By Dr. Michael Roth
“Unprecedented Times” – you’ve probably heard this phrase used in the last year and a half more than any other time in history. But it is very appropriate for several reasons:
- We’re still in the midst of a “National Health Crisis” that continues to be extended every 90 days with no end in sight.
- We are eating an overabundance of meat, 2-3 times more than just 30-40 years ago. Meat is acidic and if it’s not organic, it’s loaded with a lot of nasty stuff.
- We’re seeing more obesity, autoimmune disease and increasing morbidity at all ages.
- We are being exposed to an exponentially increasing amount of toxic chemicals in our food, air and water.
The point is, now more than any other time in history, we have to be proactive in taking care of our best defense by mounting a solid and effective offense. That best defense is our body’s own ability to heal and protect itself.
When someone older has an ache or pain, many doctors and health experts will say that it is all part of aging. But is it really?
Hundreds of years ago, before the advent of the industrial revolution and its associated toxic spill off, many farmers who ate healthy, organic foods without overindulging, lived well into their 90s with very few health ailments, and died with perfectly sound minds.
It is undoubtedly true that as we age, changes occur: our metabolism slows down, our ability to heal decreases, our immunity weakens, and typically we can’t or shouldn’t eat the amount of calories we did as when we were younger. This is a normal part of aging but…it is also true that the majority of Americans are not doing nearly enough to protect their most precious possession, their health.
We can’t stop or reverse the aging process. However, we can significantly slow down the effects of aging. We’ll discuss several ways to do that as well how to build a stronger immune system, improve health, create stronger bones and muscles, and recover faster at any age.
We’re currently living in an age where food is almost no longer food anymore; it’s processed, enhanced, fortified, genetically modified, and absolutely rife with toxic chemicals used in agriculture: herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. We ingest all these substances that can get deep into our body’s cells and cause “dis-ease.”
Additionally, most livestock and fish have been farmed or fed unhealthy, grain diets that contain those chemicals or have been injected with a series of antibiotics and medications to try and keep the animals disease-free. But, we are absorbing those chemicals second-hand through those meats.
We also eat grains and breads that contain massive amounts of gluten. This is a substance that has been modified and added in copious amounts and has been shown to wreak havoc on many people’s gut biome and health leading to numerous digestive issues as well as causing systemic inflammation and pain.
However, there are ways to by-pass nearly all the disadvantages associated with these issues. One primary method is to EAT ORGANIC. As much as possible, rather than supporting the companies that are poisoning our foods and health, buy organic; local if possible and make these changed gradually. Don’t shop the center of the grocery store (that’s where all the processed boxed and canned foods are), but instead, shop the periphery. This is where you’ll find the organic fruits, vegetables and meats that are much more healthful.
If you do eat meat, try to select grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken (and eggs), that are NOT fed vegetarian diets, but allowed to roam free, and are not given antibiotics.
There are hundreds of different diet books out there; some good, some bad, but most have redeeming value in one way or another. I’m not an advocate of any particular “diet” but believe that we should eat as natural as possible.
If you’re old enough to remember the Food Pyramid recommendations that began in the 1950s, it was believed that a healthy diet consisted of mostly starchy grains at its base. Fortunately, research has led to a pyramid revision where the bottom level now correctly consists primarily of vegetables.
If there was one diet that I would recommend over any other, it would be one that is followed by those who live in the “Blue Zones.”
The Blue Zones are specific areas of the world where people live the longest with the least amount of health problems. These folks routinely live to be over or very close to 100 years of age and are incredibly robust nearly all their lives.
Here is the general dietary and lifestyle recommendations of people who live, work and eat in the Blue Zones:
- 95% plant-based
- 5% animal-based
- Fruits 27%
- Vegetables 33%
- Legumes and Fermented Soy Foods 12%
- Added Fats 2%
- Nuts and Seeds 2%
- Grains 7%
- Meat and Poultry 4%
- Dairy 10% (raw organic milks and cheeses)
- Fish 1%
- Eggs 1%
- Added Sugars 1%
HOW TO EAT TO LIVE TO 100
Here are some basic, powerful food habits and practices that one can follow to help support robust health and well-being: (maybe …a robust and healthy lifestyle??)
