Are you overweight or just feel like crap? Turns out most people are, even our youth. Staying healthy shouldn’t be this difficult. Find out one simple fix to prevent chronic illness that often goes ignored.
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In the U.S., more people die from preventable diseases than ever. Obesity is a pandemic. We are consuming products that our bodies haven’t adapted to. People are fatter and sicker than ever before. Learn why staying healthy is becoming harder to do and one trick you can do to prevent chronic illness before it is too late.
This post is all about ways to prevent chronic illness.
An Important Key of a Healthy Lifestyle That Often Goes Ignored
For most people, the way to health seems like a rocky road to nowhere. And unfortunately, our society has its fair share of problems concerning health, and most of these issues are diseases caused by excess. Too much salt. Too much sugar. Too much unhealthy food.
Compared to fifty years ago, we eat more often, and the food quality is much worse. We are filling ourselves with products instead of wholesome, real food. As a result of our food addictions, we are sick, overweight, yet starving for proper nourishment. That makes it difficult to stay healthy.
After World War II, the country began booming with new food industries and exciting trends in food products that everyone wanted to buy. What once was a minimalist society, changed dramatically. The dream of success was becoming a reality for many entrepreneurs and businesses looking to grow rich with their latest products and ideas.
Fast forward to modern times, and finally, we notice the problems being driven by consumerism. Hindsight is 20/20, but the problems that are causing widespread disease are not going to go away any time soon.
Preventing Disease in an Unhealthy World
From pollution and a growing waste problem to detrimental effects on climate, consumerism creates a path of destruction. At this rate, we are turning the Earth’s natural resources into trash about 70% faster than would be sustainable (1).
Consumerism drives our country. It is a luxury to live in such abundance that we can buy things beyond what we do not need. However, this trend is wasteful and unsustainable. It cannot go on forever without disastrous consequences.
Oh, but such consequences have already begun to take effect. Climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and the compounding mountain of plastic waste seem intangible. It is out of sight, out of mind for most of us.
The Key to a Health is Prevention.
However, those aren’t the only things going wrong. Our parents, sisters, brothers, friends, and maybe even ourselves suffer from chronic diseases. And, if you have one, chances are you will develop a few more chronic illnesses in your lifetime.
Research shows that a poor diet and other environmental factors can have a detrimental effect on the gut microbiome, which is a key factor in disease.
Humanity experienced a dramatic increase in chronic health problems such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, allergies, and autoimmune disorders over the last century. By the 1960s, doctors and scientists concluded that chronic disease resulted from cigarette use, high blood pressure, diet, and lack of exercise, all of which are preventable. (2)
The Keys to Prevent Chronic Illness Lie in Our Environment.
Recent technology has led to much progress in understanding the pathology of diseases. Now, we know health depends on how our genes react to our environment. Everything around us from the air we breathe to the foods we eat makes up our environments.
While it is important to understand that diet is not the only culprit that can negatively impact your health, it is a great place to start. Changing your diet can have a positive impact on gene expression. Healthy eating is something we can control. A nutrient-dense diet can result in quick, measurable improvements in one’s health.
But unfortunately, it is difficult to change our habits in a society set up to keep us checking our phones, clicking ads, and spending money on unhealthy foods.
So, we become overweight and maybe even diabetic. Our environments stay the same or worsen over time, and we may develop heart disease or cancer. Some of us are fortunate to go on and live a long life, but a limited one due to disease-related disabilities.
We become bound by health problems and all the medical costs that go with them. As a result, we no longer feel like living our best lives. Prevention is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Disease and deterioration do not have to be inevitable.
Prevent Chronic Illnesses with Sustainable, Natural Living.
Historically, when people lived more sustainably and were self-sufficient, they were healthier. Chronic illnesses didn’t occur very often. They didn’t have access to junk foods, and it was more common to eat much less. They didn’t eat three meals and two snacks every day, as we do in modern times.
Data shows that economic growth leads to chronic disease, obesity, and climate change. (3)
Abundance is a blessing, but data shows that the wealthier we become as a nation, health declines for both people and the environment. Furthermore, we saw much evidence of the environment recovering during the pandemic in 2020-2021 as most of the world was in quarantine (7).
Also, our current food systems in America and most of the world are not sustainable. Excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, among other things, creates devastating environmental problems.
It shouldn’t take a devastating economic collapse to force us to create more sustainable systems.
