So you eat a really healthy diet but you still feel sick all the time. What on earth is going on? Is there even a point to giving up processed food if you’re sick a lot anyway? I understand your frustration. That’s why I came up with a list of the most common reasons you’re still sick even though you eat healthy.
- You’re Not Actually Eating Healthy
If you’re sick all the time even though you eat healthy, you might not actually be eating healthy. Food manufacturing companies make their living off of fooling you into believing the food you purchase from them is good for you. Nine times out of ten, it’s not. Even with buzzwords like “natural”, “whole wheat”, and “diet”, pre-packaged food is anything but healthy.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, read the labels on every single piece of food you pick up. Yes, it’s a time-consuming process but it’s a lifesaver. Do it on a day where you have time to stroll up and down the aisles, thoroughly investigating your favorite foods. When you see an ingredient you don’t recognize, write it down. Go home and look up that ingredient with the keywords, “health dangers of” to learn more.
The reason I say to put “health dangers of” in front of the ingredient you’re looking up is because processed food manufacturers pay millions of dollars to make sure their own websites come up in the search engines first. Just try looking up “high fructose corn syrup” without adding any keywords. The first website that comes up is SweetSurprise.com, claiming that a product that has almost single-handedly caused the obesity epidemic is safe to eat! Not so much.
- You’re Microwaving Your Food
Are you still microwaving your food? I stopped microwaving my food sometime in 2008 and I couldn’t believe how my energy skyrocketed. Almost immediately, the brain fog I never completely got rid of after going gluten free started to lift. I just felt better somehow. This prompted me to do some research. One study revealed that just 60 seconds of microwave cooking completely destroyed the anti-cancer properties (allicin) of garlic. Another study published by The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed that broccoli microwaved in water lost an incredible 97% of its beneficial antioxidants. Trade your microwave in for a toaster oven and you’ll be amazed at how much healthier you feel.
- You Have Food Allergies You Don’t Know About
Even if you eat the healthiest foods, you still might have an allergy or intolerance to one or more of them. Gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, and food dye intolerance are very common. If you suffer from chronic diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, nausea, muscle aches, sinus problems, unexplained rashes, and headaches, you most likely have a food intolerance.
The best way to determine if a food intolerance is making you sick is to do an elimination diet. Completely remove all traces of lactose, gluten, and food dyes out of your diet for a period of 6-8 weeks. Then, reintroduce each food one at a time over the course of several days. If your symptoms improve during the diet and return after reintroducing one or more foods, cut them out of your diet.
- You’re Not Exercising
You can eat the healthiest diet on the planet but if you’re not exercising, you’re going to stay sick and tired. You don’t have to do anything drastic to stay in shape. Just 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 times per week is enough to get started. Walking, dancing, swimming, and hiking are all fine. No need for a gym at all.
- You’re Not Sleeping Enough
If you’re still sick all the time even though you eat right, exercise, and have tested yourself for food allergies, it might be that you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation lowers your immune resistance while raising your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Most adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours each night to function at their best. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you may be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral responsible for healthy neurological function and millions of people are deficient in it.
Adding a chelated magnesium supplement to your diet can mean the difference between chronic insomnia and a healing night’s rest.
Another reason I didn’t mention that you might be getting sick all the time is vitamin deficiencies. If you’re eating a less-than-healthy diet or if you suffer from a chronic gastrointestinal problem, you might have a few nutrient deficiencies. The most common are vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids. The best way to tell if you have any vitamin deficiencies is to get a blood test. However, you could try adding a whole-food multivitamin to your diet to get some of the nutrition you’re missing.
There’s no reason for you to feel sick all the time. Your body was designed to heal. All you have to do is give it the right fuel to do so.
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