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Health is Your First Wealth

Are you fit for fun? Most of my favourite fun activities require a fair amount of fitness, especially the water sports.

Wet and wild water sports are my favourite obsession. Survival swimming, lifesaving, bodyboarding, canoeing, hiking, cycling, and such are huge fun even in the rain. They all require me to stay fit and last the course, hence my keen interest in sports nutrition which I share in this section.

If we rewind the clock fifty years, something that often replaced medicines was whole foods and herbs. The benefits of these foods were endless; as well as potentially helping with certain ailments, it goes without saying that they seldom carry side effects while they are much less expensive to buy.

Of course, there’s no reason why we can’t still return to foods. It’s for this reason why we have compiled the following list, in which we look at twenty foods with the best medicinal benefits.

Fruits and Vegetables

For the best heart health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends seven to nine total daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that your number of servings may vary depending on your calorie needs. Serving sizes vary with your fruit and vegetable choices. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors ensures that you’ll get a range of nutrients plus plenty of fibre.

5-9 portions fruits and vegetables

Whole Grains

Like fruits and vegetables, whole grains are rich in nutrients as well as dietary fibre. Fibre from whole grains is linked to lower heart disease risk factors—your risk goes down as your fibre consumption goes up. Plan on six servings a day for a 1,600-calorie diet or up to eight servings for a 2,000-calorie diet. A serving can be a slice of whole-grain bread, a ½ cup of brown rice, or one ounce of dry cereal.

Healthy Fats

Your body needs some fat to work well. look for “healthy” fats, such as those found in plant-based oils. This includes monounsaturated canola, olive, peanut and sunflower oils, and polyunsaturated soybean, corn and safflower oils. Remember that you only need a small amount of fat each day, about two to three servings. A serving is only one teaspoon of oil.


Regularly eating small amounts of dark chocolate may help prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, is the key to its heart-healthy effects. Although researchers are still learning about chocolate’s health effects, you can enjoy a nibble here and there. Just remember that too much chocolate adds calories and fat, which can lead to weight gain.

Herbal Tea

Like chocolate, other specific foods and beverages may also be beneficial because they contain flavonoids. Black tea and green tea, whether hot or cold, are rich with flavonoids, as are darkly colored berries, such as blueberries. Flavonoid-rich foods and beverages may help reduce your heart disease risk. Just be judicious about sweeteners because sugar adds unwanted calories.

What Your Body Needs

Vitamins and other supplements don't cure the body, but they can speed up the healing process. Only your body can heal itself. When you give the body what it needs it can perform the miracle of health.

  1. Fresh air. Breathe deeply often.
  2. Clean water, ca. 35 ml per kg body weight per day. That's about 2.5 to 3 litres.
  3. Essential fats and oils
  4. Vitamins
  5. Minerals
  6. Fibre for bulk
  7. Herbs for optimum nutrition

Your calories should come from

  • 40% carbohydrates as fuel for your energy.
  • 30% protein to build and repair your body.
  • 30% fats for smooth running.

These percentages are for the calories, not the weight. Don't mix that up.

Did you know this?

  • The incidence of obesity in the UK trebled between 1980 and 1998 to 21% of women and 17% of men. Almost one third of children are obese or overweight.

  • Food processing destroys much of the vitamin content?

  • Half the chickens on sale in UK supermarkets are contaminated with campylobacter, which causes food poisoning and gastroenteritis.

  • A government study found that 13.5% of bagged salads contained E coli bacteria.

  • Ready-to-eat bagged salad has been washed in a solution of chlorine twenty times stronger than that of a swimming pool?

  • Much of the chicken we eat has been illicitly injected with pork and beef proteins.

  • The average Briton has between 300 and 500 chemicals in their body that were not present 50 years ago, many of which are capable of hormone disruption in the womb.

  • 30-40% of cancers could be prevented through better diet.

  • More than one-third of Americans do not know that foods with no genetically modified ingredients contain genes, according to the nationally representative Food Literacy and Engagement Poll conducted at Michigan State University. For the record, all foods contain genes, and so do all people.

Want to know more? Ask now!

Foods and Junk You Better Avoid

It is important to cut out all processed junk foods. This will ensure you're ready for the nutritional changes during fitness training. In addition, this is a great way to get a body fit for the demanding physical stress to come.

Avoid anything that is processed, refined, or enriched. All of that means it is unhealthy. Fast food means FAT FOOD. Junk food is not food, it's just junk. Stop eating fast food, junk food, candy, and all that other fatty food. No soda, no cookies, no sweets. No bread unless it is whole grain.

Only eat fruit after a workout because most of it has naturally occurring sugars in them so you will burn it up quicker if you eat it afterwards.

Only drink water and fresh squeezed juice. Nothing else. Most other drinks contain a lot of unwanted sugar. Give up alcohol as it makes getting into shape so much more difficult. Quit your vices gradually over 30 days.

If you smoke, stop right away! Cigarettes stink and are tactically unsound for fitness training. Don’t wait until the last minute to quit smoking and drinking. Smokers have the hardest time with powerful swim training. You need to remember how difficult aquatic boot camp will be without adding nicotine withdrawals to the mix. It will be so much easier to run and swim with clean lungs. Besides, cigarettes go soggy in the swimming pool.

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