Dr. Weil believes food is the optimal medicine. He suggests eating an anti-inflammatory diet. More health practitioners are confirming that you are what you eat. Dr. Weil suggests that the Standard American Diet (SAD) promotes inflammation. The SAD gives the wrong kinds of fats, carbohydrates, and inflammation throughout the body. SAD is the root cause of most chronic diseases i.e. cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, digestive disorders, and cancer. The right kind of food is nature’s way of controlling inflammation. The cure can start with whole natural foods close to the way nature produces them. Example: kale is a super food, full of vitamins, minerals, and cancer-protective elements.
Dr. Weil is the author the book, True Food. He believes you don’t need to take medication in most instances to be healthy. Just need to eat right.
Here are some of Dr. Weil’s suggestions:
- Olive oil is the best oil you can use.
- Valerian is a safe and effective sleep aid
- DMSO – good to relieving tennis elbow
- Eucalyptus oil – good for respiratory system, put a couple drops in hot water and breathe the steam
- Meditate every day. The morning is recommended. He believes you need to feed your soul as well as your body.
Emphasize the body’s natural healing power and many people don’t realize how important lifestyle choices. Most diseases are lifestyle diseases and people need to make better choices.
He believes the single biggest mistake people make is to expect a quick fix i.e. pharmaceutical drug or some kind of technological fix. Many people don’t want to do the simple lifestyle change.
Dr. Weil’s 5 Health Essentials
Dr. Weil believes these five health essentials should be included in everyone’s diet.
Essential #1: Iodine
Iodine is a multipurpose mineral essential for good health. Iodine keeps everything functioning: brain, heart, stomach. Iodine regulates all key metabolic functions including blood cell production, muscle function, body heat, and hormones. Iodine essential for optimal health. Many women are deficient in iodine. The mainstream diet (Standard American Diet) does not contain enough iodine. Body does not make iodine. Iodine needs to come from food. Manufactured, processed, and refined foods don’t help.
Salt does not contain iodine unless the label says iodized. Iodine important because it controls metabolism. red cell function, muscle function, hormone production.
An iodine deficiency causes the following symptoms: intolerance to cold, fatigue, weight gain, gastrointestional problems, skin abnormalities, and mental issues.One of the major signs of iodine deficiency is an enlarged thyroid gland. Symptoms include puffy eyes, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and exhaustion.
Foods containing iodine: dairy products, fish, seafood (tuna, sardines, mackeral), shellfish, seaweed, kelp extract, Seaweed is the best way to get iodine.
Tip: Asian Mushrooms
For another way to enhance your health, try Asian mushrooms. Prominent in Chinese medicine, these superfoods are believed to increase resistance to stress and boost longevity. Dr. Oz’s personal favorites are shiitake and maitake oyster mushrooms. Eat them today to unwind and extend your life.
Essential #2: Pistachios and DGL
Pistachios and DGL are essential for good digestion. Relieving heart burn, stomach pains, IBS caused by Standard American Diet and stress.
Pistachios have fiber, minerals. Research shows that they are a good prebiotic (they feed the good bacteria in the gut.) He recommends taking prebiotic before eating. Pistachios have fewer calories than other nuts. They contain healthy fats unlike other nuts.
DGL for indigestion and heartburn. DGL is an extract of licorice, herbal extract. Recommends to take DGL in capsule form. Acts to increase mucuos coating in stomach and esophagus which protects against irritation by stomach acid. Recommends to take DGL four times per day (15 minutes before meals and 15 before bedtime at night.)
He feels that besides poor diet, stress is a major factor to health.
Tip: Know Your Probiotics
Another way to guard your gut is with probiotics. These live microorganisms help restore the friendly bacteria you need in your gastrointestinal tract to keep digestion running smoothly. Look for an effective strain like bifidobacterium to treat an array of conditions.
Essential #3: Palm Reflexology
Stress is toxic for both your body and mind; managing your stress level is essential to good health. Dr. Weil recommends a reflexology technique based on Chinese medicine. This 5,000-year-old theory applies pressure to specific points on your body, activating channels or “meridians” which help to release tension and promote the free flow of blood and energy. This type of therapy has been used for centuries to provide pain relief, improve circulation, and alleviate muscle tension.