- Don’t count calories. Despite all the diet gurus telling everyone to eat 1,800 – 2,500 calories per day, everyone is different; metabolisms are different, bone and muscle densities are different, needs are different. Do you think those in the Blue Zones sit down with a calculator and add up every food at every meal? Of course not! They eat very slowly and stop eating when they are about 80% satiated, NOT until they are full. If you do this and follow the recommendations below, you won’t have to worry as much about losing weight; it should balance out automatically, as long as you exhibit self-control. Of course the amount of energy/calories you need each day depends on age, height, and activity. The current caloric recommendations are too high in this doctor’s opinion and have contributed to a population where 66% are overweight and 30% are obese.
- Chew, chew, chew your foods until they are almost a liquid before swallowing. This one practice alone will improve your digestion and nutrient assimilation like nothing you’ve ever experienced.
- Eat when hungry. The 3 square meals-a-day fallacy is a European invention that was carried over into America when we settled here. Most cultures used to eat only 1 – 2 meals a day with very little snacking. When your body is constantly expending energy to digest food, there’s very little of it left to detox and heal the body.
- Enjoy a Kingly Breakfast. If you are going to have breakfast, make it the biggest meal of the day.
- Cook and Eat at Home. This way you can control the amounts and quality of your foods rather than going out to restaurants.
- Eat with Friends and Family. Take your time, and enjoy the food and fellowship.
- Don’t eat standing up, when driving or while reading, watching TV, or working on your computer (I still haven’t mastered the last couple yet).
- Establish a time and family rule that everyone eats dinner together.
- Celebrate and Enjoy Food. If they make you happy, you shouldn’t give up that slice of pie at Thanksgiving, or that piece of birthday cake. The body has some capacity to equalize after an occasional indulgence.
- Lastly, fast…
Fasting is a method of achieving robust health of which you may not be aware. Question: How do animals behave when they get sick? They stop eating. Why?
When the body is denied food for a prolonged period of time, the energy that is usually expended for the digestive and elimination process shifts to healing the body. Animals are instinctive; they don’t need to be told not to eat when they are ill. Humans, on the other hand, usually do.
Fasting is a well-documented method of healing the human body. The idea of fasting sometimes conjures up Gandhi-type images of starvation and emaciation. That’s not what we’re talking about here.
A few days or week-long water or juice fast can be very healthy but difficult for some. An easier, effective, and excellent way to reduce calories and heal the body is called Intermittent Fasting. Rather than eating morning, noon and night over a 12 hour period such as from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, you have a specific window of eating and fasting. The most popular and proven time frame is an 8 hour eating window, followed by 16 hours of fasting. For example, you might fit in your meals between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, fast for 16 hours and then start again the next morning around the same time. The time of day doesn’t matter, it’s the 8 to 16 hour eating-to-fasting ratio that does. Some even eat during a 6 or 4 hour period and fast for 18-20 hours. Start off trying intermittent fasting just 2 or 3 days a week initially; increasing the number of days over time. It’s really up to you.
The following are some Longevity Superfood recommendations from the world’s Blue Zones (organic is always better, if possible):
- Wakame (seaweed)
- Sweet potatoes
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Wild greens
- Bitter melons
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Fava beans
- Other cooked beans
- Whole-grain bread
- Brown rice
Nuts and Seeds
- Almonds and other nuts
- Raw goat milk
- Feta cheese
- Pecorino cheese
- Olive oil
- Green tea
- Red wine
Sweeteners and Seasonings
- Mediterranean herbs
- Milk thistle (can take as a tea)
Other Tips from Blue Zone Warriors
- Grow and maintain your own garden. Fruits, vegetables and herbs begin to oxidize as soon as they are picked. A fresh source at hand ensures quality.
- Add bicycle riding or walking to your routines for enjoyable cardio.
- Grow indoor plants throughout your home to produce oxygen and cleanse the air.
- Create an indoor exercise area.
- Optimize your furniture. One way to increase circulation and save your lower back is to install a stand-up desk for paper/computer work at home.
One of the absolute best exercises for all-round health is resistance exercise.
Although many other activities are beneficial, working out with weights (intensely) 2-3 times a week for 20 minutes or so strengthens bones, prevents osteoporosis, and is excellent for cardiovascular health. Intensely doesn’t necessarily mean very heavy weights, but it does mean for each exercise that you work the muscles hard!
