Glowing skin and bright eyes
We all know men and women who exude healthy energy—their skin glows, their eyes are bright, they have that extra pep in their step. Do you ever wonder how they do it? Besides the obvious combo of eating in moderation and exercising, here’s the scoop on eight things healthy people know, according to naturopathic doctor Holly Fennell.
1. Healthy people find the root of their symptoms
“As a naturopathic doctor my primary goal is to treat the cause of disease and not merely the symptoms. People seeking optimum health understand this principal and this leads to superior health,” says Fennell. For instance, if you are constantly tired, instead of plying yourself with caffeine or thinking up other ways to make yourself feel more wakeful, “figure out why you feel this way and address the cause,” she says.
2. Healthy people power up with superfoods
“My healthiest patients enjoy some secret superfoods. These taste great and they supercharge your system,” Fennell says. Her favorites are:
• Cacao nibs: “A delicious sugar-free superfood. Cacao is a wonderful antioxidant that is high in magnesium and many other minerals. It is also a wonderful source of fiber. Try adding it to your favorite protein shake or smoothie,” she suggests.
• Golden berries: “Not only are these berries high in calcium and B vitamins, they also support healthy digestion. They are slightly sour in taste so they mix well with sweet tastes such as coconut sugar.”
3. Healthy people ward off colds before they happen
Some of us catch colds—or worse, the flu—every year when the snow starts to fly. This year, consider boosting your immune system well before the winter months come around. “If flu season gets you down, start to work on your immune system now,” Fennell suggests.
4. Healthy people take the right vitamins
Work with a naturopathic doctor or healthcare practitioner to figure out what supplements you really need, suggests Fennell. “I often meet new patients that are taking numerous vitamins that actually counteract one another. Not everyone needs the same supplement,” she says. If you take a multivitamin, find the right one for you—some multivitamins are created for different age groups and contain different nutrients for men and women. “Remember that quality counts, and some vitamins can contain fillers and can be hard to absorb. Stick with reputable brands that are tested for quality control,” Fennell adds.
5. Healthy people stay hydrated
In her practice, Fennell treats some of the world’s most energetic people – professional athletes. “Athletes know the importance of proper hydration,” she says. “Staying properly hydrated is paramount to staying healthy. This means drinking a good water source and adding an electrolyte to your regime if you are sweating and losing key electrolytes that should be replaced.” One natural electrolyte is coconut water, which can be purchased at your local health food store. “Watch out for commercially sold drinks that are high in sugars,” Fennel adds.
6. Healthy people take supplements and medications at the right times
Many of don’t keep track of the time of day we take the medications or supplements prescribed by our healthcare practitioners. However, this imprecision can make some medications and vitamins less effective. Be sure to ask your medical professional for advice, jot down notes if you need to, and stick to your schedule. “Understand what you are taking and when in the day is the best time to take it,” Fennell says.
7. Healthy people snack on healthy foods
People who are in good health reach for high-quality, health-promoting snacks when hunger strikes. One of Fennell’s favorites: Goji berries. “They’re known to support and strengthen immune function. Try mixing some berries with nuts as a snack or with cereal for breakfast,” she suggests.
8. Healthy people know a small change can make a big difference
If you’re game to join the ranks of the healthy, Fennell suggests that you start by making small changes to your lifestyle so as not to get overwhelmed. “Tap into local resources such as shopping at local farmer’s markets,” she suggests, adding that some health food stores offer free lectures to the public. “Incorporate changes that are realistic and can become part of your lifestyle,” she advises.