Let us pose a question to you to think about while you’re reading this article. With all the modern-day advancements in technology, science, medicine, and “wonder” drugs, why are more and more people becoming ill? Why are hospital and medical facilities operating at full capacity?
Why is there a health crisis? After reading “Healthy Living Home Health”, you’ll understand why and some of the things that can be done individually, as private citizen, about this health crisis. The world is facing multiple health challenges in 2019, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
These challenges range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens in foods, growing rates of obesity, compounded by physical inactivity, to the health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises. Let’s look at 3 of many of the WHO’s major world-wide health challenges:
3 of the Major World-Wide Health Challenges
Air pollution and Climate Change. Per the WHO, 9 out of 10 people, or around 7 million people, die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, 25 percent of adult deaths; 24 percent, heart disease; 29 percent, lung cancer; 43 percent, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
Air pollution is considered the greatest environmental risk to health. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), levels of air pollution below current standards are unhealthy, particularly for vulnerable populations, such as children with respiratory diseases. The recent EPA recommendation to strengthen ozone standards was based on these and other valid concerns from the scientific community. Quoting the NIH:
According to an NIH study, very large parts of the population in urban areas breathe air that does not meet European standards let alone the health-based World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines. The NIH concluded, translating the correct scientific evidence into bold, realistic and effective policies undisputedly has the potential to reduce air pollution so that it no longer poses a damaging and costly toll on public health.
Around 90 percent of these deaths are in low and middle-income countries, with high volumes of emissions from industry, transport, and agriculture, caused by burning fossil-fuels, which is also a major contributor to climate change, as well. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause 250, 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress, according to the WHO. Here is a Scientific America article on pollution haze even in out national parks, worth reading.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). According to the WHO, noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people. This includes 15 million people dying prematurely, aged between 30 and 69, which is very alarming. Quoting the CDC:
There are 5 major risk factors causing these diseases: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and air pollution.
Tobacco accounts for over 7.2 million deaths every year, including from the effects of exposure to second-hand smoke, and is projected to increase markedly over the coming years. 4.1 million annual deaths have been attributed to excess salt/sodium intake. More than half of the 3.3 million annual deaths attributable to alcohol use are from NCDs, including cancer. 1.6 million deaths annually can be attributed to insufficient physical activity.
Statistics of deaths from tobacco, sodium, alcohol, and lack of physical activity, referenced in a Lancet Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. These risk factors also exacerbate mental health issues, that may originate from an early age of 14 and lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds. The WHO has developed a program to work with governments all around the world with their goal being to reduce physical inactivity by at lest 15 percent by 2030.
Antimicrobial resistance. The development of antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials are some of science and modern medicine’s greatest successes. However, the issue is antimicrobial resistance ability of bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi neutralize these antibiotics and make them ineffective.
The ability of bacteria to resist antibiotics threatens to send us back to a time when we were unable to easily treat infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis. For example, resistance to tuberculosis drugs is a formidable obstacle to fighting a disease that causes around 10 million people to fall ill, and 1.6 million to die, every year.
In 2017, around 600, 000 cases of tuberculosis were resistant to rifampicin, the most effective first-line TB drug. These antibiotic resistant bacteria developed because of the over-prescribed and the overuse of antibiotics in humans, and more so, in commercial food production animals, resulting in these meats being contaminated with antibiotic-resistance bacteria, particularly in meats such beef, poultry, and dairy.
Encouragement and Possible Solutions For Major Health Challenges
What is being done. In the U.S.the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and our regulatory partners at the state and local level have taken significant steps to dramatically reduce toxic air pollutants, called the Clean-Air Act, and provide important health protections for Americans nationwide.
These steps include: reducing toxic emissions from industrial sources; reducing emissions from vehicles and engines through new stringent emission standards and cleaner burning gasoline; and addressing indoor air pollution though voluntary programs. Since 1990, the EPA has issued regulations limiting emissions of air toxics from more than 174 categories of major industrial sources including chemical plants, oil refineries, aerospace manufacturers, and steel mills.
