Here we go continuing with last weeks post of your top 10 Resolutions for Evolution!
3. Get 8 Hours of Sleep Each Night
Most adults really need about eight hours of sleep every night; what makes sleep deprivation so detrimental is that it doesn’t just impact one aspect of your health; it impacts many. Sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness, which may help explain why lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases.
Sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease. Sleep is also intricately tied to important hormone levels, including melatonin, production of which is disturbed by lack of sleep. This is extremely problematic, as melatonin inhibits the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cell types, as well as triggers cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction). Lack of sleep also decreases levels of your fat-regulating hormone leptin, while increasing the hunger hormone ghrelin. The resulting increase in hunger and appetite can easily lead to overeating and weight gain. Not to mention, poor or insufficient sleep is actually the strongest predictor for pain in adults over 50.
Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health.
4. Eat More Healthy Fats and Fiber
Public health guidelines condemn healthy fats from foods like butter and full-fat dairy, and recommend whole grains and cereals — the opposite of what most people need to stay healthy.
The latest science suggests healthy fats (saturated and unsaturated fats from whole food, animal, and plant sources) should comprise anywhere from 50-85% of your overall energy intake. Healthy fat sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats.
That’s right; butter need not be shunned and, in fact, is a beneficial source of healthy saturated fats, especially when it’s raw, organic, and grass-fed. In addition to eating more healthy fats, most Americans need to eat more fiber. A high fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, likely because it helps to reduce your risk of some of the most common chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
When it comes to boosting your fiber intake, be sure to focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds (not grains). Some great fiber sources to try in 2016 are: sunflower sprouts, fermented vegetables, flax, hemp, and chia seeds.
5. Eat Fermented Vegetables
Fermented foods are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of beneficial bacteria than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora.
In addition to helping break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of surprising functions, including helping with mineral absorption and producing nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2. They may also play a role in:
~Preventing obesity and diabetes, and regulating dietary fat absorption
~Lowering your risk for cancer
~Improving your mood and mental health
In the US, imbalances in gut flora are widespread due to diets high in sugar and processed foods as well as exposure to antibiotics, both in medicine and via CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) meats in your diet.
The solution is simple — in addition to cutting back on sugar and antibiotics, consuming fermented foods will give your gut health a complete overhaul, helping to clear out pathogenic varieties and promoting the spread of healing, nourishing microorganisms instead. Just one-quarter to one-half cup of fermented vegetables, eaten with one to three meals per day, can have a dramatically beneficial impact on your health.
**Stay tuned for next weeks installment of your resolutions for evolution!