A key aspect of a life of True Wealth is the state of our health. How we feel physically and mentally each day plays a huge role in our productivity and contentment with life. Whether retiring at 40 or 65, the way we feel each day and the condition of our health play a huge role in our life satisfaction.
The great news is that similar to finances, we can develop habits and a lifestyle that sets us up for success. And the benefits of healthy living return instantly to a person, no delayed gratification required. After a healthy meal or some exercise, we simply feel better.
Examples of poor health leading to poor wealth
I have witnessed many sad examples of poor health in my life. Many of these people have plenty of money in their investments accounts, owned property and stocks, etc. But their poor health choices eventually caught up with them. One person told me that the 40’s are a make or break decade. It is a decade to certainly do our best to better manage our health and develop good healthy habits. It is in the late 40’s early 50’s that I have witnessed years of poor habits really start to take hold.
Our rather expensive healthcare system (actually “sick” care) is another huge reason to have a focus on good preventative health. In other words, a catastrophic health issue in the US can do some real damage to a person’s ability to build wealth. The lost productivity and expensive care bills are wealth destroyers sadly. There have been moves in the last decade to address some of this (i.e. unlawful to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions), but unfortunately we never know where the system is heading with all the partisan bickering.
5-9 Servings of fruits & vegetables per day
We should all know by now the main rule of thumb. Get as many fruits and vegetables into our diets each day. I also like the Michale Pollen rules of thumb for healthy eating:
Eat real food (limit processed and packaged items loaded with synthetic chemicals and sugar filler/hydrogentated oils)
Eat mostly plant based (he does not rule out meat, but eat it occasionally and choose high quality grass fed meats w/ low hormones)
Eat not too much (eat just enough to be satisfied, give the stomach time to rest and be a bit empty)
These types of “rules of thumb” are very effective for finances as well as health. In addition, I recently ran across some great nutrition advice from Dr. Joel Fuhrman who wrote the book Fast Food Genocide.
He recommends obtaining a variety of healthy foods that can provide optimal energy and well being.
An easy trick to obtain all the nutrients we need for maximum performance is to “eat the rainbow”. In other words, try and consume all kinds of colored vegetables and fruits. Things like blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, apples, oranges, tomatoes, etc. All these fruits and vegetables are very colorful, delicious and good for our body and minds.
The main concept is to get a variety of fruits and vegetables so that you are obtaining the minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants and the micronutrients required to protect against disease. Consuming these nutrients is especially effective at protecting against heart disease, cancer and dementia.
He came up with a clever acronym for some superfoods that could add to our health, G-BOMBS! This acronym stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds!
“G” For Greens
Kale, spinach, cruciferous veggies of all kinds! (brussels sprouts, cauliflower…) These real foods are full of vitamin C, fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals. In other words all the good stuff that makes our bodies and brains work the best.
“B” For Berries
I love all kinds of berries. We are big fans of Viking Power Smoothies packed with berries! Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc. are all linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancer and dementia. Berries are shown to keep people mentally sharp, which is very important to wealth building efforts and managing resources. In addition, berries can lower the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and help prevent Alzheimers. Hey, they also just taste great!
“O” For Onions
Onions are one of the healthiest foods for us. Onions contain valuable organosulfate compounds which can target and destroy cancer cells. In addition, they are an excellent source of sulphuric commands, flavonoids, phytochemicals and vitamin C.
Flavonoids in particular reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The amino acids help prevent damage to the body system and cancer. Onions’ sulfurs have anti-inflammatory agents as well. Controlling and minimizing inflammation in the body appears to be a key aspect of maximizing overall health.
“M” For Mushrooms
Apparently consuming cooked mushrooms lowers breast cancer risk by 64 percent in certain studies. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D, are a natural antibiotic, improve heart health and decrease the risk of cancer. Mushrooms are a good source of iron as well. The body absorbs almost all the iron and this encourages our red blood cells to grow.
“B” For Beans
Beans such as black, garbanzo, pinto, red, lima, etc. are a good source of protein. They are nutrient dense with folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, fiber etc. Beans lower the risk of cancer and contain antioxidants. They also improve gut health and can help control appetite.
“S” For Seeds
This includes flax, hemp, chia, sunflower and nuts (walnuts and almonds are my favorites). Seeds and nuts supply micronutrients including sterols that help prevent heart disease. Nuts are loaded with antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells and increase the risk of disease. Nuts can also lower LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Just as there are handy rules of thumb and information to achieve financial success there is also this information for managing our health. And similar to personal finance, I believe a “back to basics” approach is always the best. Sound fundamentals are typically the way to lay the groundwork to success.
For health this can come down to eating real food, mostly plants and not too much. Combine this with activity each day and a person will simply feel better and be healthier overall.
As always, consult your personal medical professional before following any kind of program or advice. This is for informational purposes only and not intended as advice to any individual person.