Wellness Articles

Archive for 'Nutrition'

Healthy Summertime Recipes

Here are some delicious, nutritious dishes you can include in your summertime menu:

Jalapeno-Lime Corn on the Cob (Courtesy of Rachel Ray)


1 stick butter                                    1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 lime, juiced and zested              1 clove garlic

1 small jalapeno, seeded              1 slice bread, of any kind

6 ears corn on the cob, husked    Coarse salt



Combine butter, lime, jalapeno, garlic and paprika in food processor and pulse process until smooth. Place on waxed paper or plastic and roll. Place in freezer until ready to serve. Cook corn by boiling, steaming or grilling. Cut disks of butter and rub onto corn, nesting the butter in a slice of bread to apply it to the hot corn. Season ears with salt (and fight over the hot buttered bread slice!)

Asparagus, Artichoke and Mushroom Saute with Tarragon Vinaigrette

(courtesy of Giada De Laurentis)


Vegetable Saute:

2 tablespoons olive oil          1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), sliced into 3-inch pieces

1 large shallot, sliced            8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced         1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1/2 teaspoon salt                  1/2 pint teardrop tomatoes, halved

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Tarragon Vinaigrette:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Directions For the Vegetable Saute:

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and artichokes and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and reserve.


Directions For the Tarragon Vinaigrette:

Combine the oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt and pepper in a glass screw-top jar. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to mix the vinaigrette. Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette and serve.


Farro Salad with Grilled Eggplant, Tomatoes and Onion (courtesy of Bobby Flay)


Farro is a food product consisting of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form.  It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking overnight). It may be eaten plain, though it is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups. It is sometimes ground into flour and used to make pasta or bread.



1 1/2 cups farro

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in 1/2

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

3 Japanese (baby) eggplants, halved   Olive oil, for brushing

1 small red onion, peeled, halved, and thickly sliced

Sherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows



Cook farro in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Heat grill to high. While the farro is cooking, brush the eggplants and onion slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Remove from the grill and cut into 1-inch dice. Add the eggplant and onions to the farro along with the tomatoes and dill. Pour Sherry Vinegar over the farro mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with additional dill. Best served at room temperature.


Sherry Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1/4 cup sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and dill in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified.


Easy, fun recipes like this combine healthy ingredients with interesting new flavors your family will enjoy! You can find lots more at www.foodnetwork.com.

Three Steps To Better Health

People want to know – what does it take to be healthy? What habits and behaviors are likely to lead to more vitality? How do we avoid getting sick, and spend more of our time being well?

There are three basic steps each of us can take to walk the path of good health.

First, we need to learn to eat right. Providing quality fuel for this human machine is critical in maintaining and developing the best health possible. While there are many styles of good eating, there are a few simple guidelines we must all respect:

–       eat enough but not too much

–       stick with fresh whole foods over processed foods

–       avoid toxic substances like preservatives, food additives and colorings

–       strike a proper balance between proteins, fats and carbohydrates

–       drink water

–       supplement with vitamins and minerals from natural sources

Second, we need to think right, creating a healthy mindset that helps us deal with the stresses of our lives effectively.  Developing supportive self-talk, practicing meditation or just quiet introspection, and sleeping sufficiently can lead to a better attitude and more happiness.

Third, we need to move right, through appropriate exercise, proper breathing, good posture and maintaining your structure and nerve system with chiropractic care. Including yoga, stretching or martial arts helps to create balance and coordination.

Addressing these three basic needs, eating right, thinking right, and moving right, will lead to a better quality of life with less illness and more productive time throughout your life. Take the responsibility to notice where you could improve, and make good decisions to enhance your lifestyle – it will pay off for you, as it has for millions of people who are adopting the wellness way of life.

The Question We All Have To Answer

Most of us believe that we have only two settings on our own personal Health-o-Meter – healthy, or sick. This over-simplification has been at the root of many health problems – feeling okay usually means that there are no apparent symptoms, but this is no guarantee of good health. Many of the most serious illnesses, including heart disease and cancer, may have no symptoms at all in the early stages.

But there is another issue with measuring your level of health by the presence or absence of symptoms – what most people call “healthy” is really just “not sick,” since most of us have spent so little time at peak performance levels, we don’t even realize what is available to us – glowing, vibrant, exuberant vitality that can be gained with a few simple lifestyle decisions any of us could make if we wanted to.

In the famous Alameda County Study conducted over thirty years in California, there were seven simple lifestyle choices that greatly increased your chance of longevity and better quality of life. These habits are:

  1. Eating breakfast every morning
  2. Sleeping seven or eight hours each night
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Not smoking
  5. Drinking less than five drinks at one sitting
  6. Maintaining a desirable weight for your height
  7. Avoiding snacks

Most of this seems pretty obvious, and none of it seems very difficult, but most of us could do a better job implementing even these basic health practices.

If you were to add to these fundamentals a daily diet of wholesome, natural foods, a process of stress reduction like meditation, prayer or life coaching, and some regular body maintenance like chiropractic care to keep your spine and nerve system healthy, you would be in prime shape to handle all that life has to throw at you, the high points and the challenges as well.

