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If We Are What We Eat…

… then do we really want to be a Big Mac?

Chiropractors work with one aspect of the body directly- the skeleton- but work with several others indirectly- muscle tissues, connective tissues, all nervous systems- and can even affect change in your body on a cellular level. There are several things you can do to compliment your consistent adjustments and get the most out of your care: getting enough quality sleep (an essential chunk of time for the body to heal itself without interference); exercising at least 30 minutes a day (switch things up—do some cardio to improve heart health, some weight training to improve the relationship between muscles and the bones they’re anchored to (preventing osteoporosis), and some stretching to keep muscles tissues limber and lean); drinking plenty of water (at least ½ of your body weight in ounces everyday—if you weigh 135 lbs, then you should be drinking 67.5 oz); and of course, eating some good food!

Food. Yes, it’s kind of hard to throw a dinner party without it, but please let us remember that food is first and foremost the fuel to our body’s engine. Our cells require a variety of different nutrients to function at their peak, and taking additional supplements will only get a body so far; our bodies were designed to take in what’s needed from foods first, not from supplements. Time and time again, what has proven to be the most effective way of maintaining a healthy body weight and getting all the nutrients needed is to simply eat a wide variety of foods in moderation.

Different foods will obviously supply different components to balanced health. Here are some suggestions for ways to get proper nutrition:

Foods to support bones:

We’re a chiropractic office—of course we want everyone to have a nice, strong skeleton. But dairy may not be the most efficient way of getting it. Research has shown that the chemical process our bodies go through to convert calcium from dairy sources actually causes more calcium to be taken out of the body than will go in. Fortunately, other foods are great sources of calcium:

-dark green leafy veggies (kale, watercress, etc.)

-almonds, hazelnuts

-black and pinto beans

-seaweeds (so go get some sushi!)

Remember that vitamin D is a key component to calcium’s absorption. This particular vitamin will work at its best when it is taken in through the skin, and that means sunlight; sit in the sun for up to 20 minutes before you slather on the sunscreen (which will block vitamin D).

Foods to support nerve function:

Several diseases attack our nervous system: Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s. One key ingredient to having a strong nervous system is the myelin sheath. For nerves to transmit the information that has been turned on by having everything in place (ie: getting an adjustment), the nerves need to be protected, which is the exact function of the myelin sheath. These nutrients and their food sources will help keep that protection nice and healthy:

-Omega-3: cold-water salmon, walnuts, canola oil (used sparingly), flax seed

-B vitamins: lean protein sources, whole grains, dark leafy veggies

Other sources of nutrients:

Because our daily diets can lack some things, additional sources may be needed to fill in the gaps. This is where supplements come in. Supplements will certainly help, but avoid the temptation to overdo it; our bodies can take in only so much of any one nutrient, and what is not needed will be rejected, so to a certain extent, you could be paying for very expensive urine. Vitamins are better absorbed when taken with food at the same time to ensure they’re digested and absorbed as much as possible. Another source that is less well known is therapeutic-grade essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so they will pack the most into their punches. Higher quality is absolutely worth the higher prices, because only one to two drops will be needed at a time, so you’ll have a little bottle for a long time. Places like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage will have therapeutic-grade oils in a variety of brands. And just like foods, different oils will have different nutrients, so do your research!

One supplemental source we’re particularly fond of is Orenda, specifically their superfoods drink, Oki. For more information on this blend, please visit http://www.orendainternational.com/content.asp?page_id=82

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