“Prevention is better than cure”, and that exactly is the key to living healthy in today’s times. From the water we drink to the food we eat, it’s all laden with harmful chemicals. Apart from just Chlorine and Fluoride, the tap water we drink is filled with many heavy metals and pharmaceuticals which when consumed over many years cause a host of issues stretching from depression and anxiety disorders to forgetfulness and mind fog. The meat being consumed is loaded with antibiotics. Inorganically grown vegetables are full of pesticides, and most processed food contains preservatives whose effects on our bodies are not particularly well studied. So how do we protect ourselves? That is exactly what we’ll cover in this article. The aim is not to scare but to bring awareness and offer practical solutions. Let’s go!
We’ll take an inside out approach which focuses on fixing the basics first and then moves out to other important areas.
Disclaimer: We are not medical practitioners. All herbs and Vitamins suggested in the article are safe and widely used but please consult your medical practitioner if you are pregnant , have allergies or have any serious medical condition. Please use responsibly at your own discretion. We are in no way responsible for any side-effect you may experience.
(A) Fix the basics
1. Use clean chemical free water
Use chemical free water for drinking and shower. This is the fundamental step toward healthy living. Our water supplies are probably the biggest factor in causing many psychological problems. They are filled with pharmaceuticals, chlorine, fluoride and all sorts of heavy metals including lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminium, cadmium and the list goes on. They have debilitating effects on the human body. We could focus on the ill effects here but there are tons of scientific articles regarding that already. Here we’ll focus on how to protect ourselves. The first thing that needs to be done is to stop using tap water. Drinking bottled water is not recommended either because it leeches out small amounts of plastic into water and is expensive in the long run. A good Reverse Osmosis system is the best choice for water filtration. It will first remove all impurities from water including the pharmaceuticals which cheaper alternatives don’t. It will then add important minerals like Magnesium and Calcium that will give water an alkaline pH. This mineral addition saturates pure water and prevents its leaching effect. Contrary to what you might think, pure water without any minerals is bad since it leaches out important minerals from the body. In addition to preventing this leaching, the addition of these minerals also provides a great taste to your water that you’ll love.
Use a shower filter that removes heavy metals and chlorine. Although you could shower with RO water, I would recommend not doing that. Not only is it economically and ecologically wasteful, it is absolutely unnecessary. A simple shower filter can work wonders here. The main culprit here is Chlorine which is present in quantity significant enough to cause skin and hair damage over a long period. Not only is Chlorine absorbed through the skin but it also goes into the lungs with steam we inhale during shower. A good shower filter will remove Chlorine and heavy metals from water and will make your hair and skin silky smooth within a few months of use.
2. Consume only fresh organic food.
In Ayurveda, food has been divided into 3 broad categories, namely
- Satvik – Fresh food that includes fruits, legumes, whole grains, and most vegetables.
- Rajasik – Meat, onion, garlic, egg plant, chilies, extremely spicy and stimulating food.
- Taamasik – Meat, onion, garlic, food that is not fresh, liquor.
Of these, Satvik is considered the best for mental and physical health as well as spiritual growth. It is the easiest to digest and hence creates the least burden on the body. To put it simply, our bodies create the most amount of energy from Satvik food while also using the least amount in order to digest it. Therefore it leaves our body with a greater net gain.
Meat on the other hand is very hard to digest and is not meant for human consumption. Compared to carnivores, our bodies have much longer intestinal tract, lower stomach acidity, alkaline saliva, and have bumps and pouches in our bowel like other herbivores. All things considered, our digestive system matches that of herbivores, and unlike carnivores we can’t process meat fast and effectively. Partially digested meat can sit in our bodies for a long time which then releases many toxins that cause a spectrum of health problems. On top of that, most of the meat available in market today is filled with antibiotics and preservatives and that enhances the negative effects even further. Even spiritually speaking, the act of killing an animal (a conscious living being), then chopping off its body into small pieces, then cooking and consuming it is in itself quite cruel. The emotions (fear, anger, stress, anxiousness) the animal was feeling during its end moments remain in that body and are transferred to some degree upon its consumption. Meat is not meant for human consumption and is absolutely not required by our bodies. The myth regarding complete protein and its unavailability in a vegan or vegetarian diet has been spread around by meat producing companies in order to make their money. Science concludes that all essential amino acids can be easily obtained from a vegan or vegetarian diet. Read more about protein in vegan diet here
Consume only organic produce. Organic plants and vegetables are grown without the use of harmful pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes. These synthetic additives are absorbed by plants grown using in-organic farming practices and then are transferred to our bodies. These pesticides and other chemicals wreck havoc on the body over long term use. Organic products also cannot contain any genetic modification, meaning they are non-gmo.
