The health of both, men and women is vitally important. However, it appears that there is a bit more emphasis placed on women’s health. This is for various reasons like the structure of their reproductive system, fertility, hormonal and emotional factors, etc.
With the genetic, physiological, as well as the nutritional sciences expanding forward in their discoveries, we simply know today that women’s health includes some different precautions, needs and characteristics.
What we are told as women in the mainstream media however, is not always for the good of our health. All too often it serves more the well-being of the pharmaceutical companies and other corporations, who all too often prey on the fact that women do tend to be more proactive about their health, and thus willing to buy or use more products than men, while having less quality time for themselves.
Thus today, I share with you 5 important health tips every woman should know, when it comes to optimal health from the holistic and natural point of view.
1. Chemical Birth Control Should Never Be Your First Choice of Contraception or Hormonal Regulation
Whether it is the pill, the patch of the injection, all these forms of birth control are chemical in their nature. That is they use synthetic or artificial hormones that alter our natural, internal hormonal balance.
Whether they choose to ignore it or not, many women all too often know the unpleasant and often long lasting side-effects of these agents, however young women often do not. As soon as a young woman/woman comes into the doctor’s office and mentions irregular cycles or needing contraception, the doctor’s first response in most cases is the pill, patch or needle.
These chemical agents however are playing with one of the most sensitive and highly regulated areas of women’s health and the results from using such products can be disastrous. From infertility and cancers to heart problems and blood clots, the list goes on and on.
2. You Are Doing More Harm Than Good Taking Dairy or Calcium Supplements
As women, we are always told about the importance of dairy and calcium in our diets to have strong bones, and avoid bone loss and osteoporosis. What we are not told, is the underlying mechanisms that govern the balance of both of these substances in our bodies.
Dairy is actually acidic and does not add to the healthy alkaline state of our bodies. Not only that, but processed, pasteurized dairy is loaded with its own problems like hormones, pesticides, sugars (both natural and artificial), additives, preservatives, and insoluble calcium. Let us also add to this that in long term and large scale studies, there is no proof that populations ingesting dairy actually have better bones. A country like the US, where dairy consumption is high, actually has some of the worst osteoporosis rates.
Calcium supplements, especially in high doses, first disrupt the calcium balance in our bodies. When a body becomes dependent on large, external source of the mineral, instead of balancing its own supply from natural food and the body, it can lead to all sorts of other nutrition and health problems. Strain on the kidneys, kidney stones and inefficient calcium absorption from natural food, as well as leaching of calcium from bones are just some of the bigger problems. Calcium supplements have also been associated with increased heart disease risk.
For healthiest bones, women should avoid all soda. Alcohol and coffee should be kept to an absolute minimum, if you cannot avoid them altogether. Emphasis should be placed on eating natural, nutrient-dense, whole plant foods, not processed foods, and exercise should be a daily priority, even if it be a simple 30 minute walk.
3. Keep Your Personal Products To A Minimum and Be As Natural As Possible
If we take the average woman out there, chances are she has drawers loaded with make-up, lotions, powders, creams, perfumes and other similar products. What is the problem with this? The problem is that these products are one of the greatest ways that we allow harmful chemicals to enter our bodies. Chemicals that are cancer-causing, hormone-altering, neurotoxic, allergy-causing, fertility-disrupting and the list goes on and on.
We trust companies, governments and health institutions to allow for the sale of safe products. But one simple look into this industry shows us that regulation is not just way too relaxed, but it is simply impossible to test the amounts of chemicals that humans are presented with today and in the combinations that they use them. Thus we hear about so many chemicals being GRAS – generally recognized as safe. Well, GRAS is not enough when it comes to increasing our chances of having cancers and decreasing our chances of getting pregnant. As long as money and the health of the economy talks first, the health of the citizens sits on a back burner.
The average personal care product for example has ingredient lists that are next to impossible to pronounce or so long that we get bored reading them. Chemical ingredients like “parabens” are found in almost every commercial personal product out there as a preservative, and interestingly enough they are also found in samples of breast cancer tissue.
For healthiest results, the first and foremost step is to minimize the chemicals we use. Secondly, is to switch any products we feel we must use, to natural options. The worst culprits being deodorants, lipsticks, lotions, shampoos and perfume.
4. Vitamin D is Your Best Friend, Blocking Yourself with Sunscreen Does More Harm Than Good
Over the past several decades sunblocks and sunscreens have been heavily pushed on everyone, including women. We were warned about increased wrinkles and skin damage. And while the sun can damage our skin, the marketing campaigns had a lot to do with vanity, sunscreen profits and fear mongering. There is a big grey area in between benefitting from the sun and getting harmed from the sun. We were pushed to one extreme.
We therefore saw synthetic sunblock ingredients not only in our sunblock lotions, but in everyday moisturizing lotions, face creams, chap sticks, lip balms, lipsticks, etc. At no point did the greater powers that govern all this step back and say, “wait a minute, we are blocking the synthesis of one of the most critical vitamins/hormones in the bodies of all these people”. The results today speak for themselves; experts estimate anywhere from 75 – 90% of the population is vitamin D deficient. And what is the problem with this?
Today we know that vitamin D is responsible for almost all parts of optimal health. From preventing cancers, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and infections to healing these, and building healthy cells internally and externally – the benefits are many and we keep learning about more regularly.
For healthiest results, know when to practice safe sun exposure and when to cover up – and cover up with clothes first and foremost, and sunblocks second. Check out the list of the safest sunscreens also.
5. Processed Foods Influence Your Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
As women, all too often we have too much on our plates. Most women are the primary caregivers for not only their children (no matter how old), but also for their spouses and even elderly parents. Today’s woman is also pushed into the work force, on top of all of this, to make ends meet and have the status and worth that she desires. All this adds up to a lot of stress, and stress can make us act out in all sorts of funny ways, where our lifestyle habits are concerned. It all results in our health being greatly compromised.
This is why one of the most important things that every woman should know is to treat her body with healing and nourishing foods, and not with sugar, synthetic, artificial or addictive treats. This may not be the most popular approach, compared to getting iced cappuccinos or sugar-laden pastries, but it is the smartest and healthiest long term approach.
Regular coffee, for example, throws off our energy levels, sleep patterns and depletes our adrenals, leading many women to suffer adrenal fatigue. Regular sugar consumption from things like cakes, cookies, soda or ice-cream throws off our serotonin balance, meaning we feel worse unless we have some sweet treat. This can lead to depression, anger, major mood fluctuations and even mental imbalances. Similar problems arise from fat-rich and fried foods.
For the healthiest results, as you take care of others, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eating natural, wholesome, unprocessed food will not only make you healthier physically, mentally and emotionally, but it will also make you that much better of a mother, spouse or friend. From being a great role model for your kids to enjoying great health and a long life with those you love, or simply being happier and healthier, it is worth whatever the effort to do so needs to be.
One of the hardest things for most women to do is to properly take care of themselves. That means to love and respect themselves enough to only put the best, natural food into their body and the least amount of chemical substances onto their body.
There is so much “thrown” at women daily, from commercials telling us we need a different hair color, new anti-wrinkle cream, or cleaning product to more responsibilities, tasks and expectations. But we cannot lose ourselves in this stew of overwhelming choices and expectations. You need to know that YOU matter and so does your health.
Take a moment for yourself and assess what really is most important to you, reflect on your priorities and just remember that without your health, it is hard (if not impossible) to care for, be, enjoy or do much of anything else that this beautiful life presents us with.