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We are an overmedicated nation. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, the most commonly used drugs by Americans are asthma medicines for children, central nervous system stimulants for adolescents, antidepressants for middle-aged adults and cholesterol lowering drugs for older Americans.

Consider these staggering statistics:

  • 20% of children use at least one prescription drug each month 
  • 90% of older Americans use at least one prescription drug each month
  • More than 76% of Americans age 60 and over use two or more prescription drugs 
  • 37% of Americans age 60 and over use five or more prescription drugs
  • 45% of adults age 60 and over use cholesterol drugs
  • 46% of adults age 60 and over use blood pressure drugs

Your chance of getting a disease that requires drugs is based more on lifestyle choices than it is on bad luck or bad genes. Living a life without prescription drugs can be accomplished by taking control of your own health. If you adopt and adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your chances of being on medication and even reduce or eliminate the medications you are currently taking.

If this is one of your health goals, here is what you need to do:

 

Make Proper Food Choices. Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, fish, potatoes, nuts, etc.). For the best nutrition and health benefits, try to eat at least one-third of your diet in the form of vegetables and fruit (preferably raw). Reduce or eliminate processed food, sugar and grain consumption. Consume more omega-3 fats from fish, flax, chia and hemp seeds and less omega-6 fats from most vegetable and seed oils. Avoid eating fried foods. 

 

Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels and Supplement with “The Basic 5.” Getting vitamin D through sun exposure in the summer and supplementing with vitamin D3 is vital to resist the most serious diseases. Blood levels should be between 50 to 80 ng/dl.  Along with vitamin D, also consider taking a multivitamin, fish oil (omega-3s), magnesium and probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that have been shown to be beneficial to many aspects of health. These “good” bacteria naturally occur in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, pickled vegetables and many others.

 

Exercise on a Regular Basis. The best exercise plan incorporates cardiovascular, core-strengthening and overall strength training.  Find a type of exercise you like and stay consistent.

 

Get Regular, Good Quality Sleep. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.  It is best to get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

 

Reduce Stress. Try to eliminate or reduce the source of your stress and have effective tools to manage stress, such as deep breathing (inhale through your nose/exhale through your mouth), meditation and yoga.

 

Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins and Pollutants as Possible. This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.