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Go Wild To Thrive

The world is moving faster than ever before. Some of it is amazing: the miracle of robotic surgery, the blessing of instant communication with a loved one who's halfway around the world. And then there are the downsides: pollution, pathogens, distraction, overwhelm. At the same time you're listening to a news report on rising sea levels, you're fielding text messages about a computer virus at your child's school—and then a phone call comes in about a dear friend's frightening diagnosis. 

I call our current era the Quickening. With everything speeding up, expectations are at their highest for humankind—and women especially bear the brunt. It can feel impossible to stay on top of it all, to protect yourself and your family. It can feel like a struggle to survive every day. And yet we don't just want to survive, do we? We want to thrive.

In order to adapt and thrive in our changing times, it's imperative to remember that no matter what else is trying to grab our attention, health is key. Think of today's cars. They're really advanced, right? Equipped with GPS, Wi-Fi, solar panels, remote starters, and cameras that show you your blind spots, these automobiles are like spaceships! They're incredible. We hear that soon, they'll even be driving themselves. 

Yet every car has a major vulnerability: rubber tires filled with air. No matter how decked out the body of a car is, if it runs over a bed of nails, the tires will deflate, and it will be stuck by the side of the road. While the design of pneumatic tires has improved since their invention in the 19th century, there has yet to be a total turnaround in the conception of how cars get from Point A to Point B.

That's where we are as a society, too. While certain areas of life have seen exponential growth, we're still vulnerable at our foundation. Potential dangers are everywhere: Toxins fall from the sky and fill the air we breathe. Radiation surrounds us from past nuclear disasters. Superbugs multiply, out of control. Adrenaline surges from the stress of it all. Disease is on the rise. Our personal and global achievements—just like those features on the latest cars—are only as fruitful as what they're built on: our health.

If we end up sick in bed because life in the 21st century pushes our bodies past their limits, then what good are the advancements? Whether you're low on energy, struggling with illness, or perfectly well, you must take active measures to safeguard your health.

Here's one secret: eat wild foods. These humble edibles are packed with adaptogens—that is, they're crucial to helping our bodies adapt to what life throws at us. Wild foods not only retain the vitamin and mineral levels that nature intended, they also carry critical survival information in their cells. When we ingest them, the wisdom that's allowed them to thrive out in the elements becomes a part of us.

You don't have to spend all of your time foraging in pristine locations to eat wild. And you don't have to be distracted by the trends advertising the latest exotic, expensive superfood. Wild foods (or foods so close to their wild form that they provide the same benefits) are actually waiting for you at your local market, and they can transform your health. Here are three of the best wild and near-wild foods you can add to your routine to protect yourself:

Wild blueberries: These little gems are the top health tonic you can find. Turn to wild blueberries for immune system support, tissue repair, anti-aging, digestive cleansing, ADHD management, extraction of heavy metals from your system...the list goes on. You also want these in your toolkit for prevention of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's. Perfect in smoothies, wild blueberries are frequently found in the frozen section of your local grocery store. (Don't confuse them with their cultivated cousins, which are larger, slightly lighter in color, and still healthy, just not anywhere near as life-changing.) 

Nettle leaf: Amazing for detoxification, headache relief, and support of the endocrine and central nervous systems, nettle is one of the best herbs for healing and prevention, period. Turn to nettle for alleviation of chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and emotional distress. Its anti-inflammatory properties are astounding, and its vital micronutrients make it an essential part of your regimen. Nettle leaf is readily available as a tea herb, or as a tincture.

Dandelion greens: The tenacity that makes dandelions a rampant weed is about to make it your new best friend. Rich in protein, dandelion greens are wonderful for cardiovascular support, cleansing the blood, fighting off bugs, and remineralization. They're also a fantastic anti-radiation remedy. Add dandelion greens to stir fries and salads. You can harvest them locally if you're sure they're from a lawn or garden that hasn't been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Otherwise, find fresh dandelion greens in your grocery store's produce section, or buy it dried and brew dandelion tea.

Other items you can throw into the mix include thyme, oregano, rose hips, Atlantic dulse, and all (edible) varieties of wild berries. You won't hear lots of buzz out there about the miraculous health benefits of these foods—yet. Rest assured, though: if you make them a regular part of your life, incorporating at least one (preferably more) into your daily rotation, you will be taking the most powerful step you can to defend your health.

Learn more about the healing powers of wild foods in Life-Changing Foods.

This item posted: 21-Oct-2015

 

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