Updated: Feb 13, 2022
This article is sponsored by our brand partner, Rae Wellness Supplements.
Black History Month (BHM) and Black wellness stem beyond celebrating our exemplary historic pioneers and supporting Black-owned businesses. Wholistic Black Wellness is an intersection in healthcare and mainstream culture that is consistently underrepresented due to biases, ignorance, and systemic racism that still exist today.
As a naturopathic doctor (ND), wellness advocate and Rae partner, I want to share why Black Wellness should receive greater attention and support from all people. Modern-day disparities continue to cause unhealthy risk factors for the African diaspora. Even within my own profession, only 3% are Black naturopathic doctors. By investing and educating more in Black Wellness today, we ensure a future to make history and progress for many generations to come.
5 Important Black Health Facts to Know:
Racist experiences/trauma contribute to higher inflammation levels in Black Americans, which increases their overall risk for chronic diseases. (Psychoneuroendocrinology, August 2019)
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Black American womxn and kills nearly 50,000+ yearly. (American Heart Association 2019)
Suicide rates are rising among Black American young adults, with 9.5% reporting suicidal thoughts in 2018. (Mental Health America)
Black Americans are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as white Americans. (Alzheimer’s Association)
Black American adults are 60% more likely to develop diabetes. (National Health Interview Survey, 2018)
Many of these health issues are not coincidence or solely genetic, but rather, driven by insidious external factors relating to toxic environmental exposures, socio-economic inequities, western diet, and systemic mistreatment. Black wellness should not be dismissed as a Black issue. It’s a Human issue warranting more support from all groups.
To support Wholistic Black Wellness, is to also honor the rich cultural practices native to the past and present of the African diaspora. There is enormous diversity within wellness practices among Afro-indigenous peoples. Non-Black allies should take care not to inflict your own wellness practices as superior or more important. Specifically, western Eurocentric health customs should not always presume to be more effective or better for Black Wellness. Remember we should all respect the unique preferences and needs of others - "To each, their own."
This month, I want to highlight the daily wellness routine that supports me through my work, social relations and other stressors impacting my life as a Black woman and naturopathic doctor.
Rising in AM:
I usually drink 12-16oz hot water with organic lemon and aloe vera juice, or herbal tea, to start my day before I eat.
I try to give myself a little quiet time for meditation and/or breath-work to ease into my day and not feel stressed from the jump.
Mid to Late Morning:
I prefer a light breakfast such as vegan protein shake, or pasture-raised eggs with veggies.
After breakfast, I take my vitamin D, vitamin C, probiotic, and daily multivitamin supplements.
I continue to drink water for hydration and energy.
For lunch, I fuel up with a salad, nuts and/or fruit.
Sometimes I need an extra brain boost, so I take an herbal focus formula with Mucuna pruriens, Bacopa, and Yohimbe before my PM meetings.
If I’m in the luteal phase of my cycle, I may add in Rae’s Rebalance caps to offset the side effects of a busy schedule on my hormones.
We always try to make a nutrient-dense supper to soothe our souls from a long day.
I love veggies, so I usually eat about 2 cups on my plate with either an organic lean protein, sustainable wild-caught fatty fish/seafood or a plant-based protein such as tofu, lentils, chickpeas, or similar.
Sometimes we take a walk after dinner for fresh air, or I will do either Kemetic yoga or dynamic stretching to release body tension from the day.
Sometimes I simply watch my favorite shows to laugh and relax.
I aim for 8-10 hours sleep/night to feel my best.
Daily wellness routines can reduce risks and help prevent unwanted health issues. It's important to change up your routine, every so often, to support the needs of your body as you age and encounter various stressors.
Thank you for tuning in to this post, and I hope you or someone you love can gain insight from what I’ve shared for supporting Black Wellness during and beyond BHM!