Great Nutrition Maximizes Your Health and Wellness
I’m sure that all of us have heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” While you will not actually turn into a taco – not even a cool ranch taco – you can turn your skin the color orange as a result of a diet way too high in carrots. There is wisdom in the saying, “everything in moderation.”
The food you eat fuels your body, and it will directly affect your health, your mood, and even the functioning of your brain. We are blessed to live in a country where there is constant access to food, but all foods are not equal. Too much of what we eat is processed and filled with chemicals, preservatives, food coloring, bleach, sugars (real and artificial), and even GMOs (genetically modified organism). This in not natural and our bodies struggle to process these food and extract any nutrition from it. As a result, many people have a poor diet that affects them physically (strength and endurance), psychologically (mental acuity and state of mind), and nutritionally (health and longevity).
Maintaining a Proper pH Balance
To maintain good health your blood plasma needs to maintain a 7.35 to 7.45 pH balance with the optimal balance of 7.4. What you eat and drink can effect that. For example, most sodas are very acidic with a pH balance of 3. Most highly processed foods and white sugar will also have an acidic effect on your body.
When your body becomes acidic, you are very susceptible to disease. Your body moves toward an inflammatory state, which increases pain in many degenerative diseases. What kind of diseases? Arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, digestive problems, and many other debilitating diseases. Your body does what it can through exhaling carbon dioxide, eliminating hydrogen ions (through the kidneys), and buffer systems (carbonic acid-bicarbonate, protein, and phosphate) to maintain the proper pH of your blood. However, too many toxins in your system will overwhelm your body’s ability to protect you.
Your blood will literally cannibalize your muscles, bones, and teeth to do whatever it takes to maintain a healthy blood pH.
Let me simplify this for you. The primary and preferred filter your body uses to maintaining a proper pH is the carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffer system. Your lungs and kidneys work with the foods you eat and the liquids you drink to keep a proper pH. When that is not enough, your body looks elsewhere. The protein buffer will involve breaking down and using the proteins in your body to assist with a proper pH in your blood instead of building and maintaining your muscles or repairing your body. If your body needs even more help in maintaining a proper blood pH it will use the phosphate buffer to neutralize strong acids. Most of these phosphate ions (about 85%) come from calcium phosphate salts, which are actually the structural components of your teeth and bones. When this starts to happen you are not only at risk for osteoporosis, but also a predominantly acid-forming diet may lead to calcium-rich kidney stones.
Your blood will literally cannibalize your muscles, bones, and teeth to do whatever it takes to maintain a healthy blood pH. So, it might just be in your best interest – and future health – to follow a healthy diet that will not create unnecessary work for your buffering systems.
Alkaline vs. Acidic
Life and health are about balance and moderation. In general, alkaline foods and beverages will keep you healthy while acidic foods and beverages will lead to sickness and disease. However, it is possible to over alkalization your body which leads to “alkalosis” – when your pH rises above 7.45. The opposite condition is called “acidosis” – when your blood pH falls below 7.35.
As in life, the foods you eat need to bring balance to your body. This means you need to eat both alkaline- and acid-forming foods. You just need to eat more alkaline than acidic. Most fruits and vegetables will have an alkaline effect on your body, whereas most grains, highly processed foods, and animal foods will have an acidic effect.
Eating to Maximize Your Health and Wellness
Healthy Eating Tips:
Instead of apple juice, the healthier choice would be to eat an apple with a glass of filtered water.
Apple juice lacks the fiber content from the apple and quickly turns into sugar in your body.
- Don’t eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Eating then will lead to weight gain and digestive problems.
- Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day to increase your metabolism.
- Meat portions should be 6 ounces or less. A good visual rule is your meat portion should fit in the palm of your hand.
- Organic, free-range eggs are a great inexpensive source of proteins and good fats. At around $4 a dozen, they make 6 meals.
- Replace fruit juices, which will turn into sugar in your body, with real fruit and a glass of filtered water.
- Eliminate processed foods as much as you are able to. Strive to have the list of ingredients on the foods in your fridge be a single word. The longer the list of ingredients the worse that food probably is for you.
- Replace artificial sweeteners with stevia, an herb that will help maintain steady blood sugar levels.
- Cinnamon not only has no sugars in it, but it also helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
- Consider using mustard as a condiment instead of mayonnaise and ketchup. French’s classic yellow mustard has no calories.
- Learn to properly read labels. Most of the bad information is hidden in the ingredients list.
Your main source of hydration should be filtered water. As a general rule, you should drink half your body weight in ounces a day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day! The main staple of your diet should be fruits and vegetables.
Your body needs a balance of good proteins, good carbs, and good fats for optimal health and wellness. Notice I have used the word “good” three times in the sentence describing proteins, carbs, and fats. That is because so much of what we eat today does not fall under the category of “good.” If you continually feed your body bad foods it will have a toxic effect on your body. Conversely, good foods will strengthen your body and its immune system, give you energy, clarity of thought, and even elevate your mood.
