Whole health fundamentally linked to dietary intake

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When it comes to our health, there has been a decidedly (mostly) global shift in focus over recent years. We are more aware than we have ever been about the effects and subsequent consequences of what we put into our bodies, and because of that, we are making a conscious effort to actively instil healthy habits. This can be easier said than done sometimes, and we often struggle at first to successfully implement healthy habits when our bodies are so used to the way we have treated them. Just because our bodies are used to, does not mean that it is okay, or that they like the way they are being treated. As with any animal on Earth, when we treat our bodies with respect and fuel and move them adequately, we are rewarded as our bodies perform bolder, better, faster, stronger.

Of course, we all have our vices. Some of us love to have a drink with every meal. Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for us, we know this. More and more often, people are cutting down their alcohol consumption, having just a select wine or two or a beer once or twice a week. Some people are smokers. This is obviously linked to countless health risks, so the rise of the e cigarette brought with it a rise in people quitting smoking and opting for vaping instead. And when it comes to our diets, we as a species have consistently proven that we must be more mindful of what we put into our bodies. In fact, diet is the number one lifestyle choice linked to peak whole health. And you know what? It makes perfect sense. We just have to listen.

The brain is the human body’s hungriest organ. Everything that we consume, our brain takes 20% of and converts into energy to keep the body functioning at its best. This is not an assumption, this is a scientific fact. The human body is designed to be a hunter, a gatherer, a constant wanderer. Because of this evolutionary fact, we can eat as often as we like, provided that what we are eating is the right foods and drinks, and that we are getting enough physical activity into our daily schedule. It sounds hard to some, but at the end of the day the most pivotal shift you will make towards a healthy body and a healthy life is controlling your diet.

When it comes to fuelling the body, we have a responsibility to ourselves to ensure that we make consistent, healthy choices. Once we instil healthy habits, they are surprisingly easy to maintain. In fact, if we literally make them part of our daily routines, then they become more like second nature rather than habits we enforce. It takes hard work, it is true, but nothing worth having ever comes easily, right? Before anything else, it pays to figure out your personal goals for your body and your healthy as you embark on this new, healthy lifestyle mission. Something as simple as shopping in the outer sections of the grocery store where the fresh produce is (or even better, at your local farmer’s market) is a tiny shift in focus, but it yields significant results – and faster than you might think.

Our diet is biggest whole health impactor

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Our physical health is something that we should always endeavour to take the utmost care with, and yet there is a shocking percentage of us that do not seem to know where to start. While there are obviously those of us who have always taken pride in, and acknowledged the importance of maintaining our health, the fact is that there is also a lot of us who either genuinely do not know where to begin, or are not willing to make the changes necessary to instil positive changes in our bodies. It certainly does not help that there is so much conflicting information circulating at any given time. At the end of the day, before anything else, it is our diets that have the most impact on our physical health.

Diet is so important to our bodies’ physical health, but it also significantly impacts whole health. More than anything else, what we choose to put into our mouths, to fuel our bodies with, determines what we look like and what we feel like. When it comes to finding the right balance for our bodies personally, we try it all. We can drink healthy tea, and we can exercise until we drop, but nothing will ever work as well as when we make a conscious effort to continuously incorporate more vegetables and fruits into our diets. This is something that seems simple, but people can struggle with. There are three strategies that can help you work a healthier diet into your lifestyle.

Shopping at an organic farmers’ market

Our health is something that we should always been endeavouring to maintain at its peak form. More and more often, organic farmers’ markets are becoming more popular. Not only is the produce healthy and pesticide-free, but you are often getting fruits and vegetables straight from the farmers’ farms, meaning that the produce you are getting is the best quality available as well. You might find that buying organically can cost more, but you generally also buy less as you cut out all the extra items you used to buy.

