Three Keys to Optimal Health and Well-Being

woman in yoga pose

If you are interested in achieving optimal health and well-being, here are three important things to consider:

1. Nutrition: Nutritionists recommend five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, along with fiber, protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for an optimal diet. Obesity increases chronic disease risk, as do tobacco, the consumption of saturated and trans fats, processed foods and too much alcohol. Herbs and supplements must be carefully selected for maximum benefit and to avoid harm, but they are not a substitute for nutritious food.

2. Movement: Even moderate amounts of exercise such as walking one hour three to five times a week can prevent or treat chronic disease. Movement therapies such as yoga, qigong and tai chi benefit the body and can support emotional and spiritual healing.

3. Caring for the spirit: Massage, acupuncture, music therapy, reiki and aromatherapy encourage the energy system to work more effectively. Guided imagery, breath work and hypnosis control physical and emotional symptoms, while the creativity found in writing, journaling and artwork helps patients access inner wisdom and facilitate healing.

Srivani Sridhar, MD, is a family & integrative holistic medicine physician at SwedishAmerican's Woodside clinic in Rockford.