Nutrition

The Role of Food in a Healthy Lifestyle

The Role of Food in a Healthy Lifestyle

Chiropractic care is one element of a healthy lifestyle, one thing that helps keep your body working the way it was designed to. Chiropractic doesn't treat or cure any disease; instead, it enables your body to better fight disease and helps strengthen you immune system, as well as relieving pain.

Chiropractic alone isn't enough to keep you healthy. If you visit the chiropractor regularly, that's great, but if you're also putting food into your body that isn't what it needs, if you're not exercising regularly, if you're not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep, you won't be healthy.

What is the role of food in a healthy lifestyle?

Well, we all know that food is what gives us energy. More specifically, our bodies need calories (in the form of fats and starches) to burn for energy, so all the body functions can work. Our bodies need protein to build and strengthen our muscles so we can move. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to perform all its essential functions. Our bodies need plenty of water for everything!

What foods give us these essential nutrients?

Fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat and eggs. Dairy products. Healthy, natural fats like butter and plant oils such as olive and coconut. Some whole grains, although some people have to be careful with this.

Many "foods" contain preservatives, chemicals to affect their color, taste, or texture, added processed sugars, chemically-produced fats such as margarine, canola oil and shortening--all things our body doesn't need.Not only do our bodies not need these things for proper function, but putting those things in our body actually inhibits its ability to function optimally. Our body has to work extra-hard to clear out all the unnecessary things so it can absorb the good stuff that it actually needs.

So just as eating whole, real, natural foods helps keep your body healthy, eating processed, fake and not natural foods can contribute to disease.

Now, there's nothing inherently wrong with eating the occasional candy bar, doughnut, or Big Mac. It is important, however, to keep our intake of those foods that aren't good for us to a minimum, and fill our menus and stomachs with food that is nourishing and will actually improve our health.

It is unfortunate that it is the processed, less-healthy foods which are cheaper and usually have a longer shelf life. For people on a tight budget, it may be difficult to keep to a truly healthy diet because fresh produce, meat and dairy products are among the most expensive things in the grocery store. But don't let that be a discouragement to you if you're in a similar situation. Do your best with what you can. Here are some ideas to save money and still eat foods that will nourish your body:

  • Start a garden if possible and grow your own produce, a much cheaper option than the grocery store or even the farmer's market.
  • Skip the coffee shop and make coffee drinks at home with your favorite coffee, milk, and a natural sweetener like honey. You'll save a lot of money!
  • Cut out soft drinks and sugary fruit juices, and instead drink water and spend the $3-$5 that a bottle of juice can cost on some fresh fruit.
  • Instead of buying expensive and processed lunch meat, buy a whole chicken which you can roast and make into sandwich meat, chicken soup, and homemade chicken stock.
  • Buy frozen vegetables instead of canned if fresh ones are too pricey.
  • Try making homemade bread to avoid the preservatives and added sugar in packaged bread. Homemade bread can be as simple as flour, yeast, water, and a little fat--very frugal and very good for you.

A healthy lifestyle has many components: exercise, adequate sleep, chiropractic care, and good nutrition. Putting these components together enables your body to work to its fullest potential and keep you healthy and happy!

Healing Digestive Disorders with Chiropractic

healing digestive disorders with chiropractic

The Digestive System

Like all the body's systems (respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, nervous, and others), the digestive system is made up of several organs which work together to accomplish a task. The job of the digestive system is to break down food so the body can absorb energy and nutrients from that food, and remove from the body whatever the body can't digest or doesn't need.

Each organ in the digestive system (the throat, esophagus, stomach, and intestines) is connected to the brain via nerves which pass through the spinal column, just like every other organ in the body. If any of those nerves is pinched due to a vertebral subluxation (vertebrae which are out of place), the signals between the organ and the brain will be disrupted or prevented entirely. This can cause a host of problems and conditions.

Types of digestive disorders:

Various digestive disorders include: dyspepsia (chronic stomachache), ulcers (stomach acid burning through the lining of the stomach and intestines), heartburn (stomach acid escaping up into the esophagus), gastritis (inflammation of the stomach walls), chronic constipation (difficulty eliminating the bowels). These are some of the most common digestive disorders.

A medical doctor's approach to treating these disorders seems simple: prescribe a drug and solve the problem. But most drugs don't solve the cause of the disorder. They cover the symptoms.

Pain is not always a bad thing. If you have a headache, that can be a sign of pinched muscles or nerves, dehydration, or sleep deprivation. When you touch something hot you feel pain because your nerves send your brain a signal: something is wrong. Fix it!

The same is true with digestive discomfort of all kinds. A stomachache is a sign that something is wrong. Either there is something in your digestive system that shouldn't be there (food that doesn't agree with you, a bacterial infection or virus), or something isn't working right. The brain and the organ aren't communicating the way they should be.

This is where chiropractic comes in.

A chiropractic approach to treating digestive orders

  • Get to the source of the problem. Chiropractors will examine the spine to see where there are pinched nerves. They will also help the patient determine if a lifestyle habit could be causing the problem, such as overuse of alcohol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise or dehydration. Instead of using drugs to cover symptoms, chiropractic looks for the root cause of the problem and seeks to solve it.
  • Correct vertebral subluxations. When an out-of-place vertebra (or more than one) are the cause of the problem, chiropractic care solves that! Regular adjustments are necessary for keeping all the body's systems working the way they were designed to.
  • Increase water consumption and avoid dehydration. Especially in older patients, dehydration can be a problem because the sense of thirst can diminish with age. The digestive tract needs plenty of water to move food through it, and water is essential for the body to absorb energy and nutrients into the bloodstream. Dehydration can cause constipation, ulcers, colitis and dyspepsia.
  • Improve diet and remove foods that trigger digestive issues. Many people's digestive problems are simply a result of a poor diet. A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with plenty of whole grains, healthy fats and protein, will ensure the digestive system works optimally. An overabundance of sugar-rich foods, spicy foods, or greasy foods (made with unhealthy fats) can cause chronic digestive issues. Try improving your diet, eating less fast food and processed foods, and see if that helps your digestive system.

