The importance of five aspects linked to maintaining a healthy body – by Karen Foster, published on Prevent Disease on November 4, 2015.
Most educational and government institutions around the world have a very poor track record when it comes to influencing the practical habits that keep their populations healthy. They say we are destined for disease depending on our genetics and biology without ever addressing some of the most significant determinants that shape our health.
1) What Your Skin Absorbs
Our skin’s production of vitamin D dramatically influences our health. It is influenced by age (people ages 65 and over generate only one-fourth as much as people in their 20s do), skin color (African Americans have, on average, about half as much vitamin D in their blood as white Americans), and sunscreen use (slather on sunscreen in the summer and you’re guaranteed to eliminate prime opportunities to soak in Vitamin D). Spraying toxic bug repellents, creams and other cosmetics influence your immunity. Children have a large body surface area and tender skin, making them more prone to cross-skin absorption. People over 65 tend to have thinner skin and have had years of exposure to sun, which also makes their skin absorb more of these chemicals.
The last thing you should be doing after 60 is applying cosmetics, moisturizers (unless they are natural), makeup, and using conventional shampoos and conditioners. Researchers have discovered specific molecular signaling events by which vitamin D via skin production prevents inflammation. In experiments, many researchers have shown that low levels of Vitamin D, comparable to levels found in millions of people, failed to inhibit the inflammatory cascade–a series of rapid biochemical events which propagates and matures the inflammatory response within the immune system.
2) What You Ingest
These days, what you are not eating is far more important than what you are. Artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, emulsifiers, sweeteners have saturated the food supply for more than four decades. Avoiding these ingredients goes a long way in at least preventing toxic overloads. Trying to consume organic produce and avoiding glyphosate driven GMOs may very well add many years to our lives. Some nutrients such as wheat and soy are practically unavoidable when eating any kind of processed foods and each is profoundly inflammatory, immunotoxic and neurotoxic. When most people remove these from their diets, they lose weight, decrease inflammation and often increase the functionality of their immune system. The nutritional quality of our foods influences the nutritional status and immune system of the nation. Eliminating vaccinations, medications and other artificially manufactured substances only improve our health in the long-term. Although diet plays an integral role in the functioning of our immune system, it is only one of many elements which contribute to its full function.
3) What You Breathe
The health effects linked to exposure of even short-term fine particle pollution is highly detrimental to human health. They include nonfatal heart attacks, increased hospital admissions, emergency room (ER) visits and doctors visits for lung diseases, increases hospital admissions and ER visits for cardiovascular diseases, increased respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, and lung function changes. What you breathe influences the full gamut of physiological and cellular processes that allow you to keep living. The cleaner your air, the more functional your immune system.
4) How Much You Move
Regular physical activity, fitness, and exercise are critically important for the immune system of people of all ages. Research has demonstrated that virtually all individuals can benefit from regular physical activity, whether they participate in vigorous exercise or some type of moderate health-enhancing physical activity. Even among frail and very old adults, mobility and functioning can be improved through physical activity. It has been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality from many chronic diseases and immune functioning is directly correlated to how much we move. Studies have linked sedentary lifestyles to more than 25 percent of deaths from major chronic diseases where immunity was fully impaired. Millions suffer from chronic illnesses that can be prevented or improved through regular physical activity which can be anything from walking to swimming, riding a bike or engaging in team sports.
5) What You Think
Perhaps the most significant factor in our state of health is what we think and feel about ourselves and our lives. Epigenetics is the phenomena whereby genetically identical cells express their genes differently, resulting in different physical traits. Biologists have suspected for years that some kind of epigenetic inheritance occurs at the cellular level. The different kinds of cells in our bodies provide an example. Skin cells and brain cells have different forms and functions, despite having exactly the same DNA. There must be mechanisms – other than DNA – that make sure skin cells stay skin cells when they divide.
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, gene activity can change on a daily basis. If the perception in your mind is reflected in the chemistry of your body, and if your nervous system reads and interprets the environment and then controls the blood’s chemistry, then you can literally change the fate of your cells by altering your thoughts. Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression.
“The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs,” says Lipton. [See essay by Anando Transforming Destructive Unconscious Emotions into Creative Energies and Osho discourse excerpt Accept, And Then Just Watch, ed.]
The new science of epigenetics promises that every person on the planet has the opportunity to become who they really are, complete with unimaginable power and the ability to operate from, and go for, the highest possibilities, including healing our bodies and our culture and living in peace.