What is Inner Health?
Most of the people use the weigh scale as the only measurement of health, when in fact it does indicate if lifestyle changes need to be made, however that only measures your external health. How do you know really what is going on inside your body?
How many servings of fruits do you eat daily?
Internal and external health
When we focus on creating a healthy balance in all areas inside our body the outer health is naturally taken care of. It's the bodies natural reaction when everything is working and function well on the inside. So if our weight measures our outer health how do you measure your inner health? Indicators like cholesterol levels and blood pressure have traditionally been used to determine whether or not changes need to be made, In the area of exercise and diet, in order to prevent life threatening conditions and debilitating diseases.
Recently scientists have discovered the antioxidant score is an excellent indicator of ones overall Internal health, including blood pressure and cholesterol. Most people have heard the word antioxidant, but where do you get them and why are they so important?
Where Do I Get Antioxidants?
Antioxidants come from richly colored fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli to name a few. They can be taken in a form of a supplement as well. Why did Mom always tell us to eat our vegetables? If you don't understand WHY then you won't do it. So here's the answer to that question; It's important to include a wide variety of colorful antioxidant rich foods and supplements into your daily diet to ensure equally represented levels of carotenoids and flavenoids. For example taking a vitamin C supplement is great, and it's an antioxidant, however having only one vitamin without the compliment of a variety of other antioxidants is not nearly as effective to achieve and maintain your inner health. The more colors of fruits and vegetables the better!
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and seen under ripe, green banana's or super hard plums or avocado's? in a lot of cases grocery stores will provide fruits and vegetables that are picked green in order to get them shipped and or imported out to the stores so they have a longer shelf life. Times have changed, over the years our soils have been depleting and when you add the fact that they are harvested prematurely as well, this has all resulted in poorer quality fruits and vegetables. This has changed the recommended daily intake for the average person to 12-15 servings of fruits and vegetables! One reason why 97% of the population is deficient in antioxidants. The better option is to buy organic fruits and vegetables however the average household income can not afford to buy organic.
Why Organic? and is it really worth the cost?
Organic products are not sprayed or covered in chemicals and pesticides so in order for them to protect themselves from the environment around them they naturally produce more antioxidants as a defense mechanism. So when you consume organic products they have a much higher quality and quantity of antioxidants. It brings you back to the old saying "you get what you pay for" When you look at the cost vs payoff in buying organic vs standard products. There is a definite benefit to buying organic produce, which is usually grown locally and I always prefer to support local businesses and encourage others to do the same.
Busy life? can't seem to fit it into your schedule?
Although eating whole foods is the absolute best option when feeding your body there is an alternative, especially for those who lead busy lives and don't have time to wash and cut up so many fruits and veggies every single day. Antioxidant supplements have become very popular because of the convenience of the quick delivery system.
There are a lot of options on the market today and it can be very overwhelming but to narrow it down for you the best delivery system for any nutritional supplement is in a liquid format. Liquid is the best delivery system because your body will absorb more of product with less waste. Your body only absorbs about 7-10% of pills, the rest just gets filtered through your kidneys. So look for organic or wild supplements with no additives.
So what effect do antioxidants have on the body?
Antioxidants slow down the oxidation process of the body by neutralizing free radicals (rogue molecules that damage your healthy cells) Free radicals occur during oxidation, a natural process that happens to our cells everyday. they come from things such as stress, lack of sleep, pollution, the sun, poor nutrition, exercise. The best example to use is when you cut open an apple. The apple represents your cell. As soon as you cut the apple the oxidation process begins, free radicals are produced and it slowly starts to turn brown. Essentially the same thing happens to your cells inside your body, This is your Inner Health, with the browning of your cells representing age, sickness and disease. However if you squeeze lemon juice on the apple immediately after it's been cut open it will prevent oxidation (browning).
Think of antioxidants as the lemon juice for your cells. When you replenish your cells with antioxidants at the same or greater rate than free radicals we can slow down the aging process of our cells, and in turn lower your risk of sickness and diseases such as cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes to name a few. When free radicals are left UN-checked cells are damaged or destroyed and the body finds itself in a state of oxidative stress resulting in chronic inflammation.
This is the state the majority of the population are in today and yet most are unaware of what's going on inside their body.
“Inflammation is the root cause of all disease”
as stated by Dr. Roger C. Rinn, author of the book 'Harnessing the Healing Power of Fruit"
Understanding your inner health and learning how to Master your meals is so important when working towards reaching your health goals.
Don't get hung up on what the scale says!
Once you get your inner health in check your outer health WILL follow.