The requirements in a number of these regulations took effect between 1999 and 2011. When fully implemented, these standards are projected to reduce annual air toxics emissions by about 1.7 million tons. According to a 2011 EPA analysis, the benefits of the Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments of 1990 will reach approximately $2.0 trillion in 2020, or $30 worth of health benefits for every dollar spent. UN Environment is focused on improving air quality to protect human health through the global “BreatheLife” campaign.
The initiative, led by UN Environment, the WHO, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) aims to mobilize cities to institute policies to protect our health and the planet from the effects of air pollution. You can join the BreatheLife campaign and volunteer here. What can you and your family do on a personal level to reduce air pollution? Here are some examples:
Conserve energy by turning equipment and appliances off when not in use.
Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking, or walking. Combine errands for less driving vehicle.
Keep your vehicles turned and maintained following manufacturer’s recommendations.
If your vehicle is parked, avoid excessive idling particularly running A/C.
Use electric or hand powered lawn and garden tools.
Incorporate a lot of trees, hedging, and flowering plants on your personal property, to not only increase air quality (plants absorb carbon dioxide and expel pure oxygen), but also provide a safe-haven for wildlife and wild birds watching, which has mental health benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, per a study by the University of Exeter.
Use water-based or solvent free paints whenever possible and buy products that say “low VOC”.
Seal containers of household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals to prevent volatile organic compounds from evaporating into the air.
Advocate for emission reductions from power plants and more stringent national vehicle emission standards.
Reduce or eliminate the intake of convenience foods. Replace with fresh, certified organic nutrient dense foods (see under BCDs) (A).
Supplement your diet with an all-natural Adaptogen Peruvian Maca for added assurance (see under BCDs) (C).
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviors factors. NCDs disproportionately affect 85 percent of people in low and middle-income countries where more than three quarters of global NCD deaths, or approximately 32 million occur, according to the WHO.
Children, adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors contributing to NCDs, whether from unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, exposure to tobacco smoke or the harmful use of alcohol. Unplanned urbanization, globalization, unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors, such as unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity may show up in people as raised blood pressure, increased blood glucose, elevated blood lipids and obesity and also in population ageing.
Metabolic risk factors contribute to NCDs are high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels), and hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood), which can lead to cardiovascular disease, the leading NCD in terms of premature deaths. According to a 2018 BMC Public Health study, increase in premature mortality due to non-communicable diseases in Sri Lanka (southeast Asia) during the first decade of the twenty-first century, increased significantly. Highest mortality was due to cardiovascular diseases followed by cancer and diabetes and all three showed an increasing trend over a 10 year period. Lets take each of the major risk factors individually, providing documented studies for each:
Unhealthy Diets (Western Diet)
Avoid or reduce Consumption of Unhealthy Convenience Foods Diet. Eliminate or at least reduce eating convenience foods such as unhealthy processed or refined foods, or precooked foods, high-sugar, processed meats, or high-sodium foods, fried foods, or microwavable foods.
“The Impact of Western Diet and Nutrients on the Microbiota and Immune Response at Mucosal Interfaces” study, the NIH found the Westernized diet, defined as high dietary intake of saturated fats and sucrose and low intake of fiber, represent a growing health risk contributing to the increased occurrence of metabolic diseases, diabetes and obesity in countries adapting a westernized lifestyle.
According to another study by the NIH, a Western-type diet, characterized by a convenience foods and significant share of highly processed and refined foods and high content of sugars, salt, fat and fatty protein (saturated fats) from red meat, has been recognized as an important factor contributing to the development of metabolic disorders and the obesity epidemic felt around the world.
We’ve just shown numerous examples and documented evidence of the foods that are as much to blame for NCDs as anything, and you should “not” eat, except occasionally, may be. Let’s look at the foods you should be eating to prevent or reduce NCDs.
