We get a lot of questions here. Chiropractors are well trained to give nutritional advice and counseling. Ask us next time you are in the office what you can do to improve your health through nutrition.
The typical American diet is high in foods that cause increased tissue acidity and have high levels of free radicals which may initiate and/or amplify pain and many other conditions, including cancer, heart disease, decreased immunity, diabetes and arthritis. The foods we eat have a dramatic impact on how we feel and our bodies will perform best with quality foods.
The Sugar Cycle:
Routinely eating products that contain sugar leads to a vicious sugar-craving cycle.
- Sugars are absorbed into our blood and travel to the brain.
- Sugar in the brain releases a chemical called serotonin that produces a sense of happiness and well-being.
- As our sugar blood levels fall due to insulin production and sugar absorption, we move from a hyperactive state to more of a tired, irritable and weak state.
- Concentration levels fall, and our cells begin to become acidic.
- Our brain then once again sends a message that we need more sugar, and the cycle begins again
Decrease consumption of red meat & refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour
- These are easily converted to fat and the byproduct of this breakdown is arachidonic acid
- Arachidonic acid and prostaglandins (formed when animal fats and proteins are broken down in the body) are highly pro-inflammatory and intensify pain and initiate disease throughout the body.
- When possible, substitute darker whole grains for refined white grains. Examples include: 100% whole grain bread made without hydrogenated oil, brown rice, whole grain pastas, couscous and others.
- Red meat should be limited and may be replaced by fish, especially the cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna or herring. These fish also contain a chemical called DHA, which has been shown to increase brain circulation and function.
Choose "healthy" oils like avocado, olive, coconut, or canola
- Choose your oils carefully. Omega 6 oils are bad- these include the "warm weather Southern oils" of corn, sunflower, peanut and most others. This would also include oils from red meat, dairy products, and shellfish.
- Omega 3 oils or "cold weather Northern oils" are better. These would include flax, soy, wheat germ, canola and fish oils.
- Olive oil is classified as an Omega 9 and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shown to have numerous other biological benefits including the reduction of harmful free radicals.
- Avocado oil is primarily an Omega 9 oil and is an exceptional health choice with numerous health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and reduction of harmful free radicals. As a bonus, Avocado oil has higher smoke/flash points than olive oil - making it a better alternative for searing or frying.
- Coconut oil, while higher in saturated fats, has been shown to lower bad cholesterol and increase levels of beneficial antioxidants.
- When possible, choose organic, extra virgin oils. "Organic" means that it was grown in pure soil without the use of pesticides, and extra virgin means that it was pressed without the use of heat or chemicals.
Increase consumption of vegetables and fruits
The average American diet contains one and-a-half servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit per day. The minimum recommended daily allowance is five servings of fruits and vegetables. Optimally, we should eat 9+ servings of fruits and vegetables.
- High fiber intake improves gastrointestinal function and decreases our risk of colon cancer.
- We should ingest 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Good sources of fiber include beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
- Fruits and vegetables neutralize acids.
- Fruits and vegetables are also high in vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients, which are known as the "guardians of health."
- Phytonutrients have been shown to protect us from several chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and arthritis.