If you suffer from chronic (or even occasional) digestive disorders or problems, try chiropractic care before you try drugs. Chiropractic will help improve the health of your whole body, and you won't be stuck with taking medicine the rest of your life!

 

Source:

Koren, Tedd D.C. (2012). Digestion, Heartburn and Ulcers (pamphlet). TFL Koren Publications Inc.

Summertime Chiropractic Care

summertime chiro care
summertime chiro care

Summer: a time for family vacations, visits to the pool, lemonade stands, suntans, and-- chiropractic visits?

Yes! Chiropractic care is needed during the summer as well as during the rest of the year, if not more! Special summer activities can get your spine out of misalignment. If you're in the car or plane for a family vacation (and if you're lucky enough to be able to sleep on long trips), just think about the strange positions your neck and back is in! An adjustment is always a good idea post-vacation.

image via morguefile.com
image via morguefile.com

Summer work can also be hard on your back, whether you're digging in the garden, mowing the lawn, or working on the farm.

As for your children, they'll be participating in summer sports, playing outside, and probably at least as active as they are during the school year. Bring your kids with you to get adjusted so they can stay healthy while they play and relax during the summer months!

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file0001506844893

Keep your back healthy this summer with these tips:

  • Focus on keeping your posture straight, whether standing, sitting, or lying down.
  • Be careful when lifting heavy objects. Use your legs, not your back.
  • Stretch before and after exercising (and make sure your kids do the same).
  • For long car trips, get a neck pillow so you can sleep comfortably without hurting your neck. On a car trip, stop to stretch and walk around every couple hours. On plane trips, get out of your seat every hour or two (if it's safe to do so) to stretch and move around.
  • Don't let the dog days of summer keep you from exercise! Swimming and walking are easy, pleasant, and not damaging to your back.
  • Continue to get adequate sleep (7-9 hours for adults) and eat healthfully (always essential!) to keep your whole body in optimum health.
  • See your chiropractor for regular adjustments!

This summer, keep yourself and your whole family healthy and happy with chiropractic!

Avocados: Heart Healthy and Delicious, plus a Recipe!

Did you know that avocados are not only delicious, but they are powerhouses of nutrition, too!!!???!!  With this being Heart Health week at Hackbart chiropractic, it's the perfect time to highlight this delicious super food and share some ways it can contribute to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Prepping an avocado

Avocados contain oleic acid, an omega-9, monounsaturated fatty acid that can help lower our "bad" cholesterol (LDL).  Oleic acid is also believed to slow the pace of heart disease and promote the production of antioxidants.  The vitamin B6 and folic acid in avocados also control homocysteine levels, which again, helps to reduce the risks of heart disease.

Avocados are simply an all around nutrition burst.  The lutein they contain helps to prevent age-related eye deterioration.  And they are loaded with fiber which helps with digestion and regulation of blood sugar.  Glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants, is also found in avocados.  Glutathione boosts the body's immune system and promotes a healthy nervous system.

Chiropractic is about natural health and healing.  Regular chiropractic visits go hand-in-hand with appropriate exercise and a healthy diet to be the least invasive, chemical-free and most successful ways to attain, and keep, good health.  They all help to prevent and to treat the root cause of health problems, instead of simply trying to mitigate symptoms.

Avocado Salsa

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Call the office, today to schedule a regular health maintenance adjustment and check out the recipe link, below, for just one example of how delicious, healthy eating can be.  Our friend, Glenda, at Busy-at-Home has a fabulous recipe for Avocado Salsa (Click the picture or this link to get the recipe.) that will tantalize the taste buds of even the most finicky eaters in your household!  Enjoy!

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Are We Healthier?

Since the creation of the USDA's food pyramid, in 1972, are we a healthier nation?   TIME magazine's 2008 article didn't think so; and 5 years later our answer would unfortunately stay the same.

Time Magazine cover

This Time Magazine cover suggests that American health was bad in 2008 - Unfortunately, in comparison to 16 other countries, it still is.  Credit: time.com

It's time to start taking our health back and not mindlessly follow the USDA's standard of food safety, the Medical Association's mandates on vaccines and Big Pharma's greedy offers to fix all life's ailments; which the former two agencies produce and their own drugs create.  Disease management through vaccines, pharmaceuticals  and unnecessary medical procedures cannot take the place of a healthy lifestyle.  A healthy lifestyle includes healthy eating, but when the USDA became involved with our food supply, our food became.......well, not really food at all, but more of a big business.  It is made with cost in mind and most of it is laden with fillers, dyes, artificial preservatives, pesticides and hormones that the USDA has passed with a green light.   Yet fresh, natural, raw milk, with no hormonal or antibiotic residue, is illegal!

Wellness education is now needed to help unhealthy Americans train there brains to think before they eat, pop a pill or go under the knife.  And thinking we are!  Chiropractic, Nutritionalists, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Physical Trainers and many more natural approaches to health are being sought out.

There is a way to Hope, Healing, and Health, but it has to be sought out in America, because it is not the culture of our system.  The system is broken and the unhealthy are seeking other options.  It's time to make changes before your health is lost.  If you would like to discuss your hopes for health with us, please stop in.  We would love to help you.  If we are not the answer we can help you find what you are looking for.   We want to help you get back to life!

Let's get educated together!  Come check out our library at the office.  We have books, DVD's and classes offered each week for FREE.

We are here to serve you and help you find Hope, Healing, Health!