Several multi-joint exercises are superb such as: leg presses, chest presses, pull-downs, rows.
Do 1 or 2 sets slowly until you can’t move the weight any further. This type of exercise is extremely beneficial and healthy. Most Blue Zoners usually get their exercise by working in their gardens, hiking and doing regular manual labor which can involve heavy lifting.
If you follow these general guidelines, you won’t believe how much your body can heal, get stronger, be healthier and simply feel better! But, it takes effort. You have to want it.
- Limit your fiber. While this goes against advice you’ve heard your whole life about getting plenty of fiber, according to Konstantin Monastyrsky, author of The Fiber Menace, too much fiber leads to digestive health problems, including constipation.
- Use more salt. What?! Isn’t too much salt bad? This is true and false. Commercial bleached table salt and added salt in foods can be harmful. Sea Salt and/or Himalayan Salts are both excellent and we actually don’t get enough of them.
- Have some wine. As long as you don’t have an addiction and don’t overindulge, 1 or 2 glasses of red wine/day can be very healthful. In fact, most of the longest living cultures partake.
- Get your vitamins and minerals. If you eat too much processed foods or have digestive issues, you may be deficient in some important vitamins and minerals (more below).
- Add fish to your diet. Eating fish twice a week may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and macular degeneration as well as providing important essential fatty acids.
- Don’t drink too much water. It’s disconcerting that experts are telling everyone, from a 30lb child to a 400lb adult, to drink 8 glasses of water. Tribesmen in remote areas remain well-hydrated and only drink when thirsty. Animals do the same thing. Too much water washes and flushes precious minerals out of your body in addition to over-working your kidneys. Most people only need around ½ liter of water/day. Remember, there’s also a lot of water in fruits and vegetables you should be eating.
Medication Side Effects
Other than life-saving medications such as Insulin or Penicillin, medications typically can do more harm than good. As much as possible, let your food be your medicine.
Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, are, of course, essential. However, not all vitamins are created equal. Nearly all vitamins today come from China using inferior extraction methods and are also processed using synthetic chemicals. Additionally, everyone’s vitamin requirements are different. It’s never a one-size-fits-all quantity. So what’s the best way to get your vitamins?
Number 1: Eat nutrient-dense organic foods.
Number 2: Include high-quality supplementation. Due to over-farming and mineral depletion in soils, even organic foods may be lacking in essential nutrients. Therefore, rather than taking 15 different vitamin and mineral supplements from different companies, sources and locations, it’s best to use an organic, comprehensive, all-in-one supplement to cover all the bases.
Foods High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eating wild caught fish will provide plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. But even vegetarians can get enough of these fatty acids from many of the different vegetables and fruits they eat including flaxseed, soybeans, canola oil, and walnuts.
Last, but certainly not least, since we are bombarded daily by chemicals and heavy metals in our air, in our foods and water, detox is absolutely essential and should be done on a daily basis.
Several very effective detox methods are:
- EDTA heavy metal detox cream. EDTA has been shown to reduce or eliminate heavy metals from the body AND reduce calcification in arteries that can cause blockages
- Vegetable juicing. Juicing fresh vegetables supplies concentrated nutrients.
- This is an excellent way to remove toxins from the body.
- Bentonite Clay. This clay is very beneficial for removing toxins from the gut.
Be aware, detox can be hard on the body if done too rapidly or two aggressively. Therefore it’s best to start slow, go light, and ramp up slowly if needed.
We’ve seen that no matter what your age, you can make effective, positive changes in your health. Take care of your body, be consistent, be diligent and you can live a fuller, more healthful and vibrant life well into old age.
Michael Roth is a doctor of chiropractic with extensive knowledge and experience in nutrition and health. After running a successful chiropractic office for over 13 years, “Dr. Mike” branched out into peripheral realms of health study to enable him to offer his clients a more complete and overall knowledge base of wellness. With a goal to glorify the Lord, he is dedicated to provide for and educate the public as much as possible regarding the gaining and maintaining of dynamic health and effective supplementation. Dr. Roth has a line of detox, anti-oxidant and nutrient products including transdermal EDTA chelation cream, organic liquid vitamins/minerals, NAC and liposomal glutathione. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 678-897-1614 www.somahealth.net