We all know our bodies have an incredible ability to heal themselves. With the right ingredients, humans can handle most of life’s daily obstacles and even prevent some from ever happening in the first place!
To properly function though, we must consume clean water and well-balanced meals on regular schedules with enough rest time for the body to easily ingest, process, and detox. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to overwork or stress out your system. But when you learn exactly what your body needs, you can make yourself incredibly resilient.
Maximizing nutrition not only gives your body optimal support to live a long healthy life, but it also gives you more energy and mental capabilities.
Understanding what your body needs to thrive, not just survive, will keep you moving forward in your journey towards peak health so that you can live up to your full potential and be responsibly engaged in the world.
The human body has hundreds of metabolic pathways that make up what the majority of society calls a metabolism. Through these pathways, your body regulates literally everything. This system has a profound effect on your thoughts, movement, and senses. We’ve all heard that you are what you eat, but what if you’re not eating enough – then you’re not enough?
What if enough has more to do with quality than quantity? Let’s start with the basics: air, water, light, and food. Like plants, humans need a sufficient amount of clean fuel to regulate their bodies between feedings.
Who would have thought that our most abundant resources are the hardest to keep clean?
It’s well known that communities that enjoy cleaner air enjoy proper lung function. But unfortunately, over 90% of the global population lives in places where air quality is significantly lower than recommended.
Climate change and pollution are only making this worse. We once thought that we could get fresh air by stepping outside, but time spent outdoors in many parts of the world is dangerous to our health over time, according to climatecentral.org:
“Exposure to high levels of ozone has long been known to have serious health consequences, especially for children, the elderly, people with cardiovascular or lung diseases, and for those who work outside. Recent research also shows that low levels of ozone exposure can be hazardous for anyone spending time outdoors.”
Depending on where you live, you can either take a hike or invest in cleaning your home for better air quality. After an asthmatic childhood under doctors’ orders, a BA in healthcare administration, and a decade in the wellness industry, I’ve come up with a simple list of what you can do to breathe better.
- Get some fresh air! Open those windows or buy a decent air purifier.
- Decorate with houseplants! Even NASA knows that plants remove “high concentrations of indoor air pollutants”
- Remove chemicals! There are a plethora of lung-friendly alternatives for cleaning your home, laundry and making it smell better.
- Destroy mold ASAP! Did you know that mold is also a silent killer?
- Practice mindful home hygiene. Keeping your shoes in one place can reduce your dust load.
We literally consume more air than any other measurable substance. And with Covid-19 affecting lung health, it’s never been more important for you to take control of your life. The American Psychological Associate has reported a connection between pollution and cognition:
Over the past decade, researchers have found that high levels of air pollution may damage children’s cognitive abilities, increase adults’ risk of cognitive decline, and possibly even contribute to depression.
Have you ever tasted the difference between tap water in the city and well water in the mountains? This one is a no-brainer. Your water quality is super important. If you’re regularly drinking out of plastic bottles, you probably don’t enjoy your local water supply.
There’s a HUGE difference between the two types of water for sale.
- Conventionally distributed water (e.g. Dasani, Nestle, and Topo Chico) are not the same as fresh, clean spring water. The majority of bottled water on the shelves contains an awful amount of pollutants and microplastics.
“In contrast to bottled water, tap water suppliers must undergo testing to show contaminant levels, offer quality reports to consumers, meet EPA standards, and disclose their water sources. This means bottled water isn’t always the safest option. Additionally, bottled water can be on average 1,000 times more expensive than tap water.”
Truth is, your tap water might be just as good as your bottled water, unless:
- Source water, typically known as spring water, is superior to all ingestible water. Water from a source, like a mile-deep aquifer, a mountain spring, or volcanic well can truly satisfy your body and not just pacify it. If you must drink bottled water, invest in source water and thank me later. The further north your source is or the less polluted the area is that your water comes from, the better. This type of water contains minerals that your body needs to thrive, which we will discuss more down below.
Obviously, all water is not the same. And if you think you don’t like water, I would bet that your body doesn’t like the pollutants in the water you’ve been drinking.
All of my life, I’ve had an adequate light supply. It’s not something that most people consider, but if you live in prison, under the streets of Vegas, or in Alaska all year long, you might know a thing or two about how sunlight changes your life.
Much like a plant again, the human body needs light to grow – some more than others.
Northwestern University published an interesting research study on what I’ve known all of my mixed life: black people need more sun. But have we ever talked about why? Most of my black Texas family refused to move up North in the winter. It’s not that they couldn’t handle the cold – we snowboarded and skied on vacations growing up. The research shows that:
African-American men have lower levels of Vitamin D because the increased melanin in darker skin blocks the ultraviolet rays necessary for the body to produce the vitamin. Thus, African-American men require up to six times more sun exposure than Caucasian men to make adequate Vitamin D levels.
So if we put skin color on a spectrum and think about how much lighter or darker people are as they live in places further or closer to the equator, it’s a relatively simple understanding that we are not all the same. Just like mangoes need more sun and heat, people with more melanin (all races included), need proper supplementation or sun exposure to live a healthy life. Vitamin D deficiency is not always obvious. Lack of sunlight and Vitamin D affects your mood, bone density, muscles, joints, and energy levels.
Light is so critical to our existence, obviously. But, have you heard during the pandemic that the sun’s rays can help fight off disease? Of course! Adequate Vitamin D in the body literally prevents illness!
