7 Keys To Keep Your Health In Balance

In his book The UltraMind Solution, Mark Hyman, M.D,  shares these seven keys to keep in balance and improve your health and longevity.

Key #1 Optimise Nutrition

According to Dr Hyman, “we are made of the stuff we eat.”  Nothing could be truer and more simpler than this, but we often forget that what we put into our bodies, determines our wellness outcomes.  As he explains, “Our biology, biochemistry, and physiology need certain raw materials to run optimally – the right balance and quality of protein, fats, carbohydrates, the right vitamins and minerals in the correct dose for each of us and all the colourful pigments in plant foods, called phytonutrients, that support our well-being and function. Nearly all of us are nutritionally imbalanced in one way or another.”

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Key #2 Balance Your Hormones

Our hormones which include insulin, thyroid, sex hormones and many more, are a symphony of molecules.  “They have to work in harmony for your health,” says Dr.Hyman.

Many people do not consider their hormones as a key factor in their wellness outcomes.  As explained by Dr.Hyman it is important to understand your hormone deficiencies, as these will have a fundamental impact on how you respond to exercise, work and even your diet.

Key #3 Cool Off Inflammation

A lot has been written on this subject and there is now enough scientific data that show inflammation has a key role to play in illness.

Dr. Hyman confirms,  “We must protect and defend ourselves from foreign invaders or abnormal cells inside our own body. When this is over – or under-active, illness occurs. Inflammation of the brain is a central theme for almost all psychiatric and neurologic conditions, as well as most chronic disease.”

He cautions, that if you have a broken brain, it is almost certainly inflamed.

Key #4 Fix Your Digestion

Our digestive systems must protect us from internal toxins, bugs and potential allergens as well as eliminate waste.  So digesting, absorbing and assimilating all the food and nutrients we eat is critical for health.   If there is a chink the digestive chain, susceptibility to illness increases.

Key #5 Enhance Detoxification

Dr. Hyman is clear that our bodies must eliminate all of our metabolic waste and toxins. We get these from the environment we live in, through our food, water and medication “The toxic burden in the twenty -first century is overwhelming and often our bodies can’t keep up. This leads to illness,” he says.

Key #6 Boost Energy Metabolism

“Life is energy. Once no more energy is produced in your cells, you die.”

It figures then that the process of extracting energy from the food you eat and the oxygen you breathe is the most essential process of life.

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“Keeping the metabolic engine running smoothly and protecting it from harm are essential for health. Loss of energy is found in almost all brain disorders,” according to Dr. Hyman.

Now that’s food for thought!

Key #7 Calm Your Mind

Last but not least, it is really important to live a life of meaning and purpose. Dr. Hyman believes that a life in balance with connection, community, love, support and a sense of empowerment are essential for life.

“The overwhelming stresses of the twenty-first century, including social isolation, overwork and dis-empowerment, create enormous strain on our nervous system leading to burnout and breakdown.”

By addressing these imbalances in the seven keys, we can become CEOs of our own health outcomes, and more effectively deal with the health challenges facing our modern world.


Mark Hyman M.D is chairman of The Institute For Functional Medicine and winner of the 2009 Linus Pauling Award. He founded  the UltraWellness Center in Lenox Massachusetts.

Mark Hyman

You can read more about this approach to health by reading The UltraMind Solution. Published by Simon and Shuster