There are so many people out there promoting healthy living. GMO foods are considered bad, insecticides are bad, too much sugar, high glycemic index foods are all considered unhealthy. There are a multitude of natural supplements with claims of making you more healthy. Organic and non-GMO foods are promoted as the only way to maintain good health.
Some or all of these ideas may be correct. I don’t know. I’m not a scientist, nutritionist, physician or anything related to these professions. All I can do is research available information. Even at that, I cannot vet the accuracy of the research. There are a lot of scientific studies that can be accessed, or at least abstracts of the research are available. Many are only available by subscription and you have to have the right credentials to access the full report on studies.
I know that moderation, eating a well balanced diet, and getting exercise are healthy lifestyle choices. But, eliminating GMO’s and eating organic is out of reach financially for me and I’m sure for many other retired and poor people. I understand the cost of organic is more than the typical food sources available to us. It is more labor intensive, more work has to go into ensuring that the produce is protected from cross contamination from GMO and insecticide sprayed fields. The cost is prohibitive when you’re feeding a large family on a limited income.
So how does one live a healthy life when all you can afford is the purported ‘bad’ foods. My thought is that we should do the best we can. Eliminate all the fast food, prepackaged foods and processed sugar. Fresh produce and non-processed meats are better than the prepackaged and fast foods. Add nuts to your diet. As I understand walnuts, raw almonds raw sunflower seeds are among the best. Walnuts help to keep blood lipids such as triglycerides low. Raw almonds are beneficial for lowering blood sugar and cholesterol plus regulating blood pressure. Raw sunflower seeds are also good for the heart and maintaining good cholesterol levels. They contain good fats, magnesium, and antioxidants. Don’t over do it, a handful a day is adequate but they make a good between meal snack .
Drink plenty of water, preferably purified water. I know that there are some who cannot afford to buy purified water. Don’t get the small bottled water at the store. Use a company that identifies the source of the water and that uses reverse osmosis (RO) in the purification process. I get Culligan bottled water delivered which is sourced from the local city water in Omaha then uses a .01 micron filter before putting it through reverse osmosis. But if you cannot afford something like that there are websites that teach you how to purify water, including your tap water. An RO purification unit can seem a lot of money up front but the cost per gallon is definitely less than buying purified water like I do. I live in a rented house and the counter around the sink is granite top without an opening to facilitate the use of an RO unit under the kitchen sink or I’d have bought one long ago.
Finally, get a good amount of exercise. You don’t have to join a gym to get exercise. Walking is excellent exercise and it costs nothing. You can do your own exercise program at home for free too. There are some good sights in the internet that can help you design your own exercise program.
I don’t take nutritional supplements in general. I can hardly remember to take my thyroid medicine every day let alone a handful of supplements. If you can afford them then don’t go buying them at the big box stores. Most health food stores have good selections of quality supplements at prices that are comparable to the drug store and big box store drug sections. But it is better to get your nutritional needs from the foods you eat. They are more easily absorbed when obtained through your food. If you’re concerned about your levels of various vitamins and minerals then your physician can have tests run to determine if you have deficiencies. As I understand one of the most common deficiencies is vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin is a common cause of osteoporosis among other things. The human body will make vitamin D if you get enough sunshine, but that can be difficult depending on where you live, the time of year, and your lifestyle. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish oils. An omega3 fish oil could be a good supplement if you do have a vitamin D deficiency.
I can never remember all the information that I read about the health benefits of specific foods. Often I have to redo my research when I have a specific issue I want to learn to treat. I do remember some things. Fresh garlic is a natural antibiotic, though it takes longer than prescriptions to heal an infection. It’s best as a preventative by including fresh garlic in your meals. If it is cooked above 120F it does lose it’s antibiotic effect but maintains other health benefits. Curcumin, found in turmeric, a relative of ginger, is a natural anti-inflammatory. There are many foods and herbs that have medically beneficial properties. Do some research and learn about the foods and herbs that can be used to improve your health. There are a lot of specifically healthy foods and spices that we have on our shelves that can improve our health. Growing herbs indoors is pretty easy and there are many we use in cooking that have excellent health benefits.
Living healthy is more about doing the things that promote good health and eliminate the things that are not healthy for the body than it is about worrying about GMO foods and taking expensive supplements. Eating in moderation a well balanced diet, taking care of the body with plenty of water and exercise is something that even the poorest of us can do.
Blessings and healthy living!