Looking after your body should really be your number one priority, yet many people fail to sufficiently do this. I often think how we should be a super human race full of health and vitality as we have the information we need to do this, but we’re all too tempted by things that we know are not good for us and we don’t want to give them up. Why not? Surely it is better to be full of health and life instead of feeling ill all the time and putting ourselves at risk of disease and pain both now and in the future?
There are three things that I believe are among the most destructive substances to our own health that many of us regularly consume. There is no end of evidence out there to prove these three things are poisonous and deeply destructive to our health. These three things are smoking, alcohol and sugar.
Unfortunately the three things in this article are very addictive, but that doesn’t mean you should lose all hope of giving them up. It may be a challenge, but it’s the most worthwhile challenge you’ll ever undertake. I know because I’ve quit all three. It can be done!
Image - what you should be treating your body to!
To begin to take charge of your health today then you first need to do the below three things:
Smoking is the worst of all three in my opinion. This is because you’re not only damaging your health, but those around you too. If you smoke in public then other people have to breathe in the dangerous chemicals. You’d be surprised at how far around you they travel. Even if you don’t smoke in public the harmful chemicals will cling to your clothes and hair still causing those you are near to be a passive smoker. Not only are you destroying your health by smoking, but the health of your nearest and dearest too. Think about this next time you light up.
I managed to cut down and then stop altogether around seven years ago and I’ve never looked back. I know simply stopping isn’t an option for everyone and not all of us have the same levels of will power! If you are struggling to quit then you should seriously consider vaping instead. In fact everyone who smokes should switch to vaping. The world would then be free of harmful cigarette smoke and its chemicals.
Alcohol is something else I have serious issues with. Again, it’s a poison and it’s totally harmful to your health, only at least when compared to smoking you are only harming your own health and not the health of others. It’s so engrained in our culture as being the norm, a rite of passage when we turn 18 and those of us who choose not to consume alcohol at all are often questioned why as though it’s impossible to comprehend why anyone would make that choice.
But for me I want to question why people continue to drink alcohol every day even though it has serious health complications. Alcohol clouds your judgement; it causes you to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing when sober. It’s a depressant. It’s a carcinogen. It puts your liver under stress and over time can cause liver damage. It can cause infertility, damage to the brain, increased risk of breast cancer and other cancers, heart problems, bones problems, the list goes on and on.
Ever had a hangover? That’s a sure sign that it is not good for you and totally destructive to your body.
The best thing you can do today for your health is to seriously assess how much alcohol you drink and cut down, if not cut it out completely. Find another way to destress and relax that isn’t going to damage your health. It may not seem like it’s damaging your health today, but you’ve no idea what long term damage you are causing to your insides.
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Sugar. Sugar is the new alcohol. It’s totally addictive and is actually metabolised in the exact same way as alcohol which means it is a poison. The only difference being eating sugar doesn’t have the same effects on the brain as alcohol. Unfortunately again, we live in a culture that normalises sugar consumption and even aims it at children. It’s so wrong.
The media and world are starting to realise the damage caused by added sugar and how it is linked to so many of our health issues nowadays such as type two diabetes, obesity and dementia. It’s not only overweight people who have to be concerned, it’s all of us. A 15 year study found that those who took in 25% or more of their daily calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease than those who took in 10% or less. They found these odds related only to sugar consumption and the amount of physical exercise one did, age and BMI held no significance. Even getting your five a day didn’t make a difference. Basically you need to reduce the added sugar in your diet if you are getting too much.
Avoid foods with added sugar and definitely stop adding sugar to your hot beverages, cereals, fruit and wherever else you add a teaspoon of sugar. Snack on dried fruits, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds if you are craving something sweet or try to make your own sugar free desserts like these.
In January 2017 I totally quit refined and added sugar for one year. I now no longer have it at home and I’d rather not have it when eating out, but sometimes I expect it will be in menu items. Hopefully it will be reduced more in restaurants as the dangers of sugar are becoming better known. At home the best thing is to make your own meals from scratch and read labels on everything else you buy to steer clear of it. Sugar has around 60 names and a quick internet search will inform you of them all so you’re not duped.