©Arlene R. Taylor PhD
I was early for my presentation at the University so slipped quietly into a chair at the rear of the lecture hall. There was a lot of heat in the room and it wasn’t from old Sol! Evidently the last homework assignment had directed students to describe human beings using just one word (human and mammal were off limits). Most of the students hadn’t been able to limit their answer to one word. The closing bell rang amid a lively debate.
A few minutes later as I prepared to begin my lecture, a student asked, “What word would you have used for this assignment?”
“Energy,” I answered. It had not been one of the words mentioned during the previous class discussion.
“Energy!” several students chorused! “Why energy?” Since my lecture related to immune system function, this was as good a place as any to begin, and better than most if the students were already interested.
“Because energy can be defined as the capacity of being, doing, and acting,” I replied. “If that doesn’t describe what human beings are all about, I don’t know what does!” There were a few murmurs. “Nothing in life is free,” I continued. “You always give up something to get something. The basic medium of exchange is energy. You pay—not with money, or talent, or high-tech commodities—with energy. In fact, authors of the book, The Power of Full Engagement, define energy as the fundamental currency of high performance.”
A country’s wealth is often described in terms of natural resources. In the 21st century, individual wealth will likely come to be described in similar terms, as well. That is, how many natural resources do you possess in terms of energy? The amount of energy you have to expend is important, because it impacts everything you do. All you are is energy!
According to The American Commission on Anti-Aging, specific micronutrients are believed to be associated with helping to ensure that the brain-body can generate the vital energy you require. I wrote the words Eight Basic Energies on the chalkboard. “All types of energy are forms of your life force,” I explained. “They include physical, mental, initiative, preventive, cleaning, healing, longevity, and sexual energies. You need them all!”
Physical Energy provides power for physical activity. Use this natural resource judiciously. Avoid wasting vital energy on activities that would put your life out of balance. Keep a surplus in your energy bank. Obtain at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day. Micronutrient contributors:
The green super foods (e.g., Spirulina, Green Barley Grass, Green Kamut) that contain a variety of nutrients that support brain, body, and immune system function.
Complex carbohydrates such as those found in Inulin (helps to promote stamina and endurance) and rice maltodextrin.
Coenzyme Q10 that has been found to enhance oxygen metabolism at the cellular level
Mental Energy provides power for intellectual and emotional activity. Use this natural resource in balance with physical exercise. In general, the brain tends to consume more energy than any other organ, but it doesn’t store much energy because it is housed in a rigid skull. Plant-grown vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are key for mental energy. Obtain at least 30 minutes of challenging mental exercise every day. It’s use it or lose it. Micronutrient contributors:
Vitamin C, an antioxidant needed by every cell in the body, is approximately 100 times more concentrated in the brain.
Lecithin (found in soybeans and Tofu) contributes Choline, which is used by the body to manufacture acetylcholine (the most common neurotransmitter in the brain).
Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to help promote some memory functions
Initiative Energy provides power to take action. This natural resource results from a combination of positive mindset and alert brain plus a healthy, vigorous body. Use it wisely! It determines, in part, how much you accomplish in life and how successful you perceive yourself to be. Micronutrient contributors:
See contributors for Mental energy and Physical Energy
Adaptogens, such as those found in Siberian Ginseng, are believed to improve the efficiency of responding appropriately to stress.
Preventive Energy provides power for making it easier for the immune system to keep you well. Use this natural resource to achieve optimum levels of health and wellness. View it as insurance, and keep your policy up to date! As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Micronutrient contributors:
Phytochemicals, compounds believed to play a role in the prevention of cancer and in the reduction of its proliferation, as well as in contributing to the health of the cardiovascular system.
Antioxidant substances, including Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Selenium that have been linked to immune system stimulation and reduction of free radical damage.
Cleaning Energy provides power to keep cells in the brain and body clean and healthy. Use this natural resource, in conjunction with preventive energy, to keep ahead of the potential mess. Micronutrient contributors:
Antioxidant enzymes help keep cells clean and youthful.
Chlorophyll (contained in the green super foods). It is highly regarded among natural healing practitioners as a powerful cleanser, deodorizer, and purifier.
N Acetyl Cysteine, Dandelion, and Milk Thistle have been found to function as mild liver cleansers.
Healing Energy provides the power to make it easier for the body to heal itself when symptoms of dis-ease do occur. Use this natural resource to help you rebound if you do succumb to illness. Treat it with care and keep it with you at all times. Remember that in general, if the body heals, it heals itself. You can it easier or more difficult for that healing to occur. Micronutrient contributors:
Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E. They provide needed electrons to replace those lost in the process of free radical production, and help to strengthen immune system cells, whose job it is to destroy invading organisms and abnormal or mutant cells.
Adaptogens help the body manage stress more effectively, allowing energy supplies to focus on healing.
Longevity Energy provides power to retard and resist the onset of symptoms of aging. Use this natural resource to impact both quantity and quality of your life. Think of it as proportional to the antioxidant resources that are left over at the end of the day after all the essential chores in the cells have been completed, and which can be invested in preservation. Micronutrient contributors:
Antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes strengthen the immune system. The health of the immune system plays a part in how long you live and how much energy you have while you are alive.
Adaptogens, believed to help with stress management, which can be anti-aging.
Botanical compounds, such as those in green super foods, can help to retard the onset of aging symptoms.
Sexual Energy provides power to own and exhibit your gender-unique characteristics. This energy involves far more than sexual activity (sexual intimacy is only one type of intimacy). It involves a state of being. Use this natural resource to help you be all that you can be as a member of your gender. Micronutrient contributors:
Adaptogens can contribute to the efficiency of body processes.
Vitamin E (called the sexual vitamin by some researchers) can help to protect cells from toxins and promote a sense of well being, a prerequisite for feeling amorous.
Lecithin is an important component of natural lubrication for females; for males it can help to replace lecithin lost with their semen.
Time flew by as the students became absorbed in the discussion. It was eye-opening when they began to disclose the type of food they typically ate. Some had not had a fresh green salad for weeks! “Deep green leafy vegetables and the green super foods contain five elements not typically found in other foods,” I reminded them. These elements are:
Chlorophyll that helps to oxygenate the body and decrease susceptibility to disease
Trace minerals that help to trigger growth, act as cofactors, and strengthen the immune system
Phytochemicals that detoxify, cleanse, and enhance the immune system at the cellular level
Polypeptides that build lean connective tissue and decrease susceptibility to stress
Enzymes that serve as catalysts within the body and help to rejuvenate the immune system
All too soon the class period was over and it was time to leave. On the drive home I chuckled as I thought about the dinner-table conversations related to energy and foods that might occur later that day.
How are your energy resources? Do you need to create and live a high-level-wellness lifestyle? Do you need to replenish your life force by design? Remember, your bottom line is energy!