Now that we’ve entered another New Year, here are a few REALLY EASY resolutions that will boost your health and likely to prolong your life. If I’m wrong, and you find yourself unexpectedly on the underside of the sod, call me for a full refund. No questions asked.
- Have one small square of dark chocolate each day (high in antioxidants).
- Use more garlic in your cooking. (lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, high in antioxidants).
- Have a cup or two of green tea each day. (same as above, reduces cancer risks; available in capsule concentrates if you don’t like the taste).
- Eat more organic fruits and vegetables. (avoiding all those herbicides/pesticides will pay off in the long run).
- Walk briskly outside for 20 minutes every day or 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training. Find an online video that matches your age.
- Laugh more—read more jokes, watch funny movies, invite your funniest friends over for dinner.
- Decide what the single most stressful aspect of your life is and make a project of doing something about it. (True story: When I was taking psychiatry in medical school, the professor held up ‘the most useful book imaginable to reduce stress.’ It was “How to Stop Worrying” by self-help guru Dale Carnegie, written in 1948,. The whole class laughed. Those that actually bothered to read the book, profited endlessly from its wisdom).
- Start planning and saving for a vacation, even if it means putting a few coins in a jar every day.
- Eat breakfast. When a large group of 100-years-olds was questioned about their lifestyles, the factor common to them all was eating this most vital meal of the day.
- Vow to read labels and eat nothing containing high fructose corn syrup and all those chemicals with names you can’t pronounce. This is the vast array of what convert various mush-like ingredients into ultra-processed “foods”. Obesity, diabetes, clogged arteries, cancers in young people are just a few of the gifts from the food industry.
- Lastly, clean out your “Vitamin Graveyard”
You probably never called it that but you’ll find your personal graveyard on your kitchen countertop or along shelves in your medicine cabinet or stretched to the entire bathroom windowsill, the oldest bottles dropped unceremoniously into a cardboard box “for later use.”
Many (in fact, probably most) of my patients have supplement accumulations like this. Perhaps yours began with the recommendation from a friend, a health food store clerk or a TV commercial (“first month free, stop anytime”). Maybe you responded to a persuasive mailing that promised relief from some worrisome symptom that you’ve completely forgotten about. Or perhaps a late-night infomercial reassured you that some fearful disease could be prevented if only you had your credit card ready. So, you start taking whatever it was and then a few weeks later you add another, then another. And now you have one yourself: a vitamin graveyard.
Time to clean house and get rid of your vitamin graveyard. Here’s how:
- If the bottle has a layer of greasy dust on it, toss it immediately.
- Read the expiration date and toss everything that’s expired.
- If you can’t remember what the supplement is for, toss it.
- If you’ve gotten over whatever you bought the supplement for, toss it.
In my opinion, all you’ll likely need:
• A high potency multiple vitamin/mineral product to compensate for your dietary shortcomings. If you remember to take this every day, you’re set. Here’s a good one: one pill, once a day. Even the name is easy to remember and notice that one bottle lasts three months: (dose: one cap daily).
• Fish oil, which, along with the B complex found in O.N.E., will help ward off stress and reduce your heart disease risks. If you eat fish 2-3 times a week, don’t bother with this, otherwise: Dose: 2 caps daily
• Vitamin D, everyone in the upper Midwest seems to be D deficient and low levels are now linked to so many symptoms and diseases. I’m grateful it is finally being taken seriously by most physicians. If you’re not a WholeHealth Chicago patient, make sure your doctor checks your levels regularly. Dose> 5,000 IU daily.
You can add, as needed:
• Supplements used to prevent specific health conditions that you may be at risk for. Examples include calcium for osteoporosis prevention; detoxifiers if you have a family cancer risk; CoQ10 and magnesium if your family is rampant with heart disease; and glucosamine/chondroitin for arthritis.
Be well and Happy New Year!
David Edelberg, MD