Every driver knows what fuel his car runs best on. He also knows what kind of oil the engine needs. He is very well informed about the tire pressure and, of course, about the engine’s performance. Let’s be honest: do you know your body as well as you know your car? Which oil do you work best with?
Research has found that our lifestyle and diet have a huge impact on our genes. Put simply, we can turn genes on or off with our diet and lifestyle. Only after being switched on will they have any impact on our health. It is therefore very important to pay particular attention to these two factors. Not only our car needs optimal care. Our body needs them even more. We can replace a car after a few years, but not our body.
We take good care that there is always enough water in our car’s windscreen washer system. And what about our bodies? Did you know that brain cells are extraordinarily sensitive to dehydration? The brain is no longer optimally supplied with blood and can no longer perform. Visibility is clouded, like in a car with a dirty windshield. Did you know that the kidneys can no longer produce sufficient dilution of the urine if you drink too little water? The concentration of the substances that have to be excreted is constantly increasing, and the risk of kidney stones is going up. The bladder can be impacted, since without sufficient liquid transport from the kidney, it is no longer sufficiently perfused. This is followed by a massive increase in disease-causing germs. A painful urinary infection is the consequence. If you drink enough, you flush your entire urinary system optimally.
Fill Up the Tank, Please
Everyone who drives away makes sure that there is enough fuel in the car, otherwise they won’t get to their destination. Be sure to fill up the tank of your body in the morning! Blood sugar levels are below normal after waking up. During the night, the glucose was used up for a great many energetic processes. That’s why you have to recharge your batteries with a hearty, wholesome breakfast. Fresh fruits, whole wheat bread bread with a tasty spread, an oatmeal or a granola are the right fuel to start the day.
How many types of oil are offered in the car accessories section! It’s the same in the grocery store. Most car owners know what kind of oil the engine needs. Who knows which oil is ideal for his body? Omega-3 fatty acids are not just empty buzzwords or good for advertising. Omega-3 fatty acids are the big stars protecting the heart and blood vessels. They reduce blood triglycerides, blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart disease. They probably also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and reduce certain rheumatic complaints. They lower the cholesterol level and alleviate neurodermatitis.
And where do we find omega-3 fatty acids? In a number of vegetable oils and in the fish oil of cold-water fish, i.e. salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Unfortunately, toxic heavy metals such as lead and mercury are very often found in fish. Therefore, it is more advisable to switch to good vegetable oils. Linseed, canola, chia, hemp, walnut and soybean oil contain many omega-3 fatty acids.
Animal fats should be avoided, especially lard. They have a lot of arachidonic acid, which has an inflammatory effect. Unfortunately, fast food or store-bought baked goods frequently use industrial margarine containing trans-fatty acids, which are detrimental for our cells. However, the industry is trying to get rid of this flaw.
In motorsport, a pit stop is a very short stop at a designated place where various interventions, small repairs and adjustments can be made at lightning speed. Our body also needs a pit stop – but a longer one than in sports. Rest and enough sleep are seen by many today as a luxury. On average, we now sleep about an hour and a half less than a generation before us did. Many adults and even children complain about the consequences of lack of sleep: susceptibility to colds, reduced performance, lack of concentration and a higher frequency of accidents.
In addition to healthy sleep, relaxation during the day is also very important. Lots of things distract us and steal what we need for ourselves – every now and then a few relaxing minutes after work is done. This can be something different for everyone. For some, it means closing your eyes and listening within; for the other to let their eyes wander outside the window. It’s good if they get to see flowers and green trees, just something different than in the working world.
If you can take a walk in nature, you have double the benefit. Feel the wind, breathe the fresh air, listen to the birds singing, enjoy the moment that is all yours and for a moment don’t think about the future or the past. This fills you with gratitude and calm for what you have just been able to accomplish in the past day.
When these pit stops are followed by the weekly day of rest after the six working days, you will experience an oasis in a stressed world. It is not for nothing that our Creator set this day for us. It is also good for our soul.
Our bodies are worth far more than a car. It is worth thinking about what kind of performance we expect from it and how we want to take care of it. However, it is also worthwhile to immediately put the knowledge gained into practice. You will reap the benefits for yourself.
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Esther Neumann studied Nutrition at the University of Vienna. Since then she served as an author for the health magazine “Leben und Gesundheit” and conducted health lectures in various locations of Austria.
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