One of the aspects of health that I am passionate about in addition to chiropractic is nutrition. I know its large effects on the body both positive and negative.
Our advanced and commercialized society has changed the way we see health. Approximately 100 years ago the average life expectancy of Americans was about 50 years old. Today the average life expectancy is 77.4 for males and 82.2 for females (World Health Organization 2013). Doesn't it seem like we're healthier because we're living longer? No, absolutely not. We are seeing a huge increase in chronic lifestyle diseases. 4 out of 5 people will get cancer, diabetes, or heart disease in their lifetime and probably die from it. Yes we have cured/prevented polio, small pox, and all those other nasty infectious diseases. But it's our lifestyle choices (diet and exercise) now that’s literally killing us through poor choices.
It concerns me when I see a $.99 2 liter soda with 900 calories! Assuming a 2000 daily calorie requirement that's almost half of your daily needs for 99 cents! So much of our food of convenience is cheap and doesn't spoil easily. Just look in the back of those kitchen cabinets and see old popcorn, cereal, etc. and it's probably still edible. If you compare it to fruits and vegetables, they have tons of vital nutrients that are more expensive, maybe not as tasty, but they spoil! I'm not writing this to make everyone completely change their diet (although for most people it would help)….. I'm actually writing this to give you my top 5 choices of supplements to give your body the essentials it may not be getting through the American diet.
#1 The Multi-Vitamin: think of the multivitamin as an insurance policy. It has the very basic vitamins and minerals stored into one small daily pill. This is particularly important for people who don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables (you know who you are). Remember that there are different formulas for different age groups and men vs. women.
#2 Vitamin D: Face it, if you live in the pacific northwest you know how much it rains and how brief our summers can be. This is so important to get in your diet, and it has been proven to lower mortality. Most people take vitamin D, because they’ve been told it’s good for their bones. Well yes it is, but it also helps battle depression and increases your heart health! (Side note: don’t forget calcium is also important for bone health)
#3 Vitamin C and Zinc: I know this is about my top 5 supplements, but I lumped these two together. They are quite possibly the most important 2 things you can add to your diet to decrease your chances of getting sick (common cold), and if you do it will increase your recovery time!
#4 Probiotics: Dysbiosis, is an abnormal functioning gut (stomach/intestines) due to abnormal microbial levels. It can cause irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, and heart burn to name a few. So how does adding the good bacteria benefit you? It helps reduce bloating, abdominal pain, and inflammation. Does that sound like you? These symptoms are all way too common in our society, and for the most part very controllable thorough diet.
#5 Fish Oils: Fish oils provide Omega 3 fatty acids, which is basically the anti-inflammatory oils most Americans don't get. The biggest observable effect fish oils do is lower serum triglycerides (basically fat in your bloodstream). There are other things that fish oils help lower/raise. Most importantly is they decrease your chances of getting (and even help treat) heart disease, Alzheimer's, depression, obesity, and many more diseases.
This is just a list of my favorite supplements for general health. The absolute best way to get all the nutrients you need for optimum health is to get it through a healthy diet. It’s good to know that the supplement industry is a billion dollar industry and there are literally thousands of formulas. Before starting to take any supplements, you should talk to me or Dr. Scott prior to starting.
Yours in health,