Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dr Liz Miller's Top Ten Health Tips

1. Omega-3 Supplements

2. Exercise daily

3. Get outside and feel the rays

4. Eat healthy food

5. Avoid junk food

6. Avoid alcohol and other poisons

7. Breath from your belly

8. Rest and relax

9. Focus your mind

10. Learn all you can about health

1) Omega-3 Supplements

The easiest and quickest way to improve your health is through Omega –3 supplements. Omega 3 essential fatty acids help a wide range of medical conditions from heart disease, mental health to better joints.

Shop on-line at or at any health food store, on-line or in the High Street. It takes a couple months for their full benefit to be clear. Choose one without vitamin A or vitamin D. If you are a vegetarian and do not want to take fish oils, then Udo’s Oil and Hemp Seed Oil are fish free alternatives. The next step is a multimineral, multivitamin supplement and if you can choose natural vitamins in preference to synthetic ones.

Once upon a time, a balanced diet gave you the minerals and vitamins you needed but fifty years ago, fruit and vegetables contain five times the vitamins and minerals as they do today. Over-intensive farming, long periods of storage in warehouses, refrigeration, picking unripe fruit and vegetables mean food quality is getting worse.

2 Exercise daily

Exercise needs to be daily, varied and fun; like dancing, football, running, walking the dog, taking the stairs rather than the lift and running up the down escalator. The gym is fine, but variety is the spice of life and the key to being fit.

There are three types of exercise:
1) Those that concentrate on posture such as Yoga, Pilates, Alexander technique, postural alignment and martial arts training. These exercises concentrate on balance, so a person gets their ears above their shoulders, above their hips, above their knees, above their ankles.
2) Those that concentrate on building strength for short bursts of exercise, such as weightlifting, shot putt and gym machines. These exercises build muscle. Core strength is more important than bulging pecs. Regardless of how you look on the beach, if you have strong arms, strong legs and a weak back, you will develop back trouble. Rather than developing specific muscles, all round strength is important,
3) Exercises for stamina, such as running, swimming, football, dancing, skipping, cycling and fast walking.

Try a different exercise, each day of the week

3) Get outside and feel the rays

Sunshine is an instant pickmeup. Just half an hour in the midday sun, especially in winter makes a big difference to the day. Sunshine makes us feel better; so just getting out of the office for a quick wander, even in the rain there is more light outside than there is inside. If you find the winter depressing, think about buying a light box, or a light visor from Put it on full blast while you clean your teeth and make your breakfast to stop the winter blues.

4) Eat healthy food

Start the day with a fresh fruit smoothie. Even easier, a glass of tap water, rehydrates ready for the new day. Eating a healthy diet is about eating natural food. If it was not around 10,000 years ago, then it is probably not good for you and you should not eat it. The best food is organic from your own garden or local farmer. You can have a box delivered to your door.

A natural diet and daily exercise keeps the blood sugar steady and that helps keep your energy up, and helps concentration.

5) Avoid junk food

Treat your stomach with respect. Always read the label. Factories turn food into junk. The purpose of a biscuit is to sell another biscuit. Did you ever see a Kit Kat tree? A packet of crisps can be stored for 2 or even three years, and the crisps are still crunchy, there is nothing alive in that bag. “You are what you eat” and do you want to end as a MacDonald and fries or a Pizza express?

A modern milking cow produces up 20 litres of milk a day, ten times as much as a natural cow. Modern milking cows produce high concentrations of hormones, most of which go into the milk. Dairy products do more for supermarkets selling yoghurt and semi-skimmed milk than for anyone else in the food chain.

The stomach is one of the most complex and interesting organs in the body. It even has its own nervous system or mini brain. It sorts out, digests and absorbs the complete range of diets different people across the world eat. On the other hand, putting something like Coca-Cola into this delicate and refined organ, is like pouring battery acid into your PC. It is hardly surprising people get indigestion.