Preventing Chronic Illness is Simple; Treating it is Difficult.
We learned about ecosystems in school and how every living thing interacts and depends on one another in that system. However, we rarely consider that humans are a part of an ecosystem.
We are not separate from the environment in which we live.
We are a part of nature, and the expressions of our genes depend on their interactions within our environment. When we deprive our bodies of nutritious foods and expose ourselves to toxins, allergens, VOCs, and other harmful pollutants, we stand in the way of our own health.
Simply, adopting a natural and sustainable lifestyle might be the simplest solution to your health and well-being. For example, opting to become more self-sufficient by growing a little (or a lot) of your food will change your health.
Furthermore, a nutrient-dense and organically grown diet can support healthy gene expression and prevent the onset of inflammation and disease. (4) The positive changes from living with nature instead of against it won’t stop there.
Collectively, we could make a real difference in more pressing issues like pollution and climate health.
You do not need to be an extremist against consumerism to make headway into a more sustainable life. But, consider how much money you spend on things that hurt your health. Read these tips about sustainable shopping!
Why is This Way of Preventing Chronic Illness So Simple, Yet Overlooked?
Sustainable living is not the most popular lifestyle. It isn’t supportive of the latest fashions, and few businesses make money off your choice to be environmentally responsible and more self-sufficient.
Thankfully, with more discoveries in science and technology that add to this body of knowledge, the importance of eco-friendly and sustainable living are on the upward trend. Did you know that you can even reduce food waste simply by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet?
However, having and applying this knowledge are two different things. We are creatures of habit, and that means change can be hard. In a society with everything at our fingertips, choosing to live a slower life is challenging.
I urge you to not wait until the day you receive a diagnosis to make changes to your lifestyle. You have the power to prevent chronic illness by making a few adjustments now. Prevention is the key to a long, beautiful life.
Sometimes a little knowledge can go a long way to change your life and the lives of others for the better.
Key Takeaways on How Sustainable Living Affects Your Health
- Human health is proportionate to environmental health.
- Our personal environments (diet, stress, pollution, etc.) determine our genetic expression.
- Many diseases stem from the reaction between our genes and our environment (5).
- The more we buy things we don’t need, the more our planet is damaged, and the fatter and sicker we become (3).
- Making more sustainable choices and opting to live a more natural lifestyle promotes environmental health in the world and in our personal lives.
- Choosing sustainably-sourced foods for a nutrient-dense diet lowers your risk of developing a chronic disease by nourishing the microbiome and supporting gene health (6).
- A sustainable lifestyle better supports the environment and helps prevent the onset of illnesses in the body.
References and Further Reading
- The World Counts. (n.d.). The World Counts. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/state-of-the-planet/number-of-consumers/story
- Mannino, D. M. (2019). Fifty Years of Progress in the Epidemiology of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Review of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-Sponsored Studies. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation, 6(4), 350–358. https://doi.org/10.15326/jcopdf.6.4.2019.0145
- Egger, G. (2011). Obesity, Chronic Disease, and Economic Growth: A Case for “Big Picture” Prevention. Advances in Preventive Medicine, 2011, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.4061/2011/149158
- Cena, H., & Calder, P. C. (2020). Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for the Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease. Nutrients, 12(2), 334. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020334
- Gene and Environment Interaction. (n.d.). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Retrieved May 3, 2022, from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/science/gene-env/index.cfm
- Matusheski, N. V., Caffrey, A., Christensen, L., Mezgec, S., Surendran, S., Hjorth, M. F., McNulty, H., Pentieva, K., Roager, H. M., Seljak, B. K., Vimaleswaran, K. S., Remmers, M., & Péter, S. (2021). Diets, nutrients, genes and the microbiome: recent advances in personalised nutrition. British Journal of Nutrition, 126(10), 1489–1497. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114521000374
- Rume, T., & Islam, S. D. U. (2020). Environmental effects of COVID-19 pandemic and potential strategies of sustainability. Heliyon, 6(9), e04965. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04965
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This post was all about how natural and sustainable living are vital ways to prevent chronic illness.
Would you like to learn more about how you can live a more sustainable life? Check out more articles below.
Knowing your food and taking responsibility for how it is produced is the best way to make a positive ecological impact.
You are reducing waste and resources while relying less on conventional agriculture and its use of pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate.
Most importantly, you will be eating the healthiest way possible!
A NATURAL AND SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE PROMOTES HEALTH