Sleep Well, Eat Well, and Live Well
“The greatest wealth is health.” This quote by Roman poet Virgil is over two thousand years old but no less true today. Amidst the modern day chaos of advanced society, stress levels and health concerns have reached an all time high. To be truly healthy--mentally, physically, and emotionally--is to be truly wealthy, indeed. So how do we achieve such a lofty goal? We simplify. We get back to basics. We sleep well, we eat well, and we live well.
“Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality,” says world renown sleep scientist, Professor Matt Walker. Polysomnography, the study of sleep, investigates sleep’s impact on learning, memory, immune system, and even genetic code. “Sleep, unfortunately, is not a lifestyle luxury,” Walker states. “Sleep is a nonnegotiable biological necessity.”
Are you getting enough sleep? Before answering this question, check out Professor Walker’s 2019 TED Talk Sleep is your Superpower and his New York Times best selling book Why We Sleep (Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams).
Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates known as the “Father of Medicine” said it well, “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” What’s on your grocery list?
The following list, speaks for itself and would likely receive Dr. Hippocrates’ seal of approval:
Why not incorporate a few of these items into your diet each week?
Brain Foods to Boost Memory and Mood:
- Fatty fish (for brain-essential Omega-3s)
- Eggs (for memory and learning)
- Berries (antioxidant power houses)
- Avocados (possibly nature’s most perfect food)
- Kale (a nutrition bomb)
- Sea vegetables (the neglected superfoods)
- Dark Chocolate (a delicious source of tryptophan, magnesium and anandamide)
- Walnuts (the #1 nut for the brain)
- Turmeric (the antidepressant, anti-alzheimer’s spice)
- Olive oil (a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet)
- Coconut oil (for instant brain energy)
- Fermented Foods (for intestinal tract health)
An in-depth review of the above list can be found at https://bebrainfit.com/brain-foods/
Shakespeare said, "Our bodies are our gardens - our wills are our gardeners." When we are sleeping well and eating well, our lives have a greater chance to represent a healthy manifestation of this Shakespearian metaphor. But living well takes effort. It’s up to us to bloom where we’re planted in time and space. So how do we begin?
Partaking in regular exercise prevents many weeds of poor health and disease from entering our life’s garden and choking out good health while causing many health benefits to vibrantly bloom. Harvard Medical School (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/co_reg) maintains that exercise is the best kept secret in preventative medicine because it provides essential protection against many of the diseases that plague our country such as:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Osteoporosis and fractures
- Colon and breast cancers
- Dementia (memory loss)
The Mayo Clinic’s list credits regular exercise with the additional benefits of promoting better sleep and boosting energy while providing fun and social enjoyment.So let’s get back to basics: Sleeping well, eating well, and living well is well worth the effort.