As a pharmacist and health coach, I see many people who are seeking quick fixes and miracle solutions to improve health and well-being. I have found that the allure of a miracle supplement or herb that promises to boost your immune system, enhance your mood, or help you lose weight can be tempting. However, as I’ve experienced with maintaining my own health, relying solely on supplements to improve health is not the most effective approach. Supplements and herbs definitely have their place in helping the body, but we can’t overlook other basic, simple fundamentals that not only create good habits but also build a solid foundation for maintaining health, including gut health, hydration, sleep, exercise, and stress management.

As you know, the food you eat will play a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support various bodily functions. Instead of depending on a single supplement or on quick food, such as a meal replacement, to meet all your nutritional needs, you need to prioritize consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods to ensure you get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body requires.

Nutrition and Supplement Basics

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that play a crucial role in brain function, heart health, and inflammation regulation. Including sources of omega-3s, such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, in your diet can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support cognitive function.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and play a vital role in numerous physiological processes. Essential amino acids (not to be mistaken for nonessential) cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet. Including high-quality protein sources, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes, in your meals can help ensure you meet your amino acid requirements and support muscle growth, repair, mental wellness, and overall health.

Vitamin D3 and magnesium are two vital nutrients that are deficient in a large portion of the population. Whether it be poor diet, quality of food, or lifestyle factors, many studies that are being done on aging, brain and cognitive health, developmental health, pain, sleep, and heart health are showing a clear deficiency in these nutrients.

Quality hydration is often overlooked but is essential for maintaining optimal bodily function. Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day helps regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, and flush out toxins. Avoiding sugary beverages and opting for water with a splash of lemon or lime or a few slices of cucumber can improve energy levels, lubricate your joints, ease the discomfort of dry skin, help your bowels move more freely, and improve your cognitive function.

Your gut health is paramount to your overall well-being. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut as well as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can promote a diverse and balanced gut.

Supplements can and do expire. Check the expiration dates of the supplements you have stored (and sometimes ignored) on your shelves. You may need to replace them.

Lifestyle Basics

Adequate rest allows the body to repair and regenerate, supports immune function, and helps regulate mood and stress levels. Establish a “self-care” bedtime routine by creating a comfortable sleep environment and turning off electronic devices and televisions. This can dramatically improve your health and well-being. A good night’s sleep can also help to balance hormones and improve your ability to think and problem solve.

Regular exercise is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity not only helps maintain a healthy weight and strengthen muscles and bones but also improves mood and reduces stress. Incorporating a mix of cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility exercises into our routine can provide a wide range of health benefits. Exercise does not have to be rigorous to be effective. A stroll through the neighborhood every day has wonderful benefits on your psyche and your body.

Another remedy I not only practice but also highly recommend is called grounding, connecting with the earth’s natural energy. Walking or placing your bare feet on grass, soil, or sand has been associated with various health benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved sleep, and enhanced mood. If you haven’t tried grounding, you absolutely must. Pay attention to how your body feels after just a few minutes of connecting with the ground. The best part is that this remedy is entirely free. If you’re looking to reboot your health routine or develop a new one, try keeping it simple…start with the basics.

FUSION PHARMACY

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