Dr Josh Axe is a renowned author and Doctor of Functional Medicine who runs an ongoing practice and dedicates much of his time to working closely with professional athletes helping them to achieve maximum performance and peak health. You can find him at http://www.draxe.com.

Recently interviewed on the Functional World Summit  he chats about Health, Happiness and longevity. With a passion for optimum wellbeing he breaks it down into 6 main easy steps for you to follow.

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The 6 main philosophies for Health, Happiness and Longevity.

1. Eat real food:

This sums everything up and if you do just one thing for your health this is it.

Eat. Real. Food.

Eating well must become a lifestyle choice rather than a goal he says. Dr Axe believes that collectively in today’s world we are just too used to eating food which is not ‘real.’

He challenges you to question your food choices.

Take an apple for instance. A healthy choice surely? However, what kind of apple are we talking about? Because there s a massive difference between the apple you pick straight off a tree and an apple juice drink imported from China. One is REAL and one is likely to be smothered in chemicals, with the fibre removed, before being highly pasteurised which kills off the enzymes.

People get fooled that this is a healthy option. It is not. We need to be careful and look deeper. Dr Axe believes that the first step is simply to take a proper look at what you are consuming and to start with eating more Fruit, Vegetables and Organic meat.

Another main problem is an over consumption of grains.

Going on to discuss which foods are contributing the most towards destroying our health Dr Axe lays down the argument that whole grains are generally not great for us. They have been altered too much, and are no longer traditionally prepared. Full of phytic acid (an anti-nutrient), gluten, carbs and starches – these will just not be having a positive effect on health. If you do eat grains he suggests making your own sourdough and using traditional methods to aid digestion.

Eating Organic is important but particularly with meat and dairy because these hold far more toxins compared to other food.

Eat enough fats – These are so important for hormone health in particular. Consume large amounts of coconut oil and/or other fats such as raw dairy. Dr Axe teaches his patients to heal their gut by following a set healing diet but mainly to listen to their body.

2. Do real exercise:

Dr Axe blows the common myth of ‘the more the better’ and suggests that ‘burst training’ is far more effective and also helps people lose weight more efficiently. You dont have to do hours of cardio to see results, and in fact, he believes this can actually be detrimental to health. Things like marathon running raise cortisol levels and causes you to age faster he confirms. Rather than lots of exercise just 20 minutes a day 3 times a week is effective.

Exercise like a sprinter rather than a marathon runner.

3. Take real whole food supplements:

A lot of supplements are synthetic and are not a good source of nutrition. You need to pay attention ot the ingredients and look for good quality sources.

4. Sleep/Sunshine:

Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D and it is now confirmed it is a pro hormone. Many of us are deficient and are suffering from hormonal imbalances. Dr Axe advises to try and get outside everyday. He reports seeing marvellous results in his clinic  just by increasing sunshine exposure. During Winter months he recommends a vitamin D3 supplement but crucially taken with fat – like coconut oil or a meal – to increase absorption.

Sleep is also fundamental for good health and is highly restorative. We need to work with nature and our own in-build circadian rhythms for optimal sleep.

Rising with the light and sleeping when the sun goes down is how it is done best.

Today we just don’t get enough sleep and the amount is steadily decreasing. in 1910 studies show that we were averaging 9 hours sleep a night whereas now it is just 6.9 hours. Further studies also report that less sleep hurts the metabolism and causes weight gain. Sleep supports  energy, hormones and metabolism and should not be underestimated.

5. Relationships:

You become the people you spend the most time with. Choose these people wisely. Relationships impact health. Who you surround yourself with affects your mindset and your behaviour. Being around someone who is negative will affect your health in the same way. Also, a lot of us live isolated without community. This isn’t good for us. As human’s we need to be vulnerable and rely on one another. It is so important to have this supportive network and connection. This will improve quality of life and wellbeing no end.

Dr Axe also believes that much of it comes down to having a purpose. Without a purpose we are prone to depression, anxiety and sickness.

6. Goal Setting:

Start a vision board. Set goals. Write them down. Make a strategy. Put pictures up of travel destinations, or a health goal and look at it every day.

Writing down your goals makes them far more effective.

Find what you love and pursue and commit to it. You need a sense of purpose.

Set goals and have a community which holds you accountable.


So, how many of the 6 principles do you follow? I think we all have work to do to enhance certain areas and find our perfect balance. Myself included. I would love to hear which areas you excel at and which you need to focus on more?


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