As already mentioned it is not easy for even the most health conscious of us to get all the nutrition we need from a normal diet. 


There are though some things we can do. Dietary changes have already been mentioned together with taking more exercise. There are other lifestyle changes you can make and the following is some of the ways you can improve your diet and lifestyle for the better. 

Diet: Eat less meat and saturated fat Eat more fruit and vegetables Avoid processed and fast foods Eat more organic food Drink plenty of water Use olive oil and cold pressed vegetable oil for cooking Use organic eggs and chicken Eat two portions of oily fish a week Avoid fizzy drinks, colas, etc Cut back on sugar and sugary foods Vary your diet and mix your foods more Cleanse or fast occasionally Cut back on fried and BBQ foods Take a good quality multi vitamin supplement. Lifestyle: 42 Stop smoking. 

Smoking interfers with nutrient absorption Reduce alcohol consumption Reduce coffee consumption Take more exercise Try to take a period of relaxation daily. Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, or even lie down and close your eyes for 1/2 hour Avoid or cut out over the counter medication Try something new - yoga, the gym, jogging, a new hobby Listen to your body Be positive about yourself Try growing your own vegetables, even an allotment! Avoid or take more care with cleaning and household chemicals, aerosols. Try to avoid rush hour and walking in heavy traffic Turn down the central heating. You don't need to sit around in shirt sleeves. Some of these may sound obvious, some silly, some impossible, but I hope it will get you thinking about what is good for you and make some changes for the better. The other thing you have to survive is the information out there. Either too much or too little and often contradictory or only half the information. At the end of the day you can only do what is best for your health and well being. 

But you also need to be aware of what you are not being told sometimes. As already stated everything to do with our health and lifestyle interacts with something else and that goes for nutrition as well. Foods react with each other. Pollutants react with us and interfer with nutrient absorption as does lifestyle. Everything is related and affects us in someway. Here are some examples. We all know about good bacteria and bad bacteria (infections) in our gut. We get an infection and the doctor may prescribe antibiotics which attack and kill the infection. However at the same time the antibiotic attacks the good bacteria because antibiotics don't discriminate between the two. 43 I am not saying don't take antibiotics if they are really needed but do you ever get told to take acidophilus or bio yoghurt to help replenish the good bacteria needed for good health. The contraceptive pill is another case in point where nutrition is affected by and everyday medicine. How many women are told about the long term effect with nutrition. Now they want to give the pill to younger and younger girls for whom nutrition is vital while growing up. 

Another example - the immune system is a wonderful way for the body to fight disease and a healthy immune system is vital for fighting illness and infection. Many drugs, e.g. steroids and anti viral drugs cause anaemia and suppress the immune system, just when you need it to be working well. Stress also adds to the weakening of the immune system. You can help improve the immune system with nutrition - good diet, avoiding processed and refined foods, reducing fat and sugar. 

Boost the immune system with vitamin C, selenium and echinacea. The following are a few of the examples of how the effects of every day living can limit the effectiveness of vitamins and minerals. - Statins taken to lower cholesterol also lower COQ10, itself needed to maintain a healthy heart. Vitamin B3 (niacin) is effective in normalising cholesterol instead of statins. - Vitamin A is affected by alcohol, coffee and smoking - Vitamin B - most of the B vitamins are affected by the birth control pills. Do women get told this? - Vitamin C is vital for our health in many ways but is affected by smoking, alcohol and fried foods. 44 - Calcium is affected by alcohol, lack of exercise and caffeine and stress increases excretion of calcium - Iron is affected by phosphates in fizzy drinks and also anti acid tablets. Just two of the things that affect iron metabolism. Then there are drug interactions which are not always warned about, for example: - Paracetamol reacts with alcohol and can increase liver damage in heavy drinkers. - Anti Acids - reduce absorption of other medications (antibacterial, antifungal, etc) and affect magnesium and iron - Aspirin reduces Vitamin C absorption - Diuretics affect calcium absorption. - Anti Arthritic drugs impair Vitamin C and Thiamine - Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs actually speed up the progression of arthritis. 

So there are always more things that affect us than we realise and more than we can control in our busy, stressed, consumer led, social lifestyles and we can't change it all. But I hope you can get the message that you can help yourself with the simple things. A good healthy diet, cutting down on what is bad for you, taking more exercise and relaxing more, and don't worry if you are not perfect - no one is! I continue to advocate keeping things simple to benefit from the nutrition diet. Eat more fruit and vegetables, cut down on fats, reduce meat consumption, avoid processed and fast foods, avoid colas and fizzy drinks, watch alcohol and caffeine consumption, drink more water and take more exercise. 

If you want to know more there are plenty of books and the internet to get more detailed information if you want to follow up on anything I have said here. What I hope I have 
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