The Impact Of Lifestyle On Your Overall Health
Prevention and Treatment “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food.” Hippocrates is considered the Father of Western Medicine. We have plenty of available food, but are faced with malnutrition associated with nutritional deficiencies and dietary excess.
We are a nation of processed foods in supersize quantities combined with a sedentary life style. We are overfed and undernourished. It is important to acknowledge the role of nutrition as a factor in preventing serious life threatening diseases.
Lung disease, heart disease, cancer and diabetes are some of the major health threats that are linked to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Dietary considerations are also important in the prevention and management of head, neck and oral cancers. Current evidence supports a diet high in fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods for prevention of oral cancer. Low physical activity levels and poor diet are strongly associated with increased odds of periodontal disease.
"The challenge is to recognize the impact this has on both our systemic and oral health and to implement good nutritional behaviour. "
Periodontal disease is another risk factor in many systemic diseases. We will try anything for treatment of disease but no one says to the dentist “treat my mouth so I can be healthy.” We are in denial that bleeding during dental cleanings or during home flossing is a clear signal that a diseased condition is developing and we fail to recognize that pathogenic bacteria from the mouth has been found in our diseased organs.
Dietary deficiencies are known to cause several diseases that manifest as oral changes. In addition, while most foods have a beneficial effect on our tissues, some — such as refined carbohydrates — function in a disease-causing capacity that affects the teeth and periodontal structures. The challenge is to recognize the impact this has on both our systemic and oral health and to implement good nutritional behaviour.
"Dietary deficiencies are known to cause several diseases that manifest as oral changes."
In addition to a healthy diet, if we add exercise (such as walking for 20 minutes three times a week,) we reap many benefits. These include: better sleep habits, improved heart function, weight control, improved long-term as well as short-term memory, and stronger bones leading to an improved quality of life.
Our society has come a long way since the time of Hippocrates and we have made medical advancements, for which we are very grateful, in the treatment of diseases. Yet, it would benefit each of us to take a closer look at what we eat and follow the advice of this ancient guru to empower our bodies to heal themselves.