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Issue 137: The Three Rs

Chemical Crackdown

It’s that time of year again when students are back in school to fill their minds with knowledge. I think every student needs to learn the three Rs of reading, ‘riting (writing) and ‘rithmetic (arithmetic).

Reading is fundamental, while writing and arithmetic/math are essential. It’s important to have a knowledgeable mind, but you also need a healthy body to be strong mentally and physically—so be sure to incorporate these other three Rs into your student’s health routine so that he or she can be at his or her best this school year:

Real foods

If you ask me, these three Rs are just as important as the other three Rs. In fact, they not only help the mind, but they can also help the body, including maintaining a proper weight.

Real Foods: Diet determines mental and physical health, so eat real foods. Food is much more than just calories or energy because it communicates with your genes, giving them information to direct the body’s brain chemicals, weight, metabolism, moods and more. Real whole, unprocessed foods—from plants and animals as close to Nature as possible, not man-made, chemicalized nonfoods—are what the body requires for physical and mental health. So, be sure your student is eating real foods for real health.

Recreation: Getting enough physical recreation is a must, too, for your scholar's overall physical and mental health. Inactivity is a big contributor to being unhealthy or overweight, so regular exercise 5 to 7 times a week keeps the body fit and the mind sharp. Carrying around excess weight can lead to some heavy health consequences, both physically and mentally. Belly fat, for example, is close to the heart, pancreas and other vital organs, and produces inflammatory compounds contributing to heart disease, diabetes and dementia. In short, being overweight can hurt students physically and mentally, but physical recreation can keep their bodies and minds in tip-top shape.

Rest: Be sure your student gets proper rest and de-stresses as much as possible for a strong body and mind as well as a healthy weight. For starters, there’s a definite link between sleep deprivation and obesity, so be sure your scholar gets adequate, uninterrupted sleep. Students need to "go dark” when sleeping, too. Low lighting—from a TV, night light, computer screen or cell phone—may cause weight gain and disrupt sleep. Speaking of TV, computers, cell phones and other technology, you don’t want your learner to develop “popcorn brain”—how the brain is unhealthily altered due to the constant “pop” of technology in our lives. But that’s not all. Chronic sleep disruption can also shrink areas of the brain critical to information and memory processing, while stress can impair decision-making and attention. Be smart. Make sure your child gets enough rest and de-stresses. It could mean a healthier student and more productive school day.

By now, your student is well on the way to mastering the three Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic, but don’t forget about these other three Rs—Real foods, Recreation and Rest—so that he or she can be in tip-top shape mentally and physically for this academic year.


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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