Replace Convenience Foods With Healthy Fresh Organic Nutrient-Dense Foods
Eat foods found in the ancient Mediterranean diet which comprised of primarily cold-water fish and lean meat protein, whole grains and whole breads, lots of “fresh” fruits, vegetables, and nuts, lentils and beans, fermented foods, and red wine used moderately. Although the customs and tradition differ from country to country around the Mediterranean Sea in terms of recipes how the foods is prepared, the basic ingredients are the same and all amazingly healthy.
That’s the Mediterranean diet which the NIH confirmed it’s effectiveness in preventing chronic diseases. Rachael Ray thinks highly of the Mediterranean diet (1). When we call for fresh, it’s important for you to know, having truly fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables, is crucial to your health. Foods you purchase at your supermarket are typically not fresh, although they may look fresh, they may be several weeks old and lost a lot of the nutrition.
According to the a University of Akron study, researcher at Penn State University recently studied the effects of storage on the nutrient content of fresh spinach, for example, and found the spinach retained only 53% of its folate, a key amino acid nutrient, after only being 8 days old. Fruits, vegetables, and grains grown certified organic are grown without the use of most synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
A 2014 meta-analysis in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organically grown crops were not only less likely to contain detectable levels of pesticides, but because of the differences in fertilizers techniques, they were also 48 percent less likely to test positive for cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that accumulates in the liver and kidney.
Both organic milk and meat contain around 50 percent more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products, report researchers who conducted systematic literature reviews and analyzed data from around the world, according to a study at New Castle University. These differences may come from the way organic livestock is raised, with a grass-fed diet and the livestock spending more time outdoors, say the study’s authors.
For the exception of poultry, conventionally raised animals can also be injected with synthetic growth hormones, so they’ll gain weight faster or produce more milk, which is also unhealthy, linked to cancer, and leads to other metabolic issues.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) weighed in on not only on hormones but other unhealthy substances such as chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates that enter food from packaging, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria contamination, found in conventional foods (non-organic), and NCDs. Quoting the ACS:
Some of these compounds are not known to directly cause cancer, but they may influence cancer risk in other ways. For example, by acting as hormone-like substances in the body.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), research suggests the standard American diet, or Western diet, is energy-rich and nutrient-poor, or high-calories and low nutrition. On the other hand, per the AHA, nutrient-dense foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients such as omega 3s, amino acids, and antioxidants, important for health, without too much saturated fat, added sugars and sodium.
Healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, wild-caught fish, lean meats, skinless poultry, peas and beans, fermented foods, herbs and spices, and nuts and seeds. Harvard Medical School also endorses nutrient dense foods and recommends adding them to your diet.
Although there literally hundreds of studies backing nutrient-dense foods, here is one more for good measure. The NIH and the title of this study will tell you all you need to know, “Increased Intake of Foods with High Nutrient Density Can Help to Break the Intergenerational Cycle of Malnutrition and Obesity”. There a many studies that confirm the healthy benefits in preventing NSDs of grass-fed meats and free-range poultry in oppose to conventional food animals.
Here are a few example. Mayo Clinic supported this in one of their studies saying that the difference in the diets of the cattle changes the nutrients and fats, such as less total fat, more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, more conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that’s thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks, and more antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E, you get from eating the different types of beef. Grass-fed beef generally comes from cattle that eat only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. The NIH had this to say about grass-fed foods and fostering health:
The health of livestock, humans, and environments is tied to plant diversity—and associated phytochemical richness—across landscapes. Health is enhanced when livestock forage on phytochemically rich landscapes, is reduced when livestock forage on simple mixture or monoculture pastures or consume high-grain rations in feedlots, and is greatly reduced for people who eat highly processed diets.
Here is one 2018 study by the University of Minnesota on grass-fed dairy cows. Researchers have found that cows fed a 100 percent organic grass and legume-based diet produce milk with elevated levels of omega-3 and CLA, and thus provides a markedly healthier balance of fatty acids. The improved fatty acid profile in grass-fed organic milk and dairy products is 1:1 in omega 6 to omega 3 compared to 5.7:1 in conventional milk.
