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Chapter 1: Why Vitamins and Minerals Are the Answer
So many of us wish we had more energy, better abs, and sharper focus. Likewise, we often find ourselves wishing that we had better skin or hair. We wish that we could sleep better at night, and wish that it was a little bit easier to wake up (those last two points are related, by the way!).
This has led to the emergence of numerous industries, all built around helping us to feel, look, and perform better. We spend huge amounts of cash on skincare products, on sleep supplements, and on gym memberships. We try all kinds of crazy things, whether that’s lying on a bed of gentle spikes to improve sleep (yes, that’s a real thing!), wearing blue-blocking shades all day, or wearing energy-healing crystals (which are about as effective as wishing really hard!).
We try these things because we’re looking for answers, and we’re desperate. We’re willing to try anything. And we hope, each time, that we’re about to stumble upon the answer and unlock our full potential.
We hope that ONE of these things will provide the answer and help us feel GREAT as we know that we really can do.
But very few of these strategies makes any noticeable difference.
The problem? We’re overcomplicating matters. And this is largely due to the huge amount of marketing that gets thrown at us on a daily basis.
In truth, improving the way you look and feel is very simple: it’s about the basics!
Consider what is very likely to be your current lifestyle and your current diet. Raise your hand if any of these points apply to you:
• You don’t manage your five fruits and vegetables a day
• You eat a lot of processed foods and ready meals
• You go to the gym 3 times a week or less – and aren’t particularly mobile the rest of the time
• You don’t get enough sleep
• You are in a state of chronic stress due to work, family, and financial pressures
• You spend a lot of your free time on the couch, watching cartoons
• You spend more than eight hours a day looking at a computer screen, with a hunched back, staring at a bright screen
• You spend barely any time outdoors
• You drink contaminated tap water
• You breathe harmful smog-filled air
This is a rather bleak picture, but it’s true for MANY of us. We don’t eat enough greens, we don’t sleep, we gorge on sugary foods, and we’re stressed all the time.
Then we wonder why we don’t feel 100%!
Even if you got most of these things right, the truth is that our modern lifestyles are just absolutely terrible for our health. This is true right down to the fact that most of us are too comfortable – we have become “adapted” to a comfortable, domesticated lifestyle, and therefore our bodies have forgotten how to deal with stress or difficulty.
Take going outdoors for instance. Most of us just don’t do this enough, which means that we aren’t getting the important stimulus of sunlight, which helps to encourage the body to produce vitamin D, which in turn regulates things like hormone production, sleep, mood… even appetite! Without that important input (called an “external zeitgebers” in the scientific literature) our body loses some of its natural rhythm and certain processes are interrupted.
But then there’s the huge benefit of being in the cold. Even when the sun isn’t out, being outdoors helps to boost testosterone levels, strengthen our immune system, and even improve our ability to regulate our own body temperature. Is it any wonder we always feel “stuffy” when we never train this part of our health?
Even spending time barefooted on the earth (which trains tiny muscles in the foot), even diving into water and holding our breath (which trains our lungs and improves our CO2 balance)… these are all things our bodies crave. And we aren’t giving them that.
And our bodies are deteriorating massively as a result. Compare a wolf in the wild to an overweight, spoiled domestic dog. Which is healthier?
YOU are that domestic dog. Plus an extremely stressful lifestyle and lack of sleep…
Starting with vegetables and fruits is the solution.
Well, it’s all very good and well me telling you that you should be working out throughout the day, and that you should be eating perfectly, and that you should be taking long swims in freezing cold water in the morning.
Problem is, we don’t have time for that and our bodies are now so maladapted that they wouldn’t handle it.
Even fixing your diet – getting rid of all that unwanted processed food, reducing the number of total calories, getting more fiber, reducing simple carbs… it’s a lo of work and can get quite complicated.
Which is why the best place to start is by fixing one of the biggest issues with modern life. That is: the lack of micronutrients.
Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants, and other active ingredients in our food that our body uses for a wide variety of different purposes.
What many people don’t realize is that we literally are what we eat. You hear this a lot, but many people assume that it is a kind of metaphor. But no: your body takes in the nutrients that you consume and then it uses those nutrients to actually rebuild your body.
For example, your bones are made partly from calcium, and magnesium. These also help to strengthen your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments), your teeth, and your nails. Connective tissues similarly benefit from the likes of collagen (found in bone broth) which also helps to improve your skin.
If only you could get more fruit and vegetables in your diet then, you would become the healthiest and most effective version of yourself. And that in turn might then give you the energy and willpower to do the rest.
Fruits and vegetables can even supercharge your metabolism, helping you to burn through much more fat!
As we will see in the rest of this book, fixing your intake of fruits and vegetables doesn’t need to be difficult. If you are strategic, then making just a few simple changes can transform your health and wellbeing.
This book will also outline many of the other amazing and complex ways in which fruits can improve your health and performance – some of which are absolutely transformative to the way you look and feel.