“A new research study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found that when it comes to COVID-19, having Vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of infection, especially for black people… While levels of 30 ng/ml or more are usually considered sufficient, the authors found that black individuals who had levels of 30 to 40 ng/ml had a 2.64 times higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than people with levels of 40 ng/ml or greater. Statistically significant associations of Vitamin D levels with COVID-19 risk were not found in white people.”
There’s not much we can do to change our external world before we change our internal world. So, I suggest that you work on your body if you want to be the change that happens in the world. Healthy humans means healthy communities. Healthy communities love their environment, economy, and neighbors. Start your trip down the Vitamin D rabbit hole here:
- What are normal Vitamin D Levels? Medical News Today
- What’s the right Vitamin D Level? Harvard Health Publishing
- Vitamin D and the Immune System. US National Library of Medicine
From the dawn of time, humans have been obsessed with food. It’s what we use to cope with stress, what we use to celebrate success, and what we are probably here to create for other humans and animals. No matter what diet you choose, you do need some living organisms to function in addition to macro and micronutrients.
What are macronutrients?
We are literally obsessed with macronutrients because, without them, we can’t survive or think to thrive. These nutrients provide energy in the form of proteins or carbohydrates so they can continue replacing themselves while also replenishing what was used up during activity or digestion. You’ve probably heard the terms before, but The Food Network breaks it down simply:
Carbohydrates, protein and fats as a group are called “macronutrients,” and are affectionately referred to as “macros.” In short, macronutrients are where you get your energy from. Carbs are your brain and muscles’ primary source of energy. You know how nutritionists say you shouldn’t completely cut out carbs? This is a major reason why.
To fully understand how much and what percentage of carbs, proteins, and fats you should consume, I highly recommend you speak with a nutrition specialist.
You can reduce your environmental impact by consuming macronutrients more mindfully. Macronutrients should be locally sourced, organic, and as fresh as possible regardless of what diet you choose to follow- this will help improve not just the taste but also nutritional value for yourself!
What are micronutrients?
Why is it that we only learn about so few micronutrients. Indeed, Harvard is right about the importance of micronutrients (the vitamins and minerals in your food or supplements):
Nearly 30 vitamins and minerals that your body cannot manufacture in sufficient amounts on its own are called “essential micronutrients.”
According to government bodies and doctors around the world, the general consensus is that “the best way to get vitamins and minerals is from a well-rounded diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean sources of protein, along with healthy fats, such as nuts and olive oil.”
However, conventional medicine and popular academic entities all seem to avoid diving into the topic of micronutrients. They explain the basic vitamins and a couple minerals essential to survival.
But what about the minerals and vitamins we need to thrive?
There’s an interesting idea floating around the holistic health community:
From 30 to 102, that’s a lot of minerals we are not discussing. Yes, you should definitely try your best to improve and maintain your health via food consumption. But with the supply chain changing so rapidly, pollution taking over the world, and growing processed food consumption, it’s almost impossible for people to adequately supply their bodies with just the right minerals.
Dr. Sebi, a world-renowned holistic practitioner, was rumored to have cured several incurable diseases in many countries for celebs and non-celebs. He even won his Supreme Court case where he proved that he cured all the diseases mentioned in litigation.
Sebi is the thought leader responsible for promoting minerals and herbs to heal the body of any and all diseases. To keep it simple, Sebi taught that the body needs 102 minerals to function well. While you can source these minerals through food, it’s easiest to consume Sea Moss and Bladderwrack to replenish your body’s supply. Many followers of his teachings claim that the combination of these two herbs assists in fighting iron deficiency, reducing mucus, improving mental function, and healing your body from poor digestion and even radiation exposure.
In the next year or so, since this idea of 102 necessary minerals is taking off, we can expect to see some fact-checking and literature supporting or denying Sebi’s contributions.
I can say that I’ve consumed these herbs on a vegan and omnivorous diet, and they didn’t hurt.
Our bodies are made up of so many things – bacteria, fungi, and more. We need them all to function at our best!
Bacteria commit more than 90% (and sometimes all) of their cells’ DNA to make us who we are – our genetics; they help regulate moods by producing serotonin while also breaking down drug addiction hormones like dopamine into less harmful substances so we can feel better fast when needed…
There’s a budding frontier for the human body awaiting our collective curiosity. Medscape’s Bret Stetka reported on the body’s complicated relationship with fungi to teach us:
… a growing number of researchers feel that alongside bacteria, the fungi that inhabit our bodies – or, collectively, the “mycobiome” — may also be influential in both our well-being and, at times, disease.
In all, they reported 101 fungal species, with each person harboring between 9 and 23 strains. They considered a healthy fungal community to include those species present in at least 20 percent of the participants, including, most commonly, various Candida species.
We’re nothing without our microbes.
I bet you never thought that the things living on and in your body could make up such a vital part of who we are as people, did ya? It’s true!
All of our health concerns are connected and cannot be solved in isolation.
To properly support the body’s ability to heal and maintain a state of youth, we must consider our environment’s cleanliness or lack thereof, energy sources, and economic power. If you live in a prison, how do you get adequate light? Live in the “hood”, how do you get adequate nutrition? If you live in New York City, how do you get clean air?
Every person is beautifully unique. We all require different air, water, light, and food to live. Like plants, we are all in need of good soil that provides microbes and nutrients for our many biochemical pathways.
If you are fortunate enough to grow your own food, check out Earthfood, it’s a microbe for plants. They help reduce algae growth and restore soil virility. It takes several decades to restore soil naturally, but with Earthfood, one can restore stripped soil in about 21 days.
Identify just one simple way to improve your life based on this article and start there. You don’t need much to feel better, but you do need more than we were taught to become resilient enough to thrive.