Green Living Saves Money on Healthcare
We’ve all been hearing a lot about the new Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled to go into effect January 2014. With all this talk about health care, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to prevent a hospital stay and doctor’s visits with green living and natural health care.
Health care of any kind is fraught with confusion, myths and mysteries. We’ve tried to sort through the clutter to share some tips to keep you out of the doctor’s office.
One word of advice: before you make any changes to your current or future preventative health care – natural or conventional – always check in with a trusted doctor or health care professional to ensure that you’re doing the right thing for your individual circumstances.
THREE TOP WAYS TO PREVENT A DOCTOR VISIT
1. Cut out Soda
According to the American Natural Health Care Society, soda is one of the biggest health dangers in existence. When soda is ingested, your body is often assaulted with mercury-containing high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a conglomeration of pesticides and processed sugars. An average bottle of Coke contains over 60 grams of sugar. Increasingly it is being recognized that the substantial level of sugar consumption inside the United States and elsewhere is responsible for many of the health issues the average person faces, including obesity, diabetes, and chronic lethal afflictions like cancer and heart disease. Drinking two soft drinks per week increases risk of pancreatic cancer by 87 percent.
2. Eat fresh foods
According to the FDA, Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that has been present in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans since the 1960s. Since then there has been concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland. BPA is routinely used to line cans to prevent corrosion and food contamination.
This chemical has been linked to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A Harvard study included 75 volunteers in two groups. One group ate a 12-ounce serving of vegetarian canned soup each day for five days and the other group ate the same amount of fresh vegetarian soup daily for five days. Urine samples showed that daily consumption of canned soup was associated with a more than 1,200 percent increase in BPA, compared to eating fresh soup.
3. Take your vitamins
According to Discovery Health, taking the right mix of vitamins will help fight the aging process, which contributes to overall health vulnerability.
Vitamin E prevents blood from clotting unnecessarily, lowering the risk of stroke or heart attack. It also helps to prevent LDL cholesterol from contributing to atherosclerosis. Vitamin E might also protect against cancer, since free radicals and their damaging effects may play a role in cancer development. You can get vitamin E through nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, and vegetable oils (such as soybean, canola, and corn). Vitamin E is also available in a variety of supplements and topical applications.
Vitamin C has cancer-preventing qualities and appears to reduce the odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Additionally, some studies have suggested that vitamin C delays or even prevents the formation of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. Fruits and veggies (especially citrus and potatoes) are excellent natural sources of vitamin C.
Your body produces small amounts of vitamin K on its own, but you can use more than your body can provide. Vitamin K can be consumed as a supplement, as part of a multi-vitamin, in the form of topical creams or (ideally) through your diet. Kale, lettuce, spinach and broccoli are all excellent sources of vitamin K, as are non-hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Niacin counteracts the effects of aging inside your skin as well. It raises your “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins, or HDL) and also lowers triglycerides (fats in your blood that contribute to your overall cholesterol count). In doing so, niacin lowers your risk and rate of atherosclerosis, the hardening of your artery walls that leads to heart attack and stroke. Niacin also plays a major role in converting food into energy. Get your daily dose of Niacin in sun dried tomatoes, peanuts, chicken and paprika.
Vitamin A — in proper amounts — is important for your overall bone health, helping to offset the effects of osteoporosis as you get older. However, there is a danger for seniors of taking too much vitamin A, which can lead to osteoporosis and bone brittleness. Talk to your doctor about the best way for you to obtain the amount of vitamin A you need.