in many situations it can also help you deal with osteoporosis in a more efficient manner.

* Regular protein intake will allow you to promote a better heart health. This is mostly caused by the fact that they help lower the blood pressure levels.

* Proteins also promote longevity and slow down aging. They help your body to synthesize glutathione and at the same time it also helps with detoxing your body as well.

If you really want to harness the power of proteins and access all the aforementioned benefits, you need to add in protein-rich food into your daily diet. Remember, men need 56 grams per day and women only 46 grams, so it’s not a huge requirement, but a mandatory one that can really change your life. Add in protein to your diet and the results will be amazing in the long run!

What Is The Paleo Diet

Quit Smoking ProductsOne of the diets gaining continuing momentum today is the Paleo Diet: a diet structured around eating the foods that our hunter-gatherer or Paleolithic ancestors ate. The Paleo Diet claims that by removing food like grains, dairy, legumes, processed sugar, and vegetable oil (and any other food that was not a typical element of our Paleolithic ancestors’ diet), we can protect ourselves from countless health problems that plague the modern man, including the leading cause of death, heart disease. The Paleo Diet is not presented as just a diet, but as a lifestyle choice. For example, changes in your activity level and sleep are highly encouraged in addition to dietary changes. This trio of Paleolithic diet, exercise, and lifestyle can turn you into a ninja, to put it bluntly.

What is wrong with the foods listed above? The only thing “wrong” them is that our bodies simply have not had a chance to adapt to them, and hence they wreak havoc on our health. Humans have been around, in their “current form” as homo sapiens, for approximately 200,000 years. The life expectancy of our Paleolithic ancestors was shorter than that of the modern man because of the danger they faced and the lack of medical help available when an accident did happen, like their dinner biting back. However, when the remains of our ancestors have been studied, practically NO evidence has been found of cavities, heart disease, osteoporosis, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and practically all other chronic diseases that plague the modern man (you).

For 190,000 years, we were a tall, lean, healthy species. Then, a mere 10,000 years ago, the Agricultural Revolution happened. The Agricultural Revolution brought about many great things, without which we would not have been able to advance as a species the way we have. However, the dietary changes that resulted from the revolution have not had time to “settle,” so to speak, with our genetics. We went 95% of our lifespan as homo sapiens without consuming grains, dairy, legumes, or processed sugars, but for the last 5% of it, these elements have become core to our existence. A lot of things happen biologically when we eat these “new foods,” all of which are bad. In fact, not only are we not capable of digesting these foods, but some of them (grains and legumes) actually contain anti-nutrients, which prevent absorption of the few nutrients these foods do contain!

After the Agricultural Revolution, we got shorter, lost bone density, started developing cavities, and became susceptible to countless diseases that did not exist prior to our dietary 360. Therefore, the basis of the Paleo Diet is to remove these foods from our bodies and try to heal what has been broken. Considering all of this bad news, the Paleo Diet seems to be a step in the right direction. By removing grains, dairy, legumes, and processed sugars from our diets, we are controlling insulin sensitivity, repairing our intestinal lining, avoiding vitamin and mineral deficiencies, preventing many types of cancer, obesity, and many other diseases including heart disease.

The Paleo Diet “fixes” all of these problems because 1) it naturally balances your diet with the proper amount of all the good stuff, like Omega 3 vs. Omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals, and 2) it removes the foods that are enormous contributors to all of the problems just mentioned. The science behind all of this is extremely thorough and well documented, but can be found in a compact form in books like The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain, and The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf.

As mentioned before, fully regaining the health and vitality that our ancestors possessed requires not just a step back in time with regard to our diet, but also our activity level and lifestyle patterns. The activity level of our ancestors averaged out to 11 miles of walking a day, however their lives were full of varied activities and often full days of rest. The combination of different activities and various levels of intensity that our ancestors experienced, accompanied by days of rest, allowed them to stay strong, fit, and for the most part avoid self-inflicted injury (all too common in the workout world today). The result of this type of activity is increased bone density, muscle mass, normal hormone levels (which is key in insulin sensitivity and staying skinny), and increased sexual function. Sounds pretty good, right? The simplest way for us to replicate the activity level of our ancestors is by having a rotation of cross-training, interval training, and rest days in our workout regimen.

What does sleep have to do with all of this Paleo junk, you ask? Before the dawn of alarm clocks and shift workers, we were early to bed and early to rise. We followed to sun to sleep, and awoke when it reappeared. Good sleep was common, as opposed to being an unattainable goal as it is for many today. Some of the bestways to get good sleep are to sleep when it’s dark out (or at least fake it and create complete darkness), and wake up naturally without an alarm.

This may seem impossible for many, but here’s why it’s crucial to your health: just one night without adequate sleep makes you as insulin-resistant as a Type 2 diabetic (Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution). That’s bad. If you’re more superficial, how about this: increased insulin resistance leads to increased cortisol levels, which decreases collagen and causes WRINKLES! Even putting the insulin resistance aside, lack of sleep causes stress, which increases cortisol, which starts that whole cycle over. Long story short, good sleep is key to regaining your health (and a good mood, too), and is an important part of the Paleo trio, as I like to call it.

All in all, it seems that choosing to live the way our primal ancestors did (or as close as we can get) will do wonders for our health. The Paleo Diet came on the dietary scene in 2002, and as opposed to flaring up and dying as fad diets do, the Paleo Diet has continually gained followers and momentum. The only reason behind this is that it works. It has saved lives, and these stories are documented. You can find them in books, but a simply Google search of “the paleo diet success stories” will provide you with many testimonials.

Here’s the best part about this Paleo Diet thing: there is no enterprise behind it. You don’t have to buy special mail-order food that costs a fortune. You don’t have to pay hundred of dollars to go to a far-away island and purify yourself in a strangely cult-like fashion. Nobody makes money from your decision to eat Paleo. The person benefiting is YOU. Although there is no local “Paleo Club” location for you to go to, many websites have been built to provide support and a community for people choosing to eat Paleo. The bottom line is, choosing to eat the Paleo Diet just may be the smartest dietary choice for, well, everyone. We are genetically designed to eat paleo, after all!

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