By Jordan S. Rubin

Centre for Disease Control (CDC) spokesperson Dr. Julie Gerberding states, “Unfortunately, poor diet and a lack of exercise have almost caught up with tobacco as being the leading cause of death in the United States.” Those are preventable premature deaths that can be averted by diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

There are dietary and lifestyle guidelines that, when implemented, can lead to greater health. While there is no “magic bullet” for REAL health, there are seven important keys that can unlock your health potential.

1. Eat a healthy diet
Eating healthily can be tricky. Consider these two criteria BEFORE ingestion of foods: Eat only what has been naturally created for food and consume food in a form that is healthy for the body.

The healthiest people in the world generally ate a primitive diet. Today, more of what we eat is man-made, devoid of naturally-occurring nutrients and loaded with man-made chemicals. However, our human physiology is designed for a diet of healthy meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dairy, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Foods we eat should be grown, raised, prepared and preserved, healthfully locally grown or raised, organic and chemical-free fresh foods.

2. Supplement with whole food-based nutrients and superfoods.
An article titled “Vitamins” from the Harvard School of Public Health states: “If you eat a healthy diet, do you need to take vitamins? Not long ago, the answer from most experts would have been a resounding “no.” Today, though, there’s good evidence that taking a daily multivitamin makes sense for most adults. What’s changed? Not only have scientists determined why we need pyridoxine (vitamin B6), but they are also accumulating evidence that this vitamin and others do more than ward off the so-called diseases of deficiency, things like scurvy and rickets. Intake of several vitamins above the minimum daily requirement may prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases.”

A whole foods-based diet is the optimal form of nutrition; however, modern society processes whole foods — leaving them void of essential nutrients. For example, whole grains have been refined so that the germ, bran, and other vitamin-rich portions are removed. Meanwhile, modern food preparation and sterilization processes destroy many of the vitamins in the foods. Additional adulteration of foods comes with additives, chlorine, fluoride, etc.

Farming methodologies can also detract from nutritional wholeness of foods. Add air pollution, water pollution, and stress-filled lifestyles—and it is not the most optimal for health.

If you choose to supplement, select whole food supplements that include a whole food multivitamin/mineral, cod liver oil, and a green superfood blend containing cereal grass juices, vegetables, sprouted grains and seeds.

3. Practice advanced hygiene
An effective hygiene protocol systematically cleanses and removes germs from the five areas where they are most likely to enter the body: the hands (particularly underneath the fingernails), the corners of the eyes, the nasal passageways, the ear canals and the mouth. Proper hygiene can support a healthy immune system and can assist in the reduction of colds and flu, allergies, and sinus problems.

4. Condition your body with exercise and body therapies — and get enough sleep!
Exercise, such as walking, rebounding, deep breathing, or functional fitness: an exercise system where you train movements, not isolated muscles—is essential for health. Additionally, body therapies are soothing to the body. Incorporate body therapies such as hydrotherapy, therapeutic baths, and moderate daily sunlight exposure.

Consistent, adequate sleep is essential. Sleep deprivation or disorders can lead to numerous serious illnesses including: high blood pressure, heart disease, a higher risk of diabetes and obesity, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, fetal and childhood growth retardation, and psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders.

5. Reduce toxins in your personal environment
We live in a toxic world, so consume and bathe in pure water, breathe fresh air, and avoid the use of toxic skin and body care products and chemical-laden household cleaners. (Health food stores and progressive grocery stores sell cosmetics, shampoos, creams, deodorants, etc. that do not contain unhealthy ingredients.)

6. Avoid Deadly Emotions
Unhealthy emotions such as anger, resentment, anxiety and fear can affect us systemically. In his book Deadly Emotions Don Colbert, M. D. states, “No person experiences an emotion just in his “heart” or in his “mind.” Rather, a person experiences an emotion in the form of chemical reactions in the body and the brain. These chemical reactions occur at both the organ level—stomach, heart, large muscles, and so forth—and at the cellular level.”

Life is too short to harbour deadly emotions, so avoid them.

7. Live a life of purpose
Perhaps the most important “health key” is to find purpose. Alignment with what is most important to an individual’s life is a daily essential and can add to health and productivity. Living on purpose is the best way to live!

People with purpose characterize success and significance. Seek purpose for your life–and then live it!
For REAL healthy living, make these seven keys the foundation of your health plan.

Jordan S. Rubin is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Maker’s Diet. Additionally, Jordan is a frequent television and radio guest covering the topics of nutrition and health. For more information, visit