Mediaplanet sat down with TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz to discuss how he integrates holistic health into his daily routine, and his tips on how you can do the same.
Mediaplanet: What practices of holistic health do you incorporate in your own life?
Dr. Oz: Every morning before showering for work, I do seven minutes of Sun Salutation Yoga to stretch my back, wake up completely, and focus my mind. Right before taping shows, I focus on deep breaths while closing my eyes and centering my thoughts. I eat very simply in the morning — mostly berries and yogurt, but mix up lots of fun vegetables and seafood for lunch and an early dinner so I can fast 12 hours over night. I also meditate at nights for 15 minutes before bed.
What are your favorite alternative medicine treatments?
My life was changed by Yoga which strengthens and relaxes my body so my mind can let go as well. I learned the practice immediately after college and recognized the poses from my football practice stretches. The people in my classes were upbeat and energized by their efforts, so served as great role models for my continued participation.
Finally, I take daily supplements since even my careful diet misses some nutrients. The nutrient value of fruits and vegetables today is far less then in past generations, so we need an insurance policy to support the regenerative powers of the body.
What benefits come from eating whole foods?
Walking into a grocery store is really like strolling into a pharmacy. The foods have powerful benefits. For example, vegetables have multiple colors, indicating the primary antioxidants that protect them for sun damage. When we consume the rainbow of colors offered by produce, we absorb those vital nutrients, so our body is also protected from oxidative stress. Finally, the microbiome that serves as our second brain, is nourished by high quality whole foods so the bacteria, who do most of our digestion, are healthy enough to help rather then hinder us. Some of my favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients are aalmon and other oily fish, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, turmeric which is argued to help brain function in India, avocados healthy fats, brainberries (aka blueberries), and the soothing benefits of ginger.
What are some of the ways people can integrate holistic health into their everyday lives?
Start with simple, inexpensive steps that bring you closer to others, since spending time in community may be the biggest benefit of a holistic lifestyle. I adore saunas as a superb way to sweat out stress and talk with friends. Yoga can be done in groups and can unite the participants in a feeling of ecstasy when complete. The biggest opportunity is a family meal built around wholesome food which leans green. Eat food that comes out of the ground looking the way it looks when you consume it. Ban electronics and talk about stuff that matters, like each other.