Shopping in the outer rings of the grocery store

If you don’t want to take the leap and shop at a farmers’ market, you can still do your best to ensure that you are getting the best quality groceries possible. Generally speaking, most grocery stores are laid out so that the fresh produce (i.e. fruits, vegetables, milk, Greek yoghurt, meats, etc), is all stocked in the outer rings of the grocery store. When you go to do your grocery shopping, making a conscious effort to stick to the outer rings as much as possible (if not always) not only means you avoid the processed foods and unhealthy fats and sugars that are stocked in the inner sections, but that your grocery shop is also quicker (win-win).

Stocking up on healthy snacks

One of the biggest issues that people have with their diets is snacking. We all get hungry throughout the day in between meals, and while you might think that having an unhealthy snack is fine if your main meals are balanced and healthy, realistically we are snacking just as much – if not more – than we are eating full meals in the average day. Because of this, our snacking intake adds up, and if it is not healthy, it becomes an issue. Having carrots, celery, cucumber, fruits, nuts, Greek yoghurts, and rice cakes stocked up ensures your snacking intake is healthy as can be – not to mention guilt-free.

Causation Is the Key to Proving Medical Negligence

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Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional, through their actions or inaction, leads a patient to some form of harm. Fortunately, these patients have some degree of legal protection; as long as they can prove that medical negligence has occurred, they’ll be entitled to compensation for the harm they endured, including the costs required to treat the injury or condition and additional funds to compensate for psychological and/or emotional damage.

But proving medical negligence can be tricky. For a case to be accepted, a patient must prove causation. In other words, they must prove that the medical professional’s unreasonable decisions were directly responsible for additional damage sustained.

Why Causation Is Important

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of bad medical advice or irresponsible surgery, it’s natural to feel frustrated at the difficulties of “proving” causation to demonstrate that medical negligence has occurred. But there’s a good reason why causation is so important; if any problematic medical care could immediately qualify as negligence, the number of claims would be enormous, and people would be disincentivized to pursue the profession. On top of that, the number of frivolous or baseless lawsuits filed would increase, putting unnecessary pressure on medical professionals trying to do an honest job.

The causational link ensures that only cases where a medical professional is undeniably responsible for a person’s injury or harm are seen through.

Why Causation Is Hard to Prove

Causation is, necessarily, hard to prove. But why is it so difficult?

There are many elements necessary to prove causation, and getting them all is challenging. You need verifiable evidence that a doctor did something or said something that led to harm, and not everyone keeps detailed records of their medical appointments. It’s also necessary to prove that the actions or advice were unwarranted, or otherwise went against best practices in medicine.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s necessary to demonstrate that the medical professional’s words or actions directly led to injury, made a condition worse, or otherwise led a patient to harm. “Harm” is hard to measure, and evaluations of certain conditions can be subjective. For example, if you’re dealing with an illness associated with chronic pain, and a doctor’s actions made your chronic pain worse, the “harm” is dependent largely on your subjective evaluations of your own pain levels.

Things get even more complicated when you consider the absence of treatment, or failure to diagnose a condition quickly enough. For example, if you aren’t diagnosed with cancer after a proactive screening with a physician, but the undetected cancer spreads and causes additional harm, how can you prove that the cancer wouldn’t have spread if the medical professional would have given you sound advice?

How to Prove Causation

If you find yourself needing to prove causation, there are a few distinct areas of evidence to pay attention to. First, you need to understand which actions or cases of inaction “count” as medical negligence, and find a way to document those cases. These can be any of the following, from virtually anyone in the medical profession (including physicians, specialists, nurses, dentists, etc.):

  • Direct action. Direct action is one of the easier types of medical negligence to prove, since it’s usually a result of a verifiable mistake, such as a surgery error or a bad prescription.
  • Direct advice. Direct advice, such as recommending an exercise regimen that makes your existing injury worse, is a bit harder to prove, since most patients don’t go out of their way to record a doctor’s exact words.
  • Failure to take action or provide advice. It’s even harder to prove that a doctor should have made a specific diagnosis or recommendation, but didn’t. This often requires the expert opinion of a similarly experienced professional (or multiple professionals).

