5

votes

Dominant factors in health?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 05, 2011 at 2:28 AM

It seems like most people agree that nutrition isn't the only factor involved with health. Sleep, psychological health, exercise, etc. are all important aspects of overall wellbeing and longevity. Food reward is another rising star in this arena.

I've noticed that people have mixed opinions on which factors are most important, so I thought I'd ask everyones' thoughts on the topic.

What do you consider to be the most important factors to health and lifespan?

I'm curious, too, what everyone's experience with this topic is when they read about nutrition on the internet. Personally, all of these external-to-nutrition factors can be very frustrating because they muddy all of the scientific waters. These variables are easy to throw in as confounds -- if what you are looking at doesn't line up with your current beliefs. I consistently see people in the paleosphere using there "lifestyle confound toolbox" to D-E-M-O-L-I-S-H (as one blogger put it) other bloggers' ideas. Moderate/high carb paleo-types seem to use this kind of reasoning to explain low-carb success. Often, low-carbers also use these lifestyle markers to explain populations like the Kitavans.

I'm not sure where I stand on this issue just yet -- but I will say that in my personal experience, psychological health outweighs anything else.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on October 05, 2011
at 11:45 PM

agree le loon!!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on October 05, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Personally, I mean my own Jewish faith, being made in God's image, with a soul that is intrinsically good. Moreover, my faith is a guide to what is right and wrong. If I do wrong, forgiveness is possible, too, because I am still a good person. It has helped a lot with self-image. More generally though, I think having faith in some sort of higher purpose (or power) does a lot to put things in a more hopeful light, and to work to better each life, including our own, however we can.

Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

(2797)

on October 05, 2011
at 11:34 PM

unanimous? apparently paleo doesnt cure schizophrenia then. anyway, as many people here can attest, you might *think* and truly believe you're eating a very healthy diet (e.g. vegan, whole grains/low fat, etc.) but still suffer serious health consequences.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 05, 2011
at 11:18 PM

I think Quilt's point is that our body can only handle so much of a sub optimal environment.Stress wrecks havoc on our body.Stress can come from food sensitivities,toxins, & parasites.But besides an infection those are only active certain times of the day.The mind can wreck havoc and stress on your body during all waking hours and then cause sleep disruption as well.Therefore it is possible for the mind to be the biggest source of stress your body has to deal with. Yes its chicken or egg, a healthy body helps bring a healthy mind and vice versa.Thats why both mind/body should be addressed.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 05, 2011
at 10:48 PM

..and your point Olivia?...

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 09:52 PM

Personal relationships is key. I would put that in my top 5.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 09:45 PM

Interesting. Can you elaborate more on what you mean by faith/spirituality?

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:12 PM

I basically agree with you, but with the exception of serious illnesses... there are those which can end one's life despite nutrition. So, yes, nutrition, if the individual is otherwise healthy.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 05, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I agree to a point but at the same time, taken too far, this sounds similar to the brand of insanity in books like The Secret. And that's a very curious use of the word unanimous.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on October 05, 2011
at 04:04 PM

sorry maj.....when I am starving I can still be optimistic regardless of my nutrition.....look at Robb wolfs attitude before he landed the Elk. Proof of my concept. Brain can always trump diet. Perception is a thought secretion....a hormone if you will

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I have found that, too, maj. No cognitive therapy has had more than a small transient effect on my mood, but diet has made a drastic change. That said, it may be the case that right thinking has more of an effect once the nutritional support is in place.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:03 AM

That's not really an answer since your mental output is dependable on your nutrition.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 05, 2011
at 04:49 AM

+1 for positive attitude!

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

9
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:33 AM

For me this one is simple......and unanimous

How I think is the most important factor in my health.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 05, 2011
at 10:48 PM

..and your point Olivia?...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 05, 2011
at 04:49 AM

+1 for positive attitude!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:03 AM

That's not really an answer since your mental output is dependable on your nutrition.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 05, 2011
at 11:18 PM

I think Quilt's point is that our body can only handle so much of a sub optimal environment.Stress wrecks havoc on our body.Stress can come from food sensitivities,toxins, & parasites.But besides an infection those are only active certain times of the day.The mind can wreck havoc and stress on your body during all waking hours and then cause sleep disruption as well.Therefore it is possible for the mind to be the biggest source of stress your body has to deal with. Yes its chicken or egg, a healthy body helps bring a healthy mind and vice versa.Thats why both mind/body should be addressed.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I have found that, too, maj. No cognitive therapy has had more than a small transient effect on my mood, but diet has made a drastic change. That said, it may be the case that right thinking has more of an effect once the nutritional support is in place.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 05, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I agree to a point but at the same time, taken too far, this sounds similar to the brand of insanity in books like The Secret. And that's a very curious use of the word unanimous.

Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

(2797)

on October 05, 2011
at 11:34 PM

unanimous? apparently paleo doesnt cure schizophrenia then. anyway, as many people here can attest, you might *think* and truly believe you're eating a very healthy diet (e.g. vegan, whole grains/low fat, etc.) but still suffer serious health consequences.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on October 05, 2011
at 04:04 PM

sorry maj.....when I am starving I can still be optimistic regardless of my nutrition.....look at Robb wolfs attitude before he landed the Elk. Proof of my concept. Brain can always trump diet. Perception is a thought secretion....a hormone if you will

4
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 05, 2011
at 04:50 AM

Sleep
Rest
Friends and Family
Work
Exercise
Great Food

3
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on October 05, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Personally, I think faith/spirituality is a big factor. The body and brain are in the same organism. Therefore, bodies respond to thinking, via stress hormones, etc.

After faith, I'd list having a few trusted friends, nutrition, sleep, and exercise.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 09:45 PM

Interesting. Can you elaborate more on what you mean by faith/spirituality?

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on October 05, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Personally, I mean my own Jewish faith, being made in God's image, with a soul that is intrinsically good. Moreover, my faith is a guide to what is right and wrong. If I do wrong, forgiveness is possible, too, because I am still a good person. It has helped a lot with self-image. More generally though, I think having faith in some sort of higher purpose (or power) does a lot to put things in a more hopeful light, and to work to better each life, including our own, however we can.

3
6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18

(1689)

on October 05, 2011
at 05:51 AM

Nutrition by far. The effects of supplementing single nutrients in clinical studies are so dramatic. I even wonder just how toxic PUFAs are in the presence of good nutrition (things like high vitamin E intake, etc).

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:12 PM

I basically agree with you, but with the exception of serious illnesses... there are those which can end one's life despite nutrition. So, yes, nutrition, if the individual is otherwise healthy.

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 05, 2011
at 10:47 PM

Sleep absolutely trumps everything, and good sleep fixes most other conditions.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on October 05, 2011
at 11:45 PM

agree le loon!!

2
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on October 05, 2011
at 08:28 PM

I read about nutrition on the net and in books just for interest. I know what makes my body work aces so I don't subscribe too much found online. Unless it's food science - then it's on.

The most important factors for me to have a happy healthy long life, and not in any order, are:

  • Exercise
  • Sex
  • Close friends aka "framily"
  • Family and other personal relationships
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Good books
  • A good sense of humour, letting things roll off
  • Sleep
  • Trying new things, being dynamic and not static. Please reference all of the above in regards to this entry. Except for sleep.-

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 09:52 PM

Personal relationships is key. I would put that in my top 5.

2
3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 05, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Let's not forget about another important factor, which is just "to not have predisposition for serious illnesses"...you know, like someone is young, and then one day is diagnosed with terminal illness.

Also, we must take into consideration that "health" and "lifespan" (=longevity) are not equivalent terms. Someone can be quite healthy all his life, and then suddenly drop down under serious illness and lives just 50 years for example. Another individual can be not that healthy, but lives 70 years.

So if I want to be honest, my answer is "I don't know"... although I agree all the other answers have some truth to it.

1
B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 05, 2011
at 11:10 PM

The first two have to deal with the mind and the third is out of our control

Being optimistic

Managing stress

Genetics

My 96 year old grandma lives off of rye bread and candy, is sharp as a 30 yr old and has great posture. She is also very optimistic, doesnt like to think about "icky" things and comes from hardy Ukrainians who came here on a boat. She also reads the newspaper every day, stays current on fashion and talks about things she wants to do in the future such as visit Paris.

Diet has made a HUGE impact on my life but I am also naturally neurotic and used to be very negative.

Studies back up that the mind is very important:

"In addition, medical research estimates as much as 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related (Geoff Edit: granted stress can come from food allergies, toxins, etc, not just the mind). Stress can interfere with your physical functioning and bodily processes. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and heart disease have been linked to stress factors. Other stress-related ailments include ulcers, allergies, asthma, and migraine headaches" (Source: U.S. Center for Disease Control)

Stress and Intestinal Hypersensitivity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1592668/

Childhood stress and food allergies: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/111916.php

Stress and Leaky Gut: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11040188

Stress and autoimmune disease: http://www.aarda.org/infocus_article.php?ID=31

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=10604

Stress and hashimoto's disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650357

1
Ffdae5ff9b097872f486329d00b83eb6

on October 05, 2011
at 10:39 PM

I have to say that my psychological health, and outlook on life in general is very much tied into what kind of foods I eat, and also how much sleep I get.

Jack LaLanne used to say ???Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom.???

Not bad... I'd say it's nutrition and sleep though.

Anyway, here is my list of what I think is important for both health AND lifespan. The last three are personal ones.

Avoidance of wheat gluten, linoleic acid, fructose
Eating healthy and hopefully delicious foods
Sleep
Exercise
Stress reduction
Reduce exposure to environmental toxins
Sunlight, time spent in nature
Friends / social network / helping others
Dealing with unresolved emotional traumas or addictions
Addressing possible nutrient deficiencies
Having a positive attitude
Spirituality
Having a creative outlet
Personal growth

0
61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on October 05, 2011
at 05:12 AM

N = 1 and context. Plus, living within the framework mother nature gave you when you were born.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!