It is important to note that health is an aspect that needs to be in balance with nature. Every aspect of the following sub categories of our lifestyles must be approached with moderation and ease. Too much of anything is not good, infact too much of anything can cause your dis-ease. The following are what we call our Nature’s Doctors.
A balance diet is one that gives our bodies the nutrients it needs to function correctly so it can help us feel at our best. A balance diet is constituted by the following groups of food:
Fruits and Veggies:
These are our main sources of vitamins and minerals. They should make at least more than 1/3 of all the food we eat daily. Five portions of fruit and veggies per day- 1 fruit equals 1 portion, 3 heaped tablespoons of veggies equals 1 portion.
A typical example of your fruit and veggie day is, 2 fruits for breakfast, one bowl of salad for lunch and 1 fruit for a late snack.
These are your main source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your energy fueling sources. Great examples of healthy carbohydrates are your brown rice, wholewheat and wholegrain pasta and floured products and your potatoes with skin. Your starches must make up atleast 1/3 of your daily food consumption.
Milk and Dairy Products:
These are your sources for calcium and proteins. They are needed for growth and for bone development. Examples are your Eggs, Milk and Butters.
These are also your protein sources. They are essential for the body to grow and repair. It is important to aim for two portions of fish in a week. Examples of fish that is rich in Omega 3 is Tuna and Salmon.
Oils and Spreads:
There are two types of oils differentiated by
their chemical structures:
A- Saturated oils
These types of oils have a solid consistency at room temperature. Examples of these are: Animal fats (Beef,Poultry,Pork), Plant oils (Kernel and Coconut Oil), Dairy Products (Milk,Cheese,Butter), Processed Meats (Sausages,Hot dogs,Bacon), Prepackaged snacks (Crackers,Chips,Cookies,Pastures). Saturated oils tend to increase the cholesterol in the blood.
B- Unsaturated oils
These types of oils are typically liquid at room temperature. Examples of these oils are : Nuts, Plant oils like Canola or Vegetable oil, Fish,Olives and Avocados. Unsaturated oils lower the cholesterol in the blood.
Exercise is one factor that we know is good and essential for us. And the benefits of exercise are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits regardless of age, gender or physical ability. A few benefits to note that exercise can bring about is:
It reduces the risk for most health complications and diseases.
It improves your mood by stimulating brain chemicals that leave you happier and relaxed
It controls your weight and it boosts your energy levels, by increasing your oxygen levels
There is a great wave in our society where people are awakening to the benefits of exercising. A lot more gyms are popping up everywhere in Windhoek now. We have more local fitness instructors in various modalities such as yoga, pilates, bootcamps of all sorts. We also have a few outdoor gyms that the City of Windhoek graciously set up for the communities such as in Wanaheda and Kleine Kuppe. It is recommended that we do at-least 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise three times per week.
One of the most common denominators amongst all living creatures is Water! Plants, Animals, Human beings all need water to survive. A human body is 60% water in totality. Our lungs alone are about 90% water, and our brains are about 60% water. It is advised that each day we need to replace our body water by the least with 2L daily. Humans can live without food for more than 1 month, but without water not longer than a week. An indication of low water levels is through one’s urine color. A pale straw-like yellow color means that water is moderately sufficient. A dark yellow color means that you need more water.
We need to sleep in order to retain information from our daily experiences. When we sleep, the mind and body do not shut down completely, they process, restore and strengthen as we sleep. Adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers need about 8-10 hrs of sleep. Schoolgoing children need about 9-11 hrs of sleep. And toddlers need about 11-14 hrs. The younger the human, the more time is needed for optimal development and alertness.
One can’t just overwork or overdo and think that you can catch up and make up for sleep. The best sleep habits are consistent, healthy routines that allow all of us, reagrdless of age to meet our sleep needs every night and keep on top of life’s challenges daily.
5. Fresh Air
We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we don’t experience too much of pollution and its effects. Fresh Air cleans ones lungs. Fresh Air gives more energy and sharpens the mind. It improves your blood pressure and heart rate. Fresh Air is good for digestion, thats why after eating it is recommended to take a walk outdoors. Fresh Air strengthens your immune system. When we exercise, we allow our lungs to expand better and trap more oxygen.
Sunshine is also one aspects of health that we as Namibians are fortunate to get to enjoy it so abundantly. The following are some great health benefits we enjoy from sunshine:
Kills bad bacteria, especially on open wounds on the skin.
Regular sunlight exposure increases the growth and weight and height of children
Sunlight ca cure depression
It builds the immune system through increasing White Blood Cells.
Sunlight lowers cholesterol by converting high cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and sex hormones we need for reproduction.
About the writer:
I went to the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town to study Dentistry at first, but after having found out about Naturopathy as a profession it intrigued me so much I chose to study it instead as they had just started offering it at the University.
In our final year at university, my business partner Dr PN Mwandingi and I attended an entrepreneurship workshop that was being offered to non-commerce students on campus. At the end of the workshop, we had to hand in a completed business plan, and our business plan won as the best business plan amongst all. We graduated in 2009 and co-founded Nature’s Way Natural Health Centre.
As the first qualified Naturopaths in the country, we had no choice but to create our own jobs.
We started Natures Way off as a Health Shop in Town Square, Post Street Mall. This was strategic, so we could introduce the profession and services that we can offer and also so we could publicize our brand, in the meantime while we were finalizing our registrations with the relevant professional bodies, in order to get contracted by medical aid as service providers.
As with any start up business, we have had our own share of challenges and mistakes. As graduates from a non-commerce field, its is actually more difficult and challenging when starting up a business from scratch because of the little knowledge and interest one has about the various aspects of business such as Marketing, Bookkeeping and Administration. And we get thrown into the deep end and expect to thrive immediately.
Thankfully the entrepreneurship workshop we attended in our final year helped us prepare, and with trial and error, we kept at it. The one virtue my partner and I both have is the passion for our profession. And because this meant our life, we persevered.