Here are the nutrient-dense foods we recommend for Healthy Living Home Health: grass-fed finished lean meats, fresh, organic, free-range finished poultry, grass-fed finished dairy and eggs (A); fresh cold-water or wild-caught fish and seafood (A); fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds (A); and organic whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic herbs and spices, and antioxidant drinks, infused water, naturally fermented red wine and beer, and fruit and veggie smoothies (A). And, reward yourself with a piece of grass-fed finished lean meats, fresh, organic, free-range finished poultry, grass-fed finished dairy and eggs (A); fresh cold-water or wild-caught fish and seafood (A); fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds (A); and organic whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic herbs and spices, and antioxidant drinks, infused water, naturally fermented red wine and beer, and fruit and veggie smoothies (A). And, reward yourself with a piece of cook your own healthy organic meals with fresh ingredients, for you and your family, at least once a day, with a lean meat, poultry, or fish and several vegetables, and may be some fresh fruits as dessert, and for snacks, use raw nuts or seeds. There are not only physical benefits of eating as a family at home but it is particularly beneficial to young children in establishing healthy eating habits and behaviors.
Besides being healthy, fresh tastes so much better. Have you ever taken a bite out of a fresh ear of corn, compared to a frozen ear of corn you’ve just microwaved? Night and day difference isn’t there? Speaking of fresh, think about planting your own backyard garden of fresh healthy fruits, veggies, raw nuts, and edible flower seeds in the spring and fall.
Starting your own garden give you the benefit of controlling all the growing conditions like using organic heirloom seeds planted in natural organic soil, and just imagine going out a breaking that young tender ear of corn we talked about off the stalk. For added assurance, in maintaining your health, supplement your diet with the best “superfood” you can locate and buy.
Supplement With Natural Super Food
Let me introduce you to one of the best all-natural super foods available today, because it will answer the question, what is natural health about? You should supplement your nutrition-deprived diet with the Adaptogen Peruvian Maca(C). P Maca, also known in the region as Peruvian Ginseng, or Maca Maca, is a non-toxic turnip-like root, which grew naturally wild for thousands of years, now cultivated on small farms.
These farms are 10,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level, in the high meadows of the Andes Mountains. P Maca is an Adaptogen, phytonutrient-rich natural grown root vegetable, containing natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which balances the endocrine system and hormones, and many other functions of the body.
An Adaptogen is a natural, non-toxic substance or plant considered to assist the body adapt to stress and the harmful effects of stress, and it also assists the body “normalize” it’s bodily functions and processes, bringing a natural overall sense of health and well being to the body. As it is still a practice today, P Maca has been used by the indigenous peoples of Andes for thousands of years as a plant medicine, providing healing treatment, as an energy-booster, as an anti-inflammatory, and as a fertility enhancer.
Other properties include balancing sex hormones, improving libido, reduces unhealthy stress, improves mild erectile dysfunction, enhances mood and memory, and reduces the symptoms of menopause, by balancing estrogen levels. The wide ranging benefits of Peruvian Maca are well documented, and are incredible, per this NIH study.
For more in depth information on supplementing with Peruvian Maca, read this review “What Is In Maca Root?. In this review, you can also request your two FREE items, the e book “The Secret Science of Staying Slim, Sane, and Sexy After 40,” and your 7-night trial sample of “Julva.”
Benefits of Physical Activity and NCDs
We all know by now the health benefits associated with physical activity. This one study by the NIH tells the whole story. According to the NIH, strong evidence shows that physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including the world’s major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of coronary heart disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy. Because much of the world’s population is inactive, this presents a major public health problem. Quoting the NIH:
Worldwide, we estimate that physical inactivity is responsible for 6% of the burden of disease from coronary heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer, and 10% of colon cancer. Inactivity is responsible for 9% of premature mortality.
