Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer have skyrocketed globally in recent decades. Modern medicine focuses heavily on medications and procedures to manage symptoms. But what is the root cause of the soaring rates of disease? Emerging research points to our lifestyle choices as the primary culprit.
Eating Late at Night Past Sundown
Our bodies are finely tuned to natural circadian rhythms. Digestion and metabolism follow a daily pattern tied to daylight. When we eat late into the night, our gut is not primed for full digestion and absorption in the same way as during the day. Undigested food particles can leak into the bloodstream and cause widespread inflammation. This stresses vital organs like the liver and disrupts hormones linked to diabetes and obesity.
A Japanese study found a significant increase in metabolic syndrome among nighttime eaters. The optimal practice is to finish eating 3 hours before bed. If you must eat dinner later, opt for a light, early evening meal.
Portion sizes have ballooned over the past three decades. What was once considered a normal plate size is now enough calories for two or more meals. The addiction to fast food full of refined carbs and unhealthy fats pushes the body into a state of excess.
When we chronically take in more calories than our bodies can use as fuel, those excess calories get shuttled into fat storage. Obesity stresses all the organs, raises inflammation, and reduces insulin sensitivity setting the stage for chronic disease. Overeating also strains the digestive system contributing to leaky gut syndrome.
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Suppressing Natural Body Functions with Medications
The human body has an astounding capacity to self-regulate and heal when supported properly. Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to immediately suppress symptoms with medications when they arise. Painkillers, antibiotics, antacids, statins, blood pressure and diabetic medications are taken casually by millions.
But artificially overriding the body’s natural functions like fever, inflammation, and high blood sugar hinders our innate self-healing abilities. The root causes festering below the surface are never addressed. Furthermore, all medications have side effects, which lead to more medications to treat those effects. This spiraling polypharmacy creates imbalance in the body contributing to chronic diseases.
Eating Processed and Junk Foods
The modern American diet is loaded with packaged snacks and fast foods filled with chemical additives. Preservatives, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, and thickeners found in most convenience foods confuse the body and have been linked to neurological disorders, gut inflammation, and cancer.
Highly processed carbs and industrial seed oils high in inflammatory omega-6 fats promote oxidation and platelet stickiness. They provide empty calories devoid of nutrients. The high glycemic load leads to repeated blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance further exacerbating inflammation. Junk food consumption steadily fuels the conditions that culminate in chronic diseases down the road.
Additional Factors Promoting Disease:
- Toxins from pollution, pesticides, plastics, and chemicals accumulate in the body over the years and have been shown to interfere with normal hormone signalling, neurological function, and cellular metabolism. This steady disruption at the microbiological level sets the stage for later development of disease.
- Lack of regular physical exercise leads to loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, and reduced cardiovascular conditioning. A sedentary lifestyle limits blood circulation and lowers the body’s overall organ functional reserve.
- Lack of a solid social support network and sense of community affects both mood and the ability to cope with and recover from illnesses and life stressors. Isolation tends to breed more depression and anxiety.
- Insufficient sleep and sleep disturbances increase inflammation and the stress hormone cortisol while also disturbing metabolic and appetite-regulating hormones. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to higher blood sugar, weight gain, heart disease, and dementia.
While the power to synthesize pharmaceutical drugs is impressive, we cannot medicate our way to true health. The solution will not be found in a prescription bottle. True healing can only come by honouring our body’s natural rhythms and operating in alignment with our innate self-healing wisdom. This starts with the food on your plate at each meal.
The takeaway here is that lifestyle habits like diet, activity levels, stress management, and sleep hygiene hold the power to either cultivate health or sow the seeds of disease. The choice is ours. Our body is continuously communicating and responding. It is time we tuned into those signals and took responsibility for our health. Then we can finally begin to reverse the rising tide of chronic illness.