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March is National Nutrition Month

By Jodi Black, NC

We at Devine Chiropractic believe that proper nutrition is fundamental to a healthy and a fulfilling life.  There is a saying:  “Every time you ingest food, you are either feeding a disease or fighting it”.  Dietary practices can cause OR prevent a wide array of diseases, especially chronic disease.  Some foods even have therapeutic benefits.

Think of health as a four-legged table.  In order for the table to remain balanced and stable, it must have 4 legs.  In order for an individual to be healthy, 4 components, or “legs”,  need to be present:

  1. A positive mental attitude
  2. Healthful lifestyle habits (sleep, exercise, etc.)
  3. Supplementary measures (vitamins, minerals, and herbs)

What is a HEALTH-PROMOTING DIET?  Well…  that answer can be a bit tricky because it means something different for each and every person.  Individuals have specific tastes and preferences, dietary restrictions, beliefs in our current food systems, and health goals. To put simply, a diet that works great for a vegetarian, is not the same diet that should be adopted by a carnivore, and vice-versa.

What are some basic dietary practices that EVERYONE can adopt in order to be healthy?

  1. Eat organic food as much as possible.  Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is a sure fire way to improve health.  Why reach for organically grown vs. conventionally grown?  Simple. To avoid ingesting toxic pesticides.Short-term effects of ingesting pesticides can be nausea, skin irritations, and allergic reactions.  Long-term effects can range from respiratory issues to cancer.  Yes- organic can be pricey, but aren’t you worth it?
  2. Eat a rainbow.  Americans tend to eat “beige”.  YUCK!  We gravitate towards food in the middle of the grocery store, the breads, crackers, and cookies, when we should try and shop the perimeter where colorful fruits and veggies live.  The color of a fruit or veggies is indicative of its health-promoting antioxidants and phytonutrients.  Carrots have carotenoids, tomatoes have lycopene, and blueberries have anthocyanin, etc.  Personal or family challenge?  Make a rainbow plate for dinner, or pick a new color to try each week.
  3. Increase water intake.  Water is the only liquid needed for survival and it performs a multitude of necessary functions within the body.    It protects, lubricates, aids in detox, and aids in digestion and elimination.  A good rule of thumb is to aim to drink half your body weight in ounces everyday.  Therefore, if you are 100 lbs, try and drink 50 oz. (more if you are sick, exercising, or if it’s hot outside).
  4. Adopt mindful eating practices.  We run around all day without giving much thought to when, how, or why we are eating.  It is near impossible to eat well when we afford little awareness to the activity.   A Harvard article defines mindful eating as being FULLY attentive to your food- as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it.  What does fully attentive mean?  It can mean that you meal prep, go to the grocery or farmer’s market and learn where your food comes from, cook with family or a friend (make it fun), reinstate a daily meal time (put the phone down), show gratitude for your food, or take time to thoroughly chew your food/ enjoy it!  You don’t have to do “all the things”, just pick a couple to try out and see what it does for your gut and your health overall!

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