You take your nutritional supplements as directed by your health care provider or as directed on the bottle, but how do you know if you are absorbing all of those vital nutrients? You may order a beautiful salad made with organic greens, but are you getting all of those carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that are essential to preventing macular degeneration and cataracts?
Here are some tips on how to ensure that you are getting the most out your food as well as those vitamins, minerals, and other therapeutic compounds intended to improve your health:
1. Reduce stress: Stress restricts the flow of blood in the body by tightening muscles, and restricting the free flow of fluids. Meditation, yoga, tai chi or even daily walks in nature can all help reduce stress significantly.
2. Eat slowly: We should be eating our food slowly and thoughtfully. Try never to eat on the run, and don’t eat while conversing, writing, doing work, etc. Make eating a special time for yourself.
3. Exercise regularly: Exercise helps the body rid itself of harmful toxins that build-up daily. Numerous studies have shown that even a brisk walk of 20 minutes per day can have a major impact in reducing development of disease such as heart disease, and has even been shown to reduce high eye pressures in cases of glaucoma.
4. Positive thinking: In Chinese medicine, excessive thoughts of anger, worry, resentment, grief and fear all have significant effects on the free flow of “energy” in the body.
5. Eat healthy food: Our bodies crave fresh food, particularly fruits, vegetables, and grains. These foods provide energy to the body in the form of vitamins, minerals, and natural enzymes. Excessive intake of “dead” food such as fast foods, or highly processed foods, requires our bodies to use its own enzymes and energy to digest food in an attempt to separate whatever limited nutrients may be available.
Update: Also see our new article on the relationship between digestive enzymes and vision health.