Healthy Living

banner_woman_beach

God has created us to be healthy and to enjoy the wonderful world that He has made.  He has placed foods, herbs and plants  on the earth that will make our bodies stronger and healthier.  He desires for us to be healthy and full of strength.  For us to be our best we need to take good care of our bodies (the temple of the Holy Spirit).  Here are some tips that will help you to maintain good health and to be your best.

1.  Drink alot of water

Our bodies are made of about 60% water, but our brain is made up of 85% water.  So it is important to drink  good water to cleanse our bodies systems.  I start my morning with a large glass of water before I drink anything else.  It is a good habit to start my day off with something to hydrate my cells.  Coffee and tea  and sodas actually dehydrate us.  It is recommended to have at least 8 glasses of water a day.  It may be a good idea for you to take a liter bottle to work of fresh water to drink throughout the day.

2.  Get enough sleep

Rest is another thing that restores our body.  We actually are putting healing processes into work as we go into a deep sleep.  Most adults need at around 8 hours of sleep, though some feel great and function well on less.   If you have problems sleeping it is good to try exercising in the day to relieve stress.    A nightly routine can also help you to relax and sleep.   I like to take  time to cast my burdens on Jesus, and to spend some time in prayer before I sleep.  I also enjoy reading something relaxing.  Other things that can help are taking a relaxing bath, or listening to some soft worship or instrumental music.  It’s a wonderful thing to fall asleep with God’s presence surrounding us.  If you are overworked, and don’t think you need rest, try to remember that years of neglect are harmful to your body.  So take care of yourself now.

3.  Caring for our Spiritual health

We need to get time to be renewed in the Word of God.  If you have struggled with having time to read each day try using a Bible reading guide or asking a friend to read the same portions  in the Bible that week.  Then meet together and talk about what God spoke to you when you were reading the Word of God.  That will strengthen your time in the Word and you will also be able to talk about and hear from someone else something that touched their heart.

We all are so busy that another helpful idea  is to have a prayer partner.  A prayer partner is someone that you can talk to and pray with on a regular basis.  If you can meet together that is wonderful.  If you have problems meeting together try praying together over the phone.  There is power in agreement in prayer. Try praying together at least once a week.

3.  Check your emotional health

Am I doing alright?  Am I  often stressed or angry?  Am I sad or is there any unforgiveness or bitterness growing in my heart?  The best medicine is a happy heart.  Prov says that it brings health to the bones.   The joy of the Lord is our strength.  We all go through difficult times and sometimes stressful times, but if we stay in that lifestyle it can be damaging to our health and our outlook on life.  Doctors are finding that most of health issues may result from emotional issues.  Anger and unforgiveness are two of the most dangerous things for our longterm health if they are not dealt with in a correct way.

If you are struggling with  some deep issues, talk to another Christian that you trust and ask them to pray with you.   Search out a Christian counselor. We all have times when we need an outside ear to help us see life clearer.  With godly counsel we are advised to make our plans.

4.  Eat healthy foods

God has given us so many wonderful foods to enjoy.  Make your diet full of foods that are filled with vitamins and minerals that will make you healthy and whole.  There are healthy fats and more dangerous saturated fats  (found in things like chips, fries, )  Living foods, things that are fresh are some of the most healthy, nourishing things we can eat.  Meat that is not extremely fatty is also needed to give us protein and nutrients that make our brain function better…….   Fish and seafood have a high concentration of omega 3 fats that are good for our overall bodies health. Here are a list of some of the healthiest natural foods  that can boost your immunity and fight off desease:

The following information is from Prevention Health Magazine:

Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of salmon-600x450_2omega-3s you can find. These essential fatty acids have a wide range of impressive health benefits—from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis.

egg yolks– Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, including choline, which is linked to lower rates of breast cancer (one yolk supplies 25% of your daily need) and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. 

Yogurt is a great way to get calcium, and it’s also rich in immune-boosting bacteria. It also aids in digestion problems.

 

Lean beef is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron there is. Beef also packs plenty of zinc (even minor deficiencies may impair memory) and B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber. They’re also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.  (3 cups a week are recommened)

NutsWalnuts are rich in omega-3s. Hazelnuts contain arginine, an amino acid that may lower blood pressure. An ounce of almonds has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; they may help lower LDL cholesterol as well. The key is moderation, since nuts are high in calories. 

Soy and tofu help fight heart disease when they replace fatty meats and cheeses, slashing saturated fat intake. Soy also contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, a good amount of fiber, and some important vitamins. Soy’s isoflavones, or plant estrogens, may also help prevent breast cancer. 

Oatmeal  reduces the risk of heart desease and is also good for your nervous system.  1/2 cup a day is recommended.

Flaxseed  is the most potent plant containing Omega3 Acids… fighting heart desease and cancers

Olive oil  is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

Avocados are packed with heart-protective compounds, such as soluble fiber, vitamin E, folate, and potassium

Broccoli  Averaging just four weekly servings of veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower slashed the risk of dying from any disease by 26% 

Spinach gives lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in egg yolks. Aside from guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol. Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects. 

Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. 

Sweet Potatoes are one of the best ways to get vitamin A—an essential nutrient that protects and maintains eyes, skin, and the linings of our respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts—is from foods containing beta-carotene, which your body converts into the vitamin. Beta carotene-rich foods include carrots, squash, kale, and cantaloupe, but sweet potatoes have among the most. A half-cup serving of these sweet spuds delivers only 130 calories but 80% of the DV of vitamin A. 

Garlic is a flavor essential and a health superstar in its own right. The onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers.

Red Peppers Citrus fruits get all the credit for vitamin C, but red peppers are actually the best source. Vitamin C may be best known for skin and immunity benefits. Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at vitamin C intake in 4,025 women and found that those who ate more had less wrinkling and dryness. And although getting enough vitamin C won’t prevent you from catching a cold or flu, studies show that it could help you recover faster. Vitamin C has other important credentials, too. Finnish researchers found that men with low levels were 2.4 times likelier to have a stroke, and Australian scientists recently discovered that the antioxidant reduces knee pain by protecting your knees against arthritis.

Figs When you think of potassium-rich produce, figs probably don’t come to mind, but you may be surprised to learn that six fresh figs have 891 mg of the blood pressure-lowering mineral, nearly 20% of your daily need—and about double what you’d find in one large banana. 

Blueberries may very well be the most potent age-defying food—they’re jam-packed with antioxidants. When researchers at Cornell blueberries-600x450_0University tested 25 fruits for these potent compounds, they found that tangy-sweet wild blueberries (which are smaller than their cultivated cousins) packed the most absorbable antioxidants. Research shows a diet rich in blueberries can help with memory loss, prevent urinary tract infections, and relieve eyestrain. 

Packed with antioxidant compounds, pomegranates have long been linked to both heart and brain health.

One large Asian pear has a whopping 10 g of cholesterol-lowering fiber, about 40% of your daily need. People who ate the most fiber had the lowest total and LDL cholesterol levels, according to a recent study of Baltimore adults. The same researchers found that people who ate the most fiber also weighed the least and had the lowest body mass index and waist circumference.

A French study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of all fruits tested—nearly 15% more than the amount found in grapes (cited by many as polyphenol powerhouses). The compounds may also play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer. 

 apples are one of only three foods (along with pears and red wine) that are most effective at reducing the risk of death from heart disease among postmenopausal women. Other massive studies have found the fruit to lower risk of lung cancer and type 2 diabetes—and even help women lose weight.

Guava Native to South America, this tropical fruit is an excellent source of skin-healing vitamin C, with 250% of your RDA per serving. One cup of guava has nearly 5 times as much C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg)—that’s more than 5 times your daily need. It’s also loaded with lycopene (26% more than a tomato), which may help lower your risk of heart disease. 

Thank you, dark chocolate, for making us feel good—not guilty—about dessert. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoid antioxidants (more than 3 times the amount in milk chocolate) that keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even unclog your arteries.It may also help with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, according to a study from Denmark. 

Bananas are loaded with potassium—a macronutrient that helps control your blood pressure and keeps your nervous system operating at peak efficiency. Potassium also lowers your risk for stroke

Peanut Butter From bone-strengthening magnesium to immunity-boosting B6, peanut butter is loaded with many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs (but probably isn’t getting enough of). Its high fiber and protein content will keep you full for hours, and peanut butter is also a good source of monosaturated fats—proven to help you lose weight and ward off diabetes. 

Popcorn is packed with inflammation-fighting antioxidants that can help fend off health issues such as heart disease and depression, popcorn is also the only 100% unprocessed whole grain, meaning its one of the best snacks to help you meet your daily whole grain goals. 

Oysters are filled with  zinc, a mineral necessary for immune and DNA health, as well as fetal development

chia seeds are great sources of protein, omega-3s, and fiber. They also contain good amounts of healthy antioxidants, as well as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron—all important for your health.

Chicken breasts are a great source of phosphorous—important for strong bones and teeth—as well as vitamin B3 (aka niacin), which helps control high blood pressure and prevents hardening of the arteries. 

Along with spinach, kale is at the top of the dark-and-leafy-green heap. Bursting with vitamins A, K, and C, kale is also a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium

With high concentrations of vitamin C, lemon’s flavonoid compounds have been shown to have anti-cancer properties

oranges are also a solid sources of folate—important for cell maintenance and repair. They contain potassium and vitamins B1 and A, which are essential for vision and immune function. And the pectin in oranges absorbs unhealthy cholesterol from the other foods you eat, and so keeps the bad stuff out of your system. 

potatoes win out when it comes to folate, niacin, potassium, and also phosphorous—a mineral important for strong bones. 

