Unlocking the secrets to incredible health: The four pillars of health you need to knowOctober 05, 2023
If you’re overwhelmed by conflicting health advice or trying to narrow down your health goals, then focusing on these four key areas will help you get your health on track and feel your best.
What are your goals when it comes to health? Perhaps you’re trying to lose weight, reduce inflammation, improve energy, prevent illness or all of the above. While it sounds like a lot of work, it can all come down to a few (four, in fact) key pillars that can have a flow-on effect. If you’re aiming for lasting health that deals with the root causes while also providing you with improvements you can see and feel, then consider some changes that will support these four central pillars of health.
Let’s break down these essential components of health - and yes, they apply to you no matter your age, gender, current health status or goals.
- Pillar 1: Healthy blood sugar levels
Carbohydrates don’t just taste delicious; they’re also an essential part of a well-rounded diet. So why are carbs and sugars demonised in the media? The answer isn’t straightforward, but essentially, we’re just eating too much of them. However, plenty of low GI, high fibre (not to mention delicious and satisfying) carbohydrates can and should be enjoyed daily.
Why is eating too many carbohydrates causing health issues? Sugar (glucose) is the breakdown product of carbohydrates. Blood sugar rises every time we eat carbs - whether the source is Skittles or sweet potatoes. Unbalanced blood sugars are caused by consuming high-carb, high-refined sugar diets with little protein or healthy fats. This way of eating causes large spikes in blood sugar levels, followed by big crashes. The high highs and low lows cause damage to the body, including the blood vessels, over time and contribute to serious health issues if left unaddressed.
The key to healthy blood glucose levels is a balanced diet. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and vegetables that help to displace refined sugary snacks and drinks and eat a source of protein at every meal to keep you feeling satiated. Regular exercise is also vital as it draws on excess glucose to power up the muscles, helping to bring blood sugar levels back into balance.
If you’re not sure what your blood sugar levels are doing, try a continuous glucose monitor or talk to your doctor about further testing.
- Pillar 2: Healthy BMI
Body mass index (BMI) measures your body weight relative to height. While it’s not a perfect indicator of health, it can give you a general idea of whether you’re underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese. Another consideration when it comes to weight is to look at body composition - ensuring that even if you are on the higher end of your BMI, your muscle mass is higher than your fat mass. An increased muscle mass is beneficial because it helps boost your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Muscle mass has recently been dubbed an “anti-aging organ” in health and longevity studies since it reduces inflammation, protects bones and joints, and supports healthy blood glucose levels.1 Maintaining a healthy BMI is vital for overall health. Excess weight - especially around the waist - can increase the risk of many diseases and joint issues. On the flip side, being underweight can signal potential nutritional deficiencies, lowered immunity and frailty.
To achieve a healthy BMI, it’s essential to consider your daily caloric intake and movement. For example, if you are an avid fitness enthusiast or someone with a sedentary job, your caloric needs can vary a lot. It can be helpful to discuss your BMI with a healthcare professional or use a reputable food and exercise tracking app to gain clarity on your individual needs and set realistic goals.
If you’ve already set health goals and are working towards them but would like a little extra support, we’ve got you covered. eimele Calibrate Reds has been formulated to support individuals in achieving a healthy BMI when used alongside a healthy diet and exercise routine.
- Low inflammation and oxidative stress
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury infection - we wouldn’t be alive without its extraordinary healing powers in acute situations. However, when it comes to inflammation of the chronic variety, often referred to as “silent inflammation”, it undermines health and increases the risk of disease.
So, how do you keep inflammation at bay? One of the main drivers of inflammation is oxidative stress, a condition caused by high free radicals and low antioxidant intake. Include plenty of high antioxidants, anti-inflammatory foods, such as vibrant fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats such as omega-3 essential fatty acids from clean sources like marine microalgae. Polyphenol-rich deep red and purple foods like Morosil blood red orange and hibiscus found in Calibrate Reds also offer astounding levels of antioxidants, so enjoy a glass knowing that you’re upping your antioxidant intake.
What you leave out is also key: avoiding processed foods and takeaways, reducing alcohol intake and managing stress will go a long way in dampening down inflammation.
- Great gut health
By now, we all know about how probiotics support gut health - but did you know that gut health influences other organs, such as the brain, skin and liver? Improving your gut health can have far-reaching effects like glowing skin, better detoxification, reduced brain fog and healthy digestion, to name just a few benefits.
While the bacteria, yeast and fungi that make up the gut microbiome are essential, so too is the type of food we eat to ensure that the microbiome can thrive. Prebiotic fibre, polyphenols and anti-inflammatory foods boost populations of healthy bacteria while soothing inflammation that can be at the root of digestive issues. As digestion improves, so does the elimination of toxins and waste, leading to clear skin, better energy and immunity.
Include a rainbow variety of fruits, vegetables, and high-prebiotic fibre foods like oats, lentils, berries, okra, and inulin, which fuel the microbiome and reduce inflammation in the gut.
Another simple (but often overlooked) way to support digestion is hydration. Dehydration slows the digestive system and reduces the body’s ability to remove toxins. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea to eliminate harmful waste while staying focused and energised. Add your favourite electrolytes, greens powder or a squeeze of lime to keep things exciting and boost the benefits.
Incorporating these four pillars of health into your lifestyle can significantly improve your overall wellbeing. By prioritising stable blood glucose levels, a healthy BMI, low inflammation and better gut health, you’ll be well on your way to excellent foundational health.
- Nelke, C., Dziewas, R., Minnerup, J., Meuth, S.G. & Ruck, T. (2019). Skeletal muscle as potential central link between sarcopenia and immune senescence. EBioMedicine, 49: 381-388. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6945275/