Doctor Advises: Simple Nutritional Changes Can Change Your Life

By Barrett SMITH

Every January, at least for the first couple of weeks, a sense of determination seems present across the country as goals are set and resolutions declared for the new year. Some resolve to stop smoking or to read more classic novels; others promise to exercise more often or spend more time with family. Whatever the resolution, what most of these decisions have in common is a hope of increasing health, whether it is mental, physical or spiritual health. What many may not realize, though, is how important a role nutrition plays in overall health.

Doctor of preventative health Joe Raphael offered insight into the healthcare trends he has observed lately, what health concerns seem to be more prevalent, and how nutrition can help.

Raphael, who said his practice focuses on “care and lifestyle,” noted a transition in healthcare to using nutrition as medicine, and emphasized that addressing the way people eat can help avoid nationwide health problems such as diabetes, psychological stress, sleep and hormone disorders, internal inflammation, and dangerous cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Though Raphael recommends visiting a nutritionist to receive individualized instructions on how to improve health through more conscious nutritional choices, he was able to offer some general advice.

“Some of it is pretty simple,” said Raphael. “Most people aren’t eating enough green leafy vegetables. I recommend that you eat one pound of dark leafy greens a day. Monitor your dairy intake, your vitamin D intake, red meat and alcohol consumption. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and drinking 64 ounces of water a day. Health problems can come down to that: are you hydrated?”

Raphael also clarified that nutrition is about more than just eating healthily; it’s about treating the whole person and embracing a more conscious lifestyle.

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