You also need to prove that you were harmed:

  • Demonstrable injury. In the case of a surgical error or inappropriate treatment, you can visually show the damage done to you.
  • Demonstrable harm. You could also demonstrate that your illness or condition has noticeably worsened after receiving advice or treatment.

Finally, you need to illustrate the formal link between what the doctor said or did and what you experienced. This can be challenging, and often requires a medical opinion, such as knowledge of how a condition typically progresses under ideal circumstances.

If you’re ever in the unfortunate position of needing to prove medical negligence, make sure causation is in the back of your mind. Working with a lawyer can ensure you have a firm understanding of the structure of your case, and can help you prepare everything you need to demonstrate proof of causation. It’s vital to have professional advice, since cases can be won or lost based on the evidence you’re able to gather.

The importance of de-stressing and the effects of stress on health

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For millions of Americans, work is a highly stressful responsibility. If you’re like most, you come home at the end of a long day and experience a significant amount of physical and mental tension. Learning how to unwind could dramatically improve your health.

The Dangers of Chronic Stress

Stress is a natural human response to external stimuli. It’s our body’s response to potentially dangerous situations – preparing us for fight or flight. But over the years, our body’s stress systems have evolved, and stress has become less about fight or flight and more about our response to things like work, money, health, relationships, and politics.

Millions of Americans now experience a state of chronic stress where their minds and bodies are unable to relax fully. According to the Global Organization for Stress, 75 percent of adults report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month (while nearly half say that their stress has increased in the past year).

But it’s not just adults. Stress is a top health concern for American high school students. Psychologists say that teens need to learn how to manage stress now. Otherwise, it could have serious long-term health implications.

For adults and teenagers alike, the health effects of chronic stress are alarming (and quite possibly catastrophic). As the American Psychological Association explains, stress can affect the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, male reproductive, and female reproductive systems. Symptoms can range from minor aches and pains to life-threatening diseases and the formation of mental illnesses.

5 Healthy Ways to Unwind

If you experience high levels of stress and find it challenging to relax at the end of the day, something must change sooner rather than later. Finding healthy ways to unwind in the afternoons and evenings after work will prove enormously helpful for your health.

  1. Disconnect from Technology

If you’re like most people, you spend most of your day tethered to a screen. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you’re constantly connected. And for all of the positives that technology affords you, it also increases your stress levels. Make it a point to completely disconnect from technology at the end of the day. This will give you the opportunity to slow down and block out the noise.

  1. Meditate

For many westerners, meditation seems a little strange, but millions have discovered that it’s actually highly beneficial for both physical and mental health. According to Gaiam, some of the documented benefits include lower blood pressure, improved circulation, lower heart rate, lower anxiety, and greater feelings of well-being.

  1. Smoke a Cigar

There’s nothing quite like sitting on the back porch and smoking a cigar at the end of the day. Leave the technology inside and sit with your own thoughts. Cigars are made to be smoked slowly, which forces you to savor the moment. Pair a good cigar with a nice drink for a tasty, relaxing pairing. (Contrary to popular belief, FDA research shows that there are hardly any ill effects of smoking just one or two cigars per day – so enjoy!)

  1. Exercise

Physical fitness isn’t just good for you body – it’s also equally powerful in terms of promoting mental health. When you exercise, you command your body to release pain-killing endorphins that defeat stress and anxiety at the source. For best results, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.

  1. Participate in a Hobby

If your life consists of eating, sleeping, and working, something needs to change. You need at least one other activity in your daily routine. Finding a hobby that you enjoy – whether it’s sewing, golfing, painting, collecting, etc. – will provide you with an additional outlet for stress at the end of a long day.

Stop Normalizing Chronic Stress

No matter how common it may be in your social or professional circles, chronic stress isn’t normal. To live a healthy and enjoyable life – both now and in the future – you must find ways to get a grip on chronic stress. Relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day is just one way to interrupt the cycle of chronic stress. For best results, look for additional opportunities throughout the day.