Nutrition is one of your strongest tools to keep the body healthy and to avoid many diseases.
Recipe for health: give the body what it needs, take away what it doesn’t, and give the body time to adapt and heal.
The deeper question is, what is in each of those categories? What does your body need, and are you providing it? What does your body NOT need (or, what is obstructing your body’s ability to adapt)￼￼, and are you eliminating it? How much time does healing take￼ and what conditions are necessary to promote adaptation and healing in the body?
A good nutritional approach is not about calorie count, and it may actually redefine what we commonly refer to as a “balanced diet.” What does your body need? Your body needs certain building blocks to heal and repair every tissue in your body. Consider each food you intake in light of that idea: ask, “is this a good building block for my body?” French fries and tater tots, while delicious, are not great building blocks for bones and muscles! And would you want to repair heart muscle with chocolate? (Wait, don’t answer that....)
What does your body NOT need? Well, the last I checked, chemical ingredients in food such as pesticide residue, hormones, or antibiotics don’t *help* the body, and they may *hurt* it by increasing your chemical toxic load, and therefore reducing your body’s buffer capacity to adapt to overall toxins in the environment (and we have plenty of those!)
How much time does healing take, and what conditions are necessary to promote adaptation and healing in the body? As for the first question, usually longer than you’d like! We live in a time of “instant gratification,” and unfortunately the body doesn’t (usually) work that way. The definition of rapid change to the body is not healing, it’s trauma! So for true healing, we need to be patient with our bodies. (I know, I hate that too!)
What conditions promote healing and adaptation in the body? Well, your nervous system is a central player in pretty much all adaptation in the body. Anything that obstructs the nervous system from doing its job would be expected to interfere with adaptation. Vertebral subluxation complex is a condition of the spine (which houses the nervous system) where abnormal position or movement of the spinal segments alters nervous system function. Logically, reducing or eliminating vertebral subluxations (by chiropractic adjustments that specifically and directly address them) would be expected to restore normal nervous system function, thereby enhancing your body’s adaptability.
Our recipe for health is to give the body what it needs, take away what it doesn’t, and to give the body time to heal. Nutrition is an essential component to getting the most out of chiropractic care, and so that’s one type of gentle guidance we offer to our chiropractic patients to help them along on their path towards health.
And other components need to be considered in this recipe for health, as well. We’ll offer those in future blog posts.
For now, I’ll leave you with this New Year’s challenge: what’s one component of your diet that your body that’s helping you be healthy, that you can enhance; and what’s one component of your diet that is NOT helping you, that you can subtract?
Happy New Year!