6) Avoid alcohol and other poisons

Alcohol reaches those parts that other poisons don’t. It damages the brain, the liver, and the pancreas. Few organs escape its effects. Nothing reduces a person’s energy, damages their lungs, narrows their blood-vessels, gives people wrinkles and increases their risk of cancer quicker than cigarettes. In the right environment, the body can recover from almost anything. Drinking and smoking stop the body healing.

7) Breath from your belly

Most people pant! They take far too many short breaths using only the top part of their lungs. Longer deeper breaths increase the oxygen in the blood without over breathing.

Real breathing comes from the belly and it has become counterintuitive. When you breathe in, the belly comes out as the diaphragm pushes down to allow the bottom of the lungs to fill. As you breathe out, the belly comes back in and pushes the air out, like a piston moving up and down. Belly breathing needs the shoulders to be relaxed down and back. Babies and small children naturally breathe from their belly. The first time you start to control your breathing it may feel as though you are going to suffocate, no one has yet.

Practise breathing from your belly for a few minutes everyday and gradually it will become more of a habit as you develop a more natural way of living. Being able to control your breathing, is the fastest way to control your state of mind. It is impossible to panic if you breathe gently and quietly!

8) Rest and relax

There are many ways to relax and calm the mind, from meditation through breathing, repeating a mantra, or just becoming more aware of what is happening from moment to moment. Other people relax by reading, sewing or through a hobby. Nonetheless everyone needs time just to chill out, rest and recover and let go the worries of the day.

9) Focus your mind

In some ways this is the opposite of the last tip. Just as the mind needs to relax, so it also needs to work. The most effective way to work is to focus or concentrate on one task at a time. It can take twenty minutes to recover from an interruption.

Modern life is full of diversions, e-mail, texts, mobile phones and it is easy to be continually distracted and do nothing all day. Multitasking sounds great but it is not efficient. People work better if they concentrate on one task at a time. The natural rhythm of concentration lasts between forty and fifty minutes. After that time, take a few minutes to recover, with some belly breathing, stilling the mind, and having a drink of water, before starting the next cycle.

Focus takes time to develop. Just as it takes time to get the body fit, it takes time to train the mind to focus on one task only. Start by setting a timer, to help you stay concentrated for a few minutes. As you get mentally fitter, your concentration span gets longer, until you can manage to concentrate intensely for up to forty or fifty minutes at a time.

A healthy mind is a fit mind. It is a mind that does what you want it to, rather one that is at the mercy of every passing whim and impulse.

10) Learn all you can about health

Although there is more and more health information available, much of it seems contradictory. One person says do this and another person says do that. Nonetheless, every health article usually has one or two good points worth remembering. But there always has to be a balance, for example, exercise is important but not if you have the flu. Activity has to be balanced with rest, concentration with relaxation and living a healthy life with the demands of earning a living. Some people recommend a low-fat diet, others a low sugar diet. You alone are the best person to find out what suits you and helps you feel healthy and energised.

By being interested in health, you learn more about yourself and this will encourage you to live a happier and healthier life.

Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Miller


Deb Acle (aka Barely human now) said...

What a truly common sense, simple list!

Wouldn't it be great if GPs spent a one-off 10 mins with each patient, talking these through? Perhaps they'd obviate a number of superfluous return visits.

The one caveat I have from my experience as a patient of many GPs over time...most really do not like a patient to be informed (even in a minimal way) about health, no matter how careful one is with egos!

Wonder if there's a correlation here between illness levels and discouraging GPs?

Wonder if there's a way round this GP focus on negatives and exclusive knowledge?

Dr. Liz Miller said...

Thanks Deb
In the same vein

Promoting health rather than looking at the 1001 ways we have found to destroy our bodies would be a more useful way, IMO to spend at least some of the NHS billions.

And you are right, many doctors like to hang onto the illusions of power that their knowledge seems to give them.

It is crucial that people keep themselves healthy and informed


christina said...

so simple, so true but sometimes stating the obvious seems so difficult...You seem to have an empathy in everything...
Congratulations on all your blogs...I discovered you accentally while reading reviews on "There will be Blood"...
I watched the film yesterday and felt the need to 'cleanse' the violent feeling I was left with..

