America Was Unfit Way Before the COVID19 Pandemic
I ventured out to the grocery store this weekend and I was shocked to see some of the groceries that people were stocking up on; especially during a pandemic caused by a virus that obliterates those who are less healthy individuals.
But then I started thinking, Why am I so shocked?
This is nothing new.
Ever since I started practicing and caring for people, it has been obvious how little people care about their health until it's too late.
And for someone who is so passionate about health and optimizing for longevity, it's hard to see people suffering from chronic disease unnecessarily.
Journaling about this adventure, I recognize that Americans are not prepared to fight a viral outbreak because our baseline health standards are trash.
With all our understanding and knowledge – we are so ill prepared to make the right decisions when we need to the most.
Observing the food that people choose to put in their shopping cart is a quick and easy way to assess their health status and a strong indication as to how they may handle a COVID19 infection.
To be honest, America was unfit way before the COVID19 Pandemic actually hit.
Four Flaws That Made Covid-19 More Deadly for America
1. The Standard American Diet
For decades, Americans have consumed hefty combinations of junk food, highly processed and refined flour, fast food and soda.
The excess calories, sugar, fat and salt have all contributed to an explosion in obesity and weight gain.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, 50% of Americans are Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic.
It's well understood that Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic conditions are major risk factors for COVID19.
What makes all of this worse is the fact that it's not like we haven't been warned!
Nutrition experts have been trying to get Americans to consume less processed foods and more vegetables for years.
We can only hope that the current pandemic becomes a pivotal time where food manufacturers and agribusiness are no longer allowed to weaponize our food.
2. Sitting Became the New Smoking
The research is clear: too much much sitting can be just as devastating to your health as smoking.
You can reduce your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Back Pain, Obesity and even Cancer, all by simply reducing the amount of time you sit.
And then, there's individuals who assume that because they work out several times a week, the amount that they sit doesn't matter.
Unfortunately, the cure for too much sitting is not more exercise.
Scientists have found that “marathon sitting” changes the body's metabolism in a way that is not counteracted by simply exercising more.
Within 30 minutes of sitting, 90% of metabolic function is diminished!
Not only does it shut down electrical activity in our muscles, but it makes our body less sensitive to insulin, which contributes to more fat storage.
3. America Has Been Stressed the F'-Out
Americans are some of the most stressed people in the world!
According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, Americans reported feeling more stress, anger and worry than ever before.
I think it's safe to say, things have gotten much worse.
The worst thing to do in a pandemic is have a suppressed immune system and when we're stressed, the immune system's ability to fight is diminished.
This means the worry and fear, panic and anxiety that is circulating is actually contributing more to the problem.
Not only does stress impact our cardiovascular system and hormones, but it also impacts our digestive system.
This brings us to the fourth flaw – Digestive Dysfunction.
4. Dysbiosis, Digestive Dysfunction and Disconnection
It is well established that the microbiome – the collection of organisms that live in our digestive tract – make up approximately 80% of immune cells in the body.
Dysbiosis – imbalances in healthy bacteria – results in immuno-suppression.
An unbalanced microbiome can establish an inflammatory environment that the coronavirus can exploit.
And a new study out of China is now suggesting that the gut microbiome predicts the severity of COVID19 infection.
In short, the healthier your digestive system, the better your outcome when dealing with the SARS-CoV2 virus.
What contributes to Dysbiosis and Digestive Dysfunctions?
- A poor diet
- Physical Inactivity
- Environmental Toxicity
What We Can Do?
The first step is to correct your diet.
Americans need to stop consuming processed, highly inflammable foods.
We need to incorporate more fibers – which contain prebiotics and feed the bacteria in our digestive system.
This is the exact reason why the healthiest digestive systems are those that are fed abundant vegetables, fruits and healthy meats.
Americans need to increase their physical activity – walking, hiking, climbing, pushing and even running can all improve microbial diversity.
Americans need to learn how to practice stress reduction techniques and should avoid the over consumption of fear driven media.
But I cannot stress it enough, we can change our microbiome in a matter of days. through our diet.