5 ways to improve your health today (part 2)

Smile to reduce stress

3. Dental Care

Not often talked about but periodontal disease doubles the risk of heart attack and triples the incidence of stroke. Harmful bacteria released from gum disease enter the blood & therefore every system and organ in your body. This isn’t just a theory, a study published in the ‘British Medical Journal’ followed almost 14000 people for 24 years and found that those with significant dental plaque (and the associated bacteria) tended to die prematurely. Good oral hygiene is paramount to great health. 

It’s pretty simple; if you haven’t seen a dentist for 12 months or more, make it a priority.

 4. Smile more

Ok so it’s a bit cheesy but physiologically smiling is great for us. Have you ever smiled and felt bad at the same time? Smiling is infectious, when a baby or child smile you’ve got to he pretty hard not to be ‘infected’. One of my Kinesiology teachers took the whole class skipping around the college recently before a lesson. Yes for the self conscious among us this is pretty stupid and embarrassing but I can tell you by the end we were all laughing like kids and it felt great!

When you smile it’s believed the muscles used stimulate neurotransmitters (endorphins, serotonin, dopamine) to release that make you feel better. Even faking a smile has this effect.

So while you don’t have to skip how about a funny movie, sitcom, podcast or something you loved in your childhood.

And while I’m pretty sure we don’t need a study to prove this they do exist.

Here’s a summary of what happens when you smile

  • Muscles relax.
  • Happy hormones flood in.
  • Reduced presence of stress hormones.
  • Attractive to others-not a bad thing!
  • Immune system works better
  • Cognition (clear thought)
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved digestion
  • Better blood sugar regulation

Just try it, a 30 minute episode of Seinfeld or QI might just reset you and re-invigorate you day or even week.

5. Supplements

Multi, B-complex, flaxseed, coq10, salts, magnesium, zinc, glucosamine, spirulina, selenium, goji berries, EFA’s. Where does it all end?  And how do we know what genuinely works?

To supplement or not, that is the question.

Those against dietary supplements say you can get everything from a good diet. Those for say not so, as our soils are so depleted from farming, erosion and overuse.

So who’s right? Yep as always there’s no definitive answer just common sense.

Who among us has a prefect diet, never falls off the rails? I’d say truthfully and optimistically 2 out of 10 of us could make that claim. So the rest of us should probably supplement. Then the question is what with? Over the years I suspect we all dabble with things like a multi, iron, magnesium, chondroitin.

When all is said and done, while there’s plenty of research in this area, none of it is decisive enough to conclude that we should all take A, B or C.

My advice would be to look for a good quality multi vitamin and mineral supplement. Especially one that has good amounts of magnesium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C. Multi’s area good shotgun approach for all of us who are sometimes good and sometimes not.

But please always TRY to prioritise good food with plenty of variety.