Naturally Healthy Habits We All Need To Cultivate

The best naturally healthy habits to help you sustain a balanced physical and mental health profile, are lifestyle changes that need to be given a permanent place in our lives. And it is not as easy as it sounds.

There are many natural obstacles that could easily break your progress. In fact, some of these obstacles are so obstinate in their resolve to hold you back that taking the first step towards a naturally healthy lifestyle is almost impossible.

But that is a topic for another day. Today our focus is on those natural healthy habits that you can start developing for a sound health.

Naturally Healthy

1. Getting Enough Sleep

The people we consider as healthy all have a well planned sleep routine. It is that aspect of their life that is guided and measured by the hours.

There is a time to go to bed and there is a required amount that moment is suppose to last. Anything shorter than 8 hours sleep at night is considered unhealthy but sadly, a lot of people work shift.

Which means that most nights of the week they are awake when they should be asleep.

It is a research fact that people with short sleep duration had reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin. Which is likely to increase appetite. [1]

Other studies from around the world has shown a consistent increased risk of obesity amongst short sleepers in children and adults. [2]

But it goes beyond just increase in weight. Getting enough sleep can enhance physical performance. In a study that was carried out on basketball players, it was discovered that longer sleep was able to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being. Showing that optimal sleep is likely beneficial in reaching peak athletic performance.[3]
In yet another study, women who slept 6 hours per night walked 3.5% slower than those who slept 6.0-6.8 hours. Objectively measured poorer sleep was associated with worse physical function. [4]

It appears to be a fact that lack of proper sleeping can lead to cognitive issues. As was the case of interns during a study, which showed that interns made substantially more serious medical errors when they worked frequent shifts of 24 hours or more than when they worked shorter shifts. [5]

Not sleeping enough can increase your chances of getting stroke and heart diseases. Short duration of sleep was associated with a greater risk of developing or dying of coronary heart disease and stroke. [6]

Sleep deprivation was also found to have a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function. The effects were similar to those seen in normal ageing and, therefore, proves that sleep deprivation may increase the severity of age-related chronic disorders. [7]

Lack of sleep can also mess around with your blood sugar level. Glucose tolerance has been shown to be impaired after six days of sleep restricted to four hours per night, compared to a condition in which participants were allowed twelve hours in bed per night for six days [], which might contribute to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

it was also shown that two nights of sleep restricted to four hours, compared to two nights of ten hours in bed, results in a reduction of the satiety hormone leptin, accompanied by increased hunger and increased serum concentrations of the orexigenic factor ghrelin [], which might add to the risk of developing obesity. Sleep restriction of 5 hours per night for 1 week also, significantly reduced insulin sensitivity. [10]

It was also discovered that sleep duration of 6 hours or less or 9 hours or more is associated with increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose intolerance. Citing that voluntary sleep restriction may contribute to the large public health burden of diabetes mellitus. [11]

It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality. Of all the psychiatric disorders associated with insomnia, depression is the most common.
Numerous studies has also provided findings indicating the remarkable relationship between sleep alterations and depression. [12]So it is very important to enjoy deep sleep on a daily basis in order to create a naturally healthy profile.

2. Learn To Eat More Raw Foods

Not everybody can eat their foods raw. Now don’t you freak out! By raw I mean fresh.

Which refers to uncooked, unprocessed, mostly organic foods. The whole idea behind this kind of eating is that heating food destroys its nutrients and natural enzymes, which is bad because enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic disease.

Some followers of this way of eating believe that cooking makes food toxic. And that a raw food diet can clear up mild issues like headaches and allergies, boost immunity and memory, and improve arthritis and diabetes. The truth is eating more fruits and vegetables can really do major good for your health.

And by eating more raw foods, I am not advocating for a complete change of meal. All I am saying is eating more raw foods can really make you naturally healthy.

It is all about eating more raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. While still enjoying unpasteurized dairy foods, raw eggs, meat, and fish. But in a lesser percentage. [13]Studies have demonstrated that increased consumption of fruit and vegetables from less than 3 to more than 5 servings per day is related to a 17% reduction in coronary heart disease risk, while increased intake to 3-5 servings/day is associated with a smaller and borderline significant reduction in coronary heart disease risk.Leading to the recommendation to consume more than 5 servings/day of fruit and vegetables. [14]Fruit and vegetable in the range of five servings per day showed that fruit and vegetables had a significant protective effect on both ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke. Thus, fruits and vegetables consumption is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. [15]

Evidence show that whole grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and total cancer, and mortality from all causes, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes, and all non-cardiovascular, non-cancer causes. [16]

Data from 87 published studies showed that vegan or vegetarian diet is a highly effective tool for weight loss.

They also found that vegetarian populations have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. In addition, the review suggested that weight loss in vegetarians is not dependent on exercise and occurs at a rate of approximately 1 pound per week.