Quinoa makes every list of superfoods for good reason: It’s packed with “complete” protein—the type that contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs. (Many vegetables are incomplete protein sources.) It’s also solid on fiber to aid your digestion, and is practically multivitamin-heavy when it comes to nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and folate. 

Red Wine‘s antioxidants are linked to lower cholesterol levels and healthier blood vessels—both of which improve heart health. And the wine compound resveratrol—more abundant in reds than in whites—has been shown to block the growth of fat cells, regulate blood sugar, and ward off depression. But drink in moderation: While a glass or two a couple days a week is life-extending, daily sipping ups your risk for early death, shows a study from Virginia Tech. 

Pumpkins are crammed with beta carotene, which your body naturally converts to vitamin A, also known as retinol. That’s a good thing, because retinol is important for healthy skin and mucous membranes, as well as immune function and vision.

Women who eat lentils at least twice a week are 24% less likely to develop breast cancer than women who eat them less than once a month, studies show.

Brussel Sprouts are full of sulfur compounds called glucosinolates, shown to help lower your risk for several types of cancer, according to research from Oregon State University. Loaded with iron and potassium

Bulgur contains a metabolite called betaine, which can tamp down unhealthy levels of inflammation. One cup of cooked bulgur contains 8.2 g of fiber—nearly 33% of your daily requirement. It also provides more than half of your daily target for manganese, a mineral important for brain and nerve function.

Sardines They’re cheap, portable, and among the best sources of heart-healthy omega-3s. In fact, women who regularly eat the type of long-chain fats found in sardines enjoy a 38% drop in ischemic heart disease risk, according to a Danish study. Long-chain omega-3s have also been shown to limit inflammation and slow tumor growth. The miniscule fish is a phenomenal source of vitamin B12, which helps your body make DNA while keeping your nerve and blood cells healthy. 

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that’s chock full of probiotics—healthy bacteria that help your immune and digestive systems function properly. Probiotics like those found in kefir also limit the presence of harmful microbes called candida, which can cause stomach cramping and skin issues like rashes or break outs, research has shown. 

Onions are  champs when it comes to polyphenols and flavonoids, both linked to lower oxidative stress and reduced cancer risk. An onion’s sulfur compounds help control diabetes symptoms and protect your heart from disease. And the chromium found in onions has been shown to regulate blood sugar.

Green tea’s antioxidant compounds have been linked to slower cancer growth, improved blood flow, weight loss, improved liver function, and reduced rates of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But black tea‘s also good and been shown to reduce stroke risk and lung damage from smoking. 

Coffee Daily consumption has also been linked to reduced risk for diabetes, skin cancer, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Regular is healthier than decaf, studies have found. 

comp-1501958-raspberriesRasberries Just 1 cup contains nearly half your daily manganese—important for brain and nerve function, as well as bone and joint health. Raspberries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, and low in carbohydrates. 

Low in fat and high in fiber, brown rice is also a rich source of selenium—a trace element essential for thyroid metabolism, DNA health, and proper immune system function, according to the NIH. One cooked cup contains more than 27% of your daily selenium needs. Brown rice is also a good source of manganese and niacin, which are both important for brain and heart health.

5.  Take time to relax  and enjoy life.   God says that the  joy of the Lord is our strength… He also says that laughter is good medicine.  It brings health to the bones….When we laugh we release health into our body.  So enjoy watching children and have a good laugh with a friend.  Find humor in difficult situations and enjoy good clean fun.  Movies can be a great source of relaxation and joy.  But choose ones that are life giving and that are filled with things pleasing to the Lord.  Reading books can be relaxing and enjoyable.  Finding a new hobby can be a source of refreshment.  Keep life interesting and fun.

6. Give yourself a Sabboath.  Enter into God’s rest.  When the world was created God rested on the 7th day.  And He wasn’t tired!  He just wanted to enjoy what He had made and to stop and reflect on it.  He gave us an example to follow and even commanded us to take time to stop working and to be refreshed.  Part of the Sabboath is worship.  It is putting God in the first place and letting Him be King and Lord.  That means taking time to be with His people in church and to honor Him by worshipping Him, growing together with a community of believers and to enjoy being His disciple.  It also means to take time off of your crazy cycles our busy lives and to be refreshed and restored.  Many times our daily times in the Word and prayer and worship are also a part of this restoration.

banner-woman-blowing-dandelion

7.  Seek for uplifting friends who will make your life more meaningful.  Don’t get in a rut of listening to complainers or people who tell you that you can’t do something.  Trust in God and dare to dream His dreams for your life.  Guard your heart from the influence of depression and fear.  Worry is another thing that suffocated our ability to be creative and to enjoy a faith filled life.  Try to find some people who will mentor you in your dreams.  If someone is more skilled in an area you are heading toward try to spend time with them and to learn from them.  Open up your heart to people around you that are positive.  And as you have receivied, give! Be the voice of encouragement for those around you!