If there are Ten Commandments for living a righteous life, then there are also rules for living a wellness lifestyle. Serving as guidelines for ensuring a healthy body, balanced mind and enlightened spirit is The Rule of 5.
Intended to be the minimum requirement to ensure health and well-being, there is also the challenge to go beyond five in order to achieve optimum benefits.
Rule no. 1: Good nutrition
This can never be over-emphasized. While most people know that eating healthy is important, in most cases they do not know what exactly to eat and in what reasonable portions.
Try to get your vitamins and minerals A-Z in the food and beverages you consume.
In food alone, the Rule of 5 applies. The National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health in the US recommend eating five fruits and vegetables every day.
Topping the list of vegetables are sprouts like alfalfa, radish, sunflower, clover, soybean and broccoli, which contains 4 percent protein–more protein than the following: spinach (3 percent), romaine lettuce (1.5 percent), milk 3.3 percent.
Meat contains 19 percent protein, and eggs 13 percent (although it has 11 percent fat).
Do you know that radish sprouts have 29 times more vitamin C than regular milk, as well as four times the vitamin A?
What these sprouts contain are concentrated amounts of powerful phytochemicals. These are plant compounds that protect the body against diseases. In fact, an amino acid analog found in alfalfa appears to demonstrate resistance against pancreatic and colon cancer, and leukemia.
Much like human estrogen minus the side effects, plant estrogen contained in sprouts is helpful in controlling fibrocystic breast tumors, PMS and symptoms of menopause like hot flashes.
Broccoli sprouts abound in glucoraphanin, an immune system booster.
The National Academy of Sciences published a study in 2004 showing that a diet rich in glucoraphanin-rich broccoli sprouts produced less inflammation, lower blood pressure and improvement in cardiovascular health within 14 weeks.
Alfalfa sprouts are considered among the best sources of saponins, which lower LDL or bad cholesterol. It is important to know that saponins increase the activity of natural killer cells like T-lymphocytes and interferon.
The secret ingredient is also chlorophyll, whose instant benefit is the oxygenation and cleansing of the blood. Basically, “seeds” contain the macro-nutrients of life. This food category includes beans, legumes, nuts and grain kernels.
Let this be a healthy kitchen exercise for you. You can purchase sprouting kits and seeds online, through health food stores or organic farms. Include seeds of alfalfa, cabbage, fenugreek, mustard, radish, sesame, sunflower, adzuki beans, lentils, chick peas, mung beans, green peas, wheat, rye and triticala.
Caution: Do not use seeds that have been treated with fungicide.
Fruits are high in antioxidants. Among the stars in the fruit horizon are berries (acai, blueberry, blackberry, cranberry and strawberry), cherries, citrus (orange, lemon and lime), guava, kiwi, apple, banana, guyabano and pineapple, among others.
Rule no. 2: Exercise
Again, there’s a need to remind all health-conscious individuals to “keep moving,” and to do so with regularity. Whether it is walking, swimming, jogging, dancing, basketball, etc., it is recommended to maintain a thrice-a-week minimum exercise program.
The objective is to raise the heart rate and to sweat. Once you sweat, detoxification begins.
Rule no. 3: Sleep
The recommended length of sleep is anywhere from six to eight hours. Oversleeping, on the other hand, can also be counterproductive, as this could cause one to feel tired upon waking up.
Rule no. 4: Stress management
This is vital to maintaining balance physically, mentally and emotionally. This is because stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline cause the body to reach a level of agitation and alertness.
While they can be helpful in cases where strength, energy and “courage” are required (as in competitions which need force and endurance), too much stress hormones can be detrimental to the body.
Engage in mind-body relaxation exercises to keep you calm.
Rule no. 5: Lightness of being
In other words, keep it light. Find humor in all circumstances. When you don’t take life too seriously, you’ll be able to weather any storm. It may be difficult, but try to find the proverbial “silver lining” in every dark cloud.
This week’s affirmation: “Happiness is my constant companion.”
Love and light!
(Reference: “The Perricone Promise” by Nicholas Perricone, M.D.)