Limit your use of harsh soaps and antimicrobial lotions. A lot people think that these products enhance their protection against germs. The reality, however, is that they in most instances do the opposite. They strip away the natural defenses of the skin by altering its pH and the skin microbiota. Hence, it’s not surprising that research has found that hospital workers and other people who tend to frequently wash their hands with soap and/or use hand sanitizers typically have an abnormal skin microbiota, rich in pathogens.
Consume moderate amounts of protein at every meal! Modern diets are generally very low in protein compared to the preagricultural diets that supported the evolution of the human body and the large, complex human brain. This is worrying, seeing as protein has some unique properties that clearly separate it from the other macronutrients. Among other things, it increases thermogenesis to a greater extent than fat and carbohydrate, plays a uniquely important role in body tissue maintenance and repair processes, and promotes satiety and a feeling of fullness. Hence, it’s not surprising that studies have shown that people who take in little protein are more likely to take in more total calories than they need to sustain body weight than people who take in moderate-high quantities of this macronutrient.
Walk more! The human body is designed to be physically active. Hunter-gatherers and semi-nomadic pastoralists such as the Maasai cover many kilometers every day (typically >10 km/day) as they gather plant foods, hunt, and otherwise move around in their local environment. This helps explain why they are lean and metabolically healthy and have strong, dense bones. It also helps explain why heart disease, osteoporosis, and many other chronic diseases and health problems are very rare among these peoples.
Pic: CC pic by Jess & Kate. Some rights reserved.