SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES OF HEALTH- J. F. Coombs, M.D.-May 2015
Following is a brief synopsis of some of the factors which promote good health. Attention to these issues would do a lot to reduce medical illness:
1. GOOD NUTRITION
Most people do best with a Mediterranean type diet: High intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, high intake of monounsaturated fat (olive oil), and low intake of meats, especially red meats. Basic rules:
• Think about how the food was produced (quality vs. industrial grade). If it was made in a factory, don’t eat it.
• Shop around the edges of the supermarket; don’t go up & down the aisles.
• Better to eat like a Third World peasant than an Albertan cattle rancher (use light meats, sparingly).
• Brown is beautiful (i.e., 100% whole grain breads & brown rice). Puffy white bread makes puffy pale people.
• Eat like a cow or bunny rabbit (i.e., eats lots & lots & lots of veggies!)
• Lose the sweet tooth; sugar kills. (Canadians used 5 lb. sugar per person per year 160 years ago, now it is 135 lb.!)
• Some fats heal (e.g.-top quality vegetable oils). Some fats kill (processed, rancid, or heated oils; most animal fats).
2. A BASIC LEVEL OF NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION:
• As long as we are being fed from impoverished soil, live in a polluted environment, and contend with stress, we all need supplemental vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. A few suggestions:
• A good quality, high potency vitamin/mineral (Thorne Multi-Encap, AOR Orthocore, Selekta Multi’s are brands I have been using. Even a better quality one-a-day multivitamin is better than nothing.)
• Vitamin C: 500- 1000 mg./ day for children; 2000 to 4000 mg /dy for adults. MORE IF SICK-> (1000 mg per yr. of age, to a maximum of 10,000 mg/day, spread over the day in divided doses; less if the Vitamin C causes intestinal distress.)
• Mixed, natural Vitamin E 400 units (mixed tocopherol only, not pure alpha tocopherol) daily for adults
• Mixed, natural beta-carotene (marine source): 15 mg. daily for adults
• Essential fatty acids: Most people are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids, and an adult dose of 2000 mg. per day of fish oil has multiple nutritional benefits. Some people also benefit from additional omega 6 fatty acids, with a typical adult dose of 1000 mg of evening primrose oil daily.
• Calcium/magnesium supplement, especially for those avoiding milk, or older women concerned about osteoporosis. (300 mg. per day of each for children, double this for adults. Calcium/magnesium citrate is well absorbed.)
• Proanthocyanidins (from grape seed, bilberry, or pine bark) These plant flavonoids have powerful antioxidant activity, and are helpful for many conditions, and are very useful in conjunction with Vitamin C for fighting colds & allergy.
3. REDUCE ALLERGIC & TOXIC LOAD
a. Rational use of drug medication- ‘Drugs are all poisons with some desirable side effects.’ Drugs suppress symptoms; they do not cure the underlying cause of disease. Therefore keep drug use to a minimum.
b. Avoid foods to which one is sensitive (wheat/gluten, dairy and yeast are the most common hidden food allergens. Corn, egg, & citrus are also common.) Hidden food sensitivity is common in people who suffer from recurrent infections, ADD, eczema, and asthma, migraines, and autoimmune diseases.
c. Avoid environmental toxins (especially mould, tobacco, chemicals, heavy metals). E.g.: filter city water…avoid mouldy basements...don’t use weed spray…avoid amalgam fillings...avoid GMO foods.
d. Reduce overall exposure to mycotoxins (fungal toxins): both from within the body (intestinal yeasts) and from outside the body (from the diet and in the air). Fungal toxins can be extremely toxic, and according to WHO research, they are can be contributing factor with almost all chronic diseases.
4. RESTORATION OF NORMAL BOWEL ECOLOGY
The bowel is the greatest source of toxic burden that our bodies have to deal with. Toxic chemicals (produced by abnormal germs in our gut and the rotting of undigested food) are absorbed through the bowel wall and slowly cause widespread damaging effects throughout the body. To restore balance to the bowel flora:
• Normalise digestive activity (chew well; digestive enzymes &/or acid supplements may be needed)
• Add adequate fibre to prevent constipation (psyllium husk powder 1-3 tsp. daily or flax seed powder, 1-6 tsp. daily, fresh ground)
• Re-implant friendly flora using probiotic (acidophilus) preparations, especially after any antibiotic use.
• Eliminate pathogens (bad bugs): Candida (yeast), parasites (worms & amoebae), and abnormal bacteria (e.g.- various Clostridia species) commonly contribute to imbalanced bowel flora.
• Reducing intake of sweets and refined carbohydrates is essential to restoring a normal bowel flora. Some individuals also have to restrict grains and flour products in order to achieve a balanced bowel flora.
5. ELIMINATE HIDDEN SOURCES OF CHRONIC INFECTION
Hidden, chronic infections can silently drag people down. Chronic, hidden dental or gum infection, chronic sinusitis, or chronic low-grade infection with 'stealth microbes' can be a factor in chronic debilitating disease.
6. REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Sitting glued to a desk all day is as hazardous to health as smoking: get up and move around often! Aerobic exercise is important for all ages; weight training & flexibility exercise is just as important from middle age on. (‘Keep fit or fossilize!')
7. EMOTIONS AND HEALTH
•Thoughts & emotions are very powerful influences on overall health. (Adrenaline, for example, is one of the most toxic substances formed in our bodies.)
• Chronic sleep deprivation has many harmful effects, especially to the immune and nervous systems. Do whatever you can to get adequate rest and sleep.
•Stress & fear can paralyse the immune system. E.g. - ‘More people die of fear of smallpox than smallpox’ (Gandhi’s physician). Relaxation techniques can be a real boon.
• Care for one's physical health is good, but not to the exclusion of care for the soul. We are all mortal.
•A soul at rest is a healthy soul. (‘Our souls find no rest, O Lord, until they find their rest in You.’ -St. Augustine)