Dr. Liz Miller said...

Thanks Christina - I am writing a book at the moment, I will send you a copy as soon as it is ready ;-)

christina said...

I would be very happy to receive it...I could send you my book is a pity it is all in greek

Dr. Liz Miller said...

not quite - its a pity I don't speak Greek ;-)

Brett said...

Thanks so much for this list and for the recommendations (we've ordered some omega 3-loaded EPA from mind1st). Can you also recommend a multimineral, multivitamin supplement? There are so many out there, and the list of what's good to take (and in what dose) and what's not seems to change so quickly, it's hard to keep up, and my GP poo-poos the whole idea of supplements.

With grateful thanks,

Taming Korach said...

Your story is amazing and you advice is very helpful!


Dr. Liz Miller said...

Thanks guys, I hope these are helpful -
Health is crucially important for whatever you want to do!

Dr. Liz Miller said...

These days I would add,
Barefoot walking - at least a mile a week, in your barefeet, exercising your toes.

Try various surfaces, grass, woodlands, meadows, pavement, asphalt. The different textures are like your own personal reflexology session and help strenthen the arches in your feet

Anonymous said...

Can you please answer two questions regarding PureEPA that you suggested

(1) How do you advise to mitigate risk of vitamin E toxicity after prolonged use of PureEPA?

U.S. National Library of Medicine wrote

"Fish oil taken for many months may cause a deficiency of vitamin E, and therefore vitamin E is added to many commercial fish oil products. As a result, regular use of vitamin E-enriched products may lead to elevated levels of this fat-soluble vitamin. Fish liver oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and therefore fish liver oil products (such as cod liver oil) may increase the risk of vitamin A or D toxicity."

(2) If you know - What were the reasons to make PureEPA free from DHA? From your viewpoint: How lack of DHA in PureEPA can help to treat bipolar (and not shizophrenia where pure EPA demonstrated better result than pure DHA)?

Authors of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Deficit in Patients with Bipolar Mania (prepared by Department of Psychiatry, China Medical College and Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, 2002) wrote:

"The results of our study revealed the reduced erythrocyte DHA levels in patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder."

"...suggested that the combination of DHA and EPA could exhibit mood-stabilizing properties in
bipolar disorder. However, no difference in EPA level between manic patients and healthy controls was found in our study. Whether EPA is more effective than DHA as a mood stabilizer needs further investigation."

"In conclusion, our study showed that the depletion of AA and DHA of erythrocyte membrane in bipolar manic patients is significant as compared with that in healthy controls. This abnormality may be related to the mechanism of action of mood stabilizers and the previous findings on the abnormal psychoimmunology of patients with bipolar disorder."

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Dr Liz Miller said...

You are asking the wrong person! I don't have a detailed knowledge of biochemistry

I do know we evolved to eat a healthy natural diet and that adding some fish oil helps peoples' mental and physical health

I also know we live in a world with a lot of bad people desperate to confuse and exploit others. Pharmaceutical interest in keeping a population sick and on meds extends into all walks of life.

As long as people use common sense and don't take their diet to extremes and avoid eating rubbish processed foods they will generally keep themselves healthy.

The body is a great recycler, if one essential omega fat is not available, it can for the most part make it from others. The difficulty is the large amount of saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids in a modern diet (please note - these are NOT the same as cholesterol - which is a sterol rather than a fatty acid)

Stick to a healthy diet, with a couple of grams of Omega 3s a day and you will be fine.

The devil lies in the detail and is put there to scare people off doing what their common sense tells them is right

My own success lies in eating a fresh healthy diet, taking regular exercise, managing my stress and avoiding the common poisons of our age. Eat natural and you'll be fine!

There are better things to worry about than a hypothetical Vitamin E deficiency that might occur if you were a laboratory rat in the hands of Big Pharma being fed on supplements rather than real food ;-)