The next step to living healthy is to detox. Once we have put a stop on the introduction of new harmful chemicals from outside, it is then turn to remove what we accumulated on the inside over all these years. Additionally, our bodies naturally generate many by products from processes like digestion that are not always entirely eliminated. Therefore a need for detox arises. As a positive side effect, these steps will also give you healthy, glowing skin and hair.
- Consume Haritaki, Triphala every night and Neem every morning on 2 weeks on/off cycles. In other words, consume them for 2 weeks, stop for two weeks and then repeat the cycle.
- Fast once every 14 days. During the fast only consume organic fruits and vegetables and drink enough water to prevent constipation. Fasting without adequate water consumption can lead to severe constipation and should be avoided. Why is fasting important anyways? Fasting provides a break to our digestive system which allows it to rejuvenate and perform at its peak the next time. It also provides our body an opportunity to get rid of waste matter which it otherwise was not being able to. Read more about fasting here.
- Add water into a copper jug every night and consume it in the morning. This positively charges water and also adds trace amounts of copper that are required by the body. Read more about the benefits of copper enriched water here.
- Avoid coffee, especially inorganic since it is full of pesticides. If caffeine must be consumed, then do so using a herbal tea. Tea has compounds that calm the mind and improve focus. It is also full of anti-oxidants that fight free radicals that contribute to the aging process. Read more about tea benefits here.
Once a regular detox cycle has been established and practiced for 3 months you will notice that many symptoms such as low energy, brain fog, sleeplessness, upset stomach, digestion problems will have disappeared. It is then time to rejuvenate the body using special herbs, exercise and regular eating and sleeping cycles.
- Ashwagandha – Ayurvedic herb that reduces stress levels, boosts body’s immunity and energy levels. Ashwagandha is also used for putting on muscle mass, increase strength and improve libido. Read more.
- Shatavari – Ayurvedic herb that promotes healthy energy levels, boosts female reproductive system, and also helps with male infertility problems by increasing sperm count. Read more.
- Mucuna pruriens (Kaunch seed) – Ayurvedic herb that increases energy levels, fights fatigue and tiredness, increases libido in both men and women. Special Note: Do not use during pregnancy. Read more.
- Saffron – This valuable spice has been used for centuries to help with insomnia, low energy and depression. Daily use in low amounts can work wonders. Either add 5-6 strands to your tea or other hot beverage, or cook about 20 strands with your rice. It will add a golden color, floral aroma and a unique taste to your rice. Read more.
The Vitamins (if levels are low)
- Vitamin D3 – is essential for healthy bone development, energy levels and brain function. Vitamin D levels of over 20 ng/mL are considered normal and around 50ng/mL is considered the sweet spot. Unfortunately there is no means of obtaining this essential vitamin through a natural vegan diet and therefore supplementation becomes essential. Vegan D3 is obtained from D3 producing lichens which are a type of plant. Read more.
- Vitamin B12 – is essential for red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and neurological function. Vitamin B12 levels of 200-900 ng/mL are considered normal. Yet again this essential vitamin is hard to come by in a vegan diet and therefore needs to be supplemented with a vegan B12 supplement. Read more.
Needless to say, maintaining a regular eating and sleeping cycle is essential to staying healthy. When it comes to eating and sleeping, our body prefers regularity. On a regular cycle, our body starts preparing for the actual event beforehand, thus improving the quality of the event (be it sleep or digestion). Once you start eating, sleeping and waking up on the same time everyday, you’ll notice that your digestion will become efficient, the drowsiness experienced after eating food will reduce, you’ll start waking up without an alarm clock, and your intensity towards life will sky rocket.
A pro tip to increase productivity throughout the day is to consume the smallest meal of the day in the morning around 7:30 am, then a small lunch at noon, and the largest meal of the day in the evening around 6 pm. This will tremendously cut down drowsiness experienced after meals during the work hours and will induce sleep and relaxation at night time.
To conclude everything, we discussed that the first step towards healthy living is to stop the intake of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride that have been introduced to our water supplies. The second step is to start a detox routine to effectively cleanse the body of the these pollutants as well as any waste naturally produced by the body. Lastly, we can use powerful herbs and essential vitamins to rejuvenate our body to restore it to its peak performance.
All products discussed in the article have been conveniently placed below for our readers. We wish you the best.