Proper nutrition used to be simple. Just eat Wonder Bread because it “builds strong bodies twelve ways”. Then we began learning about refined grains and sugars, low roughage, bad fats, and inappropriate protein sources (especially when they’re full of antibodies and hormones). After that, the answer was once again made easy. Take specific supplements for specific needs. But that can become confusing as well. Fortunately, many health food stores now have trained staff to help you sift through your nutritional needs. A healthy diet, though, is the best place to start. And that’s where we will begin with this article.
There are some helpful, basic rules of thumb worth noting about a good diet. One, eat wholesome foods. Two, avoid fast foods and junk food. Simple. Now let’s elaborate. Unhealthy foods are the foods we all typically love and cherish. This includes white sugar, refined grains, fried foods, caffeine, excessive alcohol, and tobacco. In general, we can get away with eating these types of food now and then. Everyday consumption for days, weeks, months and years, though, won’t work. And by the time years of consumption rolls around, it’s harder to kick the habit because these foods can become addictive. In addition, those who consume poor diets typically require a greater amount and variety of nutritional supplements than those who do eat a wholesome diet. Studies show that our nutritional needs are often met by ingesting healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables, along with the rest of a good diet.
Another basic rule of thumb is, don’t eat too much, even if it’s all good food. Our bodies need a certain amount of calories daily, based upon our genetic inheritance and the kind of work or activity we perform daily. Too much food, combined with al slow metabolism equals an increase in fat stores.
An appropriate diet, in terms of what and how much we eat, can certainly benefit our health. All aspects of our anatomy, physiology and well-being are influenced by diet and nutrition. Stroke, colon cancer and heart disease are some of the major pathological disorders encountered with poor diets. Others include skin disorders, headaches and allergies. Mild dysfunctions due to diet can still influence energy levels, vitality and work performance. A healthy diet, plus occasional nutritional supplemental support as necessary, moderation of junk foods, a consistent exercise program, stress management, and appropriate amounts of sleep all go a long, long way toward achieving and maintaining optimum health and well-being.
(Dr. Richard Hanson, chiropractor in Jamestown, New York, can be reached at (716)664-0445. Most major insurances are now being accepted.)