Benefits of Not Smoking or Using Tobacco Products
We all know the danger of using tobacco and it even says it on all packaging, “SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy”. Enough said.
Benefits of Not Consuming Alcohol
It may surprise you, but actually research shows some forms of alcohol are healthy if used in moderation. Per an NIH study, physicians should be aware of the growing evidence supporting the nutritional and health benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle. The recently approved voluntary label on wine implies that physicians should promote wine as the preferred source of dietary alcohol.
However, studies evaluating the relative benefits of wine versus beer versus spirits suggest that moderate consumption of any alcoholic beverage is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease. From a nutritional standpoint, beer contains more protein and B vitamins than wine, however. The key operative word here, of course is, “moderation”. What the CDC is referring to as alcohol being a major risk factor of NCDs is habitual or excessive overuse of alcohol, which is the case with many humans, unfortunately..
Solving the Antimicrobial Resistance Problem and Preventing NCDs
Conventional livestock are fed antibiotics to protect against illness, making it easier and was thought to be safer, for farmers to raise animals in crowded or unsanitary conditions. The FDA limited the use of certain antibiotics for livestock in 2017, but loopholes in the regulations still exist.
Experts are also concerned about the overuse of antibiotics in medical settings. CDC researchers estimate a third of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. But 70% of all antibiotics that are important to human medicine go toward livestock production, according to the FDA and confirmed by an NIH study. And that figure is going up, not down. Sales and distribution of medically important antibiotics for use in food-producing animals jumped 23% between 2009 and 2014, the FDA estimates.
New FDA legislation in 2017 curbed the use of medically important antibiotics in food animals unless there’s a therapeutic need. In 2017 the WHO issued a report calling for farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals. The new WHO recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals.
Of greater concern is the prevalent use of antibiotics in conventional animal production as a key driver of antibiotic resistance in society; antibiotic use is less intensive in organic food animal production, according to an NIH study. Organic farming practices for livestock include healthy living conditions with the animals having better habitats.
These healthy habitats are less crowding and stressing for the animals, in more sanitary conditions with less pollution. The animals also have access to the outdoors whenever they please, for quality food grazing through better organic pasture feeding methods, fulfilling the livestock’s nutritional needs during grazing season, plus the feeding of organic dried hays in winter months. These methods support good health in the animals, allowing for minimal vaccinations, and also resulting in minimal antibiotic use too, according to a Mayo Clinic study.
Other benefits of organic farming include enhancing soil and water quality, more humane treatment of animals, enable natural livestock behavior, and promote a self-sustaining cycle of resources on a farm (self-organic fertilizing). But Price, from the CDC, says the new FDA regulations contain loopholes that could allow food producers to keep using antibiotics in much the same way they have in the past. Price says the public needs to demand that their leaders take action on this issue. Quoting Price:
Despite all the unequivocal evidence showing harm to human health, the U.S. has been lagging behind Europe on this issue from a regulatory standpoint,
FDA and USDA have taken “baby steps” toward correcting the problem of antibiotic overuse in food production,
But we should be running toward our goal.
We’re not going to fall off the cliff all at once. But unless we do something, we’re going to return to a time where a child gets a scrape and dies of an infection. This is something we should all be fighting to stop.
As mentioned above, the ACS found that overuse of antibiotics in food animals are linked to the risk of developing cancer. What can you do? Stop supporting conventional farming methods and feedlot animal food production methods that continue to use antibiotics excessively, by buying “organic” nutrient-dense foods recommended above in NCD section.
To stress the point, in organic farming methods, antibiotics are not used routinely and only used occasionally for a specific isolated illness in a food animal. By not supporting conventional methods, at least you won’t be adding to the growing antimicrobial resistance crisis plaguing the entire world.
We hope you found reading “Healthy Living Home Health” informative and is helpful to you and your family in fighting this worldwide health crisis. Contact us below with your questions or to leave comments.
(A) Use these links for more in depth information, more documented studies, and to purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods for optimal health and wellness.
(1) Bright Side Video