Stating that a vegan diet caused more calories to be burned after meals, in contrast to nonvegan diets which may cause fewer calories to be burned because food is being stored as fat.[17]
Whole grain intake is also associated with a variety of beneficial health effects. In large epidemiological studies, whole grain intake is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) and lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer [18]

Eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains would do more than fill you up. They can help you heal from the inside because they are nutrient dense , with lots of antioxidants.

3. Learn To Fast

Hope intermittent fasting as a concept as well as a practice is not at all strange to you.

Intermittent fasting is a process wherein you fast for, let’s say 16 hours then eat all you want during the remaining 8 hours of the day.

For instance, you stop eating by 8pm until 12 the next day noon. Then from that 12noon you can eat as you want (healthy foods), which then ends by 8pm.And again the process is restarted the next day.

During the fast period, you are not allowed to take in liquids with sugars or calories but water and black coffee is allowed.

Intermittent fasting can ignite a fat burning furnace in your body.

It is now a known fact that achieving great weight and fat loss goals can be achieved with intermittent. [19]

Results from another study suggest that an intermittent fasting program in which all calories are consumed in the 8 hour feeding window in conjunction with resistance training, could improve some health-related biomarkers, decrease fat mass, and maintain muscle mass in resistance-trained males. [20]
“The state of the science on intermittent fasting has evolved to the point that it now can be considered as one approach, with exercise and healthy food, to improving and maintaining health as a lifestyle approach,” said senior author Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist with Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.
“It takes 10 to 12 hours to use the liver’s energy stores,” Mattson said. “Then what happens is, fats are used for energy.”

“If you’re thinking of intermittent fasting as a fad diet, I think it’s actually a pretty legitimate option,” said Hannah Kittrell, a registered dietitian and manager of the Mount Sinai PhysioLab in New York City, a nutrition and exercise physiology clinic.

“The reason for that is it’s not completely cutting out any food groups,” said Kittrell, “It’s not telling you don’t eat carbs, don’t eat fat. It’s just modulating when you’re eating food.”

“There’s an evolutionary basis in the sense that hunter-gatherers essentially followed an intermittent fasting diet because food was scarce. They wouldn’t necessarily know the next time they’d eat,” she said. [21]

Naturally Healthy

4. Reduce The Amount Of Red Meat You Consume
Red meat has high amounts of protein, which helps promote muscle growth, and vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. For example, a 3-ounce serving has about 45% of the Daily Value (DV) of protein and 35% of the DV for B12. A serving of red meat is also a good source of zinc, which can help the body produce testosterone, and selenium, a powerful antioxidant.
But another naturally healthy habit to have is reducing or removing red meat from your plate. There is a clear link between high intake of red and processed meats and a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and premature death.

According to Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “The evidence shows that people with a relatively low intake have lower health risks,” he says. “A general recommendation is that people should stick to no more than two to three servings per week.”
“Instead of the main course, use red meat as a side dish,” he says.

“Consider red meat a luxury and not a staple food”

But if you can, you should cut red meat from your meals. Adding healthier alternatives that give same nutrients as red meats.
“You can get the same amounts — and in some cases even more — from poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts, and as well as by following a plant-based diet.” says Dr. Hu. [22]

5. Meditation

There are many issues affecting our health today with foundations deeply rooted in our mental space.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts away from the negative to the positive.

This is a core part of the whole “be healthy practice” and if you can’t get yourself to this point, then you are not completely into the practice yet.

When the mind is off balance, the body suffers. In a study involving reviewing 18 753 citations, and included 47 trials with 3515 participants. It was concluded that meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress. [23]

Meditation can help:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Control Anxiety
  • Improve Emotional Health
  • Enhance Self Awareness
  • Lengthen Attention Span
  • May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
  • May Help Fight Addictions
  • Improve Sleep
  • Helps Control Pain [24]

5. Regular Body Exercise

Many people live a sedentary lifestyle. They are stuck in long bouts of inactivity that it has become so easy for their body to pick up avoidable health conditions like obesity and body pains.

To live healthy it is mandatory that we move our body. And just by walking alone, one can actually fire up our metabolism while sustaining a vigor that is bound to spill into other areas of our lives. [25]

Exercise can help us build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Consequently improving both our health and aesthetic value.

Disclaimer: This website is not for emergency use, clinical diagnosis, or treatment. This service is not intended to replace a physical physician consultation but to provide additional information. If you have an emergency, please call your emergency services and get prompt treatment.
About Felix Brambaifa 28 Articles
A philosophy graduate from the Niger Delta University in Nigeria but now a personal trainer for weight loss enthusiasts. I have been overweight for most of my life. And by personal research and effort have successfully lost major pounds without spending much. My weight loss journey started during my youth service year in Ekiti State (2015). It was compulsory hunger that finally forced me to try out Intermittent fasting. The results made me a disciple. Since then i have gone ahead to study different weight loss methods, which i will be sharing with you on this blog. I am now a personal weight loss coach and my experience is a valuable tool on this page.

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