For relaxation, Dr. Weil recommends palm reflexology. The next time you feel stressed, try the following simple technique: Using the thumb and index finger of your right hand, rub the fleshy areas between the thumb and index finger on your left hand. Then, starting at the base of each finger, squeeze and roll upwards towards the fingertip, gently pulling outwards as you go. Next, take your thumb and firmly massage small circles all over the palm of your hand. Repeat the process on your other hand. When you’re finished, clench your fists and hold them for 10 seconds, then extend your hand and spread your fingers for 10 seconds. Shake out your hands gently and finish by taking four deep, slow breaths.
Tip: 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Another way to tame your tension is to employ the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of four seconds. Hold your breath for a count of seven, and then exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This simple breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.
Essential #4: The Rules of Raw
Dr. Weil believes that food is medicine, so the raw food movement is something he’s carefully examined. His verdict? He doesn’t recommend eating only raw foods, for two major reasons.
First, you lose much of the best flavor, texture and appearance of your foods if you’re only eating them raw. Secondly, some of the vitamins and minerals are less available to the body in raw vegetables than when they’re cooked.
With the raw diet, he suggests that you know the rules of a raw food diet. Know which foods are best raw and which ones are best cooked. Lots of fruits and vegetables have protective compounds in them that are more available to a person’s body in cooked form. Example: tomatoes (lycopene – which protects against some forms of cancer like prostate cancer) and carrots. Leafy greens are best to eat raw because they retain their nutrients.
Crushed garlic and asparagus are best when eaten raw. Mix garlic with olive oil or drizzle garlic on bread.
Raw Asparagus has folate, an essential B vitamin. Cooking reduces folate.
Your body can only obtain lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that protects against cancer, from tomatoes when they’re cooked. Similarly, the carotenoids in carrots are more available from cooked carrots than their raw counterparts. Yet this rule isn’t true of all foods. Leafy greens like watercress and arugula are at their healthiest when left raw; heating them breaks down nutrients and destroys their benefits. If you want to eat some of the healthiest raw foods, try either garlic or asparagus.
Garlic is a superfood that promotes immunity and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. The active component in garlic is the sulfur compound called allicin, a powerful chemical that is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed, or bruised. Allicin acts as an antibiotic and helps the body to inhibit the ability of germs to grow and reproduce. The amount of allicin in one clove of garlic, around 1 milligram, is said to have the potency of 15 standard units of penicillin.
Cooking garlic diminishes allicin, so eat it raw to maximize your benefits. For best results, crush the cloves to release the healthy enzyme. The production of allicin is greater if the garlic is exposed to air, so let the crushed garlic stand for 10 minutes before combining it with other foods. Add it to a salad dressing or tomato sauce. You can also try spreading 1/2 teaspoon on some toast with a bit of cheese to make a raw garlic bread. Sweeten it up by adding a spoonful of honey and a dash of lemon.
Essential #5: CoQ10
Dr. Weil’s final essential sounds almost too good to be true – a super-pill to slow aging. The supplement is CoQ10, a substance that protects your heart and brain from oxidative stress, meaning it blocks the free radicals that break down cells and cause aging. Coenzyme Q10 is made by every cell in the human body. It’s particularly concentrated in tissues having high-energy requirements, such as the muscles of the heart and the brain, which requires huge amounts of uninterrupted energy to regulate, integrate, and coordinate ongoing nervous system transmissions.
Researchers have discovered CoQ10 levels diminish with age, while dietary inadequacies, certain diseases and medications can also significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body. CoQ10 is found in foods like sardines, beef and peanuts, yet you’d need to consume huge portions to obtain your daily dose through diet. Dr. Weil recommends taking a pill. He suggests the average adult try a supplement of 120 mg daily. To facilitate your body’s best absorption, take a 60 mg soft-gel capsule twice a day with a meal containing fat.
Tip: Spill Your Oil
Another way to slow your aging is to purge your pantry of all of your toxic fats. Do a smell test on your oil – if it smells like paint, pour it out and get rid of it!
Tip: Natural Fatigue Fighters
The next time you’re extra exhausted, turn to Mother Nature. These healing remedies from Dr. Weil’s trusted colleague, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, can fight fatigue and restore your zest for life.
Also known as rhodiola or arctic root, this plant has been used since ancient times to treat fatigue. Studies have really shown that golden root improves mental concentration, physical endurance and helps with general chronic fatigue.