Proteins provide support for many functions of the body. While proteins are often associated with building muscles, they do much more. Proteins also support your skin and internal organs. They carry oxygen throughout your body, fight infection, support your hair and nails, and even detect the light entering your eyes. Proteins are essential for repairing and building your body.
Carbs are a source of energy for your body. They range from simple sugars to complex carbohydrates like starch. Simple sugars will quickly convert to fat unless your body needs them for energy immediately. So try to keep your carbs complex which take longer to digest and contain more fiber.
Good fats are actually essential for losing fat. Healthy fats help control hunger, promote a healthy metabolism, and help transport vitamins and minerals throughout your body. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins and necessary for good health.
Amino acids are the building block of the body. Some scientists believe that the breakdown in amino acids in the body is a major factor in aging. As we get older, our bodies naturally produce fewer amino acids from the foods we eat. With fewer amino acids available to help neutralize acidic conditions in our body and repair our bodies, amino acids are increasingly extracted from our bodily stores resulting in our muscles and skin losing their elasticity. While amino acids are found in all foods, meats have the highest concentration.
Once you understand the importance of good food to your body, health, and even aging, it is only natural to desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately for most of us, that means we may have major changes to make. Fortunately, your body will reward you for making better nutritional choices.
Foods to Avoid to Maximize Your Health and Wellness
Minimize or eliminate sugar in your diet. Sugar can harm your immune system, creates an acidic environment in your body, converts to fat when not used, raises your blood sugar levels (contributes to diabetes), and feeds cancers.
- Artificial Sweeteners
While there are a variety of artificial sweeteners, all of them are chemically based. Some even contain genetically modified sugar. Studies have shown artificial sweeteners to cause overeating. And let’s not even get into the cancer many of these cause in lab rats
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
MSG is an neuro-excitotoxin that is widely associated with Chinese food. However, this cheap additive is added to many foods at restaurants, school cafeterias, and your grocery store. Since the 1960s, scientists have know MSG contributes to obesity. It may be hidden on labels under names like: gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, casein, yeast extract, malted barley, rice syrup, or brown rice syrup.
- GMO Foods (Genetically Modified Organisms)
While many countries have banned GMO foods from human consumption, the U.S. is one of the few modern industrialized nations that have not. Since we do not know what the long term effects these genetic alternations to our foods will have on humans, those who chose to eat them are essentially lab rats. In a major violation of public trust, the FDA refuses to require GMO food to be properly labeled. Much of the genetic alterations have to deal with making the foods kill bugs, or make the food immune to poisons such as Roundup. The farmer sprays the field with Roundup and the GMO food is supposed to be the only plant to survive.
Just some of the GMO food crop percentages as of December 2011.
- Corn: 88% of U.S. Crop in 2011
- Soy: 94% of U.S. Crop in 2011
- Sugar Beets: 95% of U.S. Crop in 2011
- Canola: 90% of U.S. Crop in 2011
As mentioned earlier, sodas have an acidic pH of around 3. In addition, sodas are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Organic dairy product with no growth hormones or antibiotics are the healthiest for you.
Approximately 70% of the population has an allergy or sensitivity to gluten. Cutting out grains can reduce abdominal swelling and that bloated feeling.
Eat Grass-fed, Organic Beef Instead.
Grain is not a part of the natural diet for cows. It damages the liver, turns acidic in the first stomach, and requires feed-grade antibiotics to be added to their feed.
Advantages of Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Beef
- 400% more Vitamin A (as beta carotene)
- 400% more Vitamin E
- Fewer calories (up to 100 calories less for a 6-ounce steak)
- Lower in “bad” saturated fats, and higher in “good” unsaturated fats
- 2-4 times richer in heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids
- Branch-chain amino acids
- Richer taste
- 3-5 times higher in CLA (Conjugated Linoleum Acid)
We have put together a list of some alkaline and acidic foods. You can use these lists as a guideline to help achieve a proper pH balance.
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Herbs (most)
- Sweet, seedless grapes
- Antibiotics (most drugs)
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Beans (most)
- Breads (most)
- Cereals, boxed (most)
- Refined Salt
- Soft drinks (pop)
- Sugar, White
- White Flour Products
- White Vinegar
Call us at 757.467.5258 to arrange an appointment with Kempsville Chiropractic. As chiropractors we are concerned about whole-body wellness. Proper nutrition is a cornerstone to a healthy life. If any of your friends and family can benefit from this article, please recommend this article to them.
- Do You Have a Second Brain? Your Digestive System and Chiropractic Care
- Your Immune System and Chiropractic Care
© 2013-2016 Kempsville Chiropractic
These articles are the property of Kempsville Chiropractic. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article. Kempsville Chiropractic has been proudly serving Virginia Beach, Virginia; Chesapeake, Virginia; and Norfolk, Virginia since 1996.
The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.
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