The question we all have to answer is … how much of your potential do you want to express, and what price are you willing to pay to express it? Your answer will shape your health, your success, and the quality of your relationships, too.

Raise your standards and expect more of yourself – you’ll see how small refinements in your typical daily activities can pay you dividends by adding more years to your life and more life to your years.

Water, The Overlooked Nutrient

Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”
-Albert Szent Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology, discovered Vitamin C

Water may be called the elixir of life, as it is essential for your body to work properly. Water makes up between 55 and 75 percent of the human body. Although food is important, your body can go a considerable amount of time without eating. You can only go a few days without water.

The amount and the quality of the water you consume can have a dramatic impact on your health. Good, clear, drinkable water is very accessible for most of us. Many people have acceptable drinking water in their homes. Others purchase bottled water at their local supermarket. Still others filter the water in their homes to improve the quality.

Most people need to drink more water than they currently do. Juice, coffee, tea, and soft drinks are not water – the body sees them more like food. To estimate the amount of pure, clean water you should drink daily, take half your body weight in pounds, and that’s how many ounces you need – in other words, if you weigh 128 pounds, you need to drink 64 ounces of water, a half gallon, eight glasses of eight ounces each. If you weigh 192 pounds, you need to drink 96 ounces, three quarters of a gallon, twelve eight-ounce glasses. If you are overweight, you need to drink one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight.

A lack of water leads to dehydration. Dehydration is a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry normal functions. Your body loses water on a daily basis through sweating, urinating and breathing. It’s essential that you replace lost fluids. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, dry or ‘cotton’ mouth and little to no urination.

Get into the habit of drinking water – drink a glass when you wake up, another mid morning, one or two glasses with lunch, one mid afternoon and then two or three glasses before, with and after dinner.
You’ll be amazed how good you feel when you keep your body hydrated!

Be Smart About What You Put In Your Body

We see it on the news and on the internet constantly – another drug being taken off the market because of unwanted, unexpected and dangerous side effects. We read it in the papers and hear it on the radio, so frequently that we may become desensitized to it, but make no mistake —  while some drugs are necessary and do help people, too often drugs are used as a crutch instead of accepting responsibility to make lifestyle changes that would work better and last longer. And they can be very harmful at times, so it’s up to you to be smart about what you put in your body.

For example, some people need high blood pressure medication to keep their blood pressure under control. Yet, they may be able to control their blood pressure with diet, by reducing salt, or by increasing foods that help the body to balance fluids better.

Examples of foods that help you regulate the water balance in your body are cranberries, celery, parsley, asparagus, artichoke, melon, watercress, and apple cider vinegar. Sometimes, you can get off medication by selecting a natural remedy instead.

Many people rely on pain relievers, yet these can be some of the most toxic substances, with harsh side effects that can be worse than the original pain. Quite a few of these have been taken off the market, but fortunately, there is an alternative – safe and gentle chiropractic care, which uses the natural healing ability of the body to relieve pain. The pain usually isn’t the problem, it’s the signal that tells you there is a problem. Chiropractic aims to find and correct the cause, and that’s why so many people feel better and are healthier through chiropractic care.

If you can avoid taking unnecessary drugs and instead make good lifestyle decisions, you’ll find that the natural way is most often the best way. Be smart about what you put in your body – that’s what works best.

Raising Healthy Families

Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a future parent or a child, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to increase your chances of having the healthiest life possible. By applying some simple common sense ideas, you’ll improve your quality of life and probably extend your life while you’re doing it.

 Starting in the Sixties and for over thirty years, a study was conducted in California called the Alameda County Study, which identified seven habits people who lived long healthy lives tended to develop. They observed seven key indicators for longevity and quality of life by following Alameda County residents 60-94 years of age and recording trends among those with optimal results. They are obvious once you see them – they are easy to adopt into your life, and will more likely than not reduce the amount of time and money you have to spend on doctors over your lifetime and your family’s lifetime.

 As you have probably already guessed, these seven lifestyle choices are nothing extreme – rather they are normal daily habits which many of you already do or sometimes do. You’ll be amazed to discover how making a few changes can improve your chances of a long healthy life. And if you share these distinctions with your family, you can approach these lifestyle choices together and share in the benefits.

The Alameda Seven

1) Sleep seven or eight hours each night. The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized. Rest and rejuvenation are critical components of a healthy metabolism, and sleeping long enough and restfully enough give your body the healing and regeneration time it needs to perform as you wish during the day. Allow sufficient time to sleep.

 Also check your sleep equipment – is your mattress comfortable, is it the right size and shape for your needs, does it support you the way you need when you are sleeping? You’ll spend between a quarter and a third of your life in your bed – make sure you have invested in the best sleep gear available. And you should be able to sleep comfortably on your pillow, not too low and not too high.

Finally, you’re better off sleeping face up or on your side, not face down, since sleeping on your stomach keeps your neck turned all night, which can lead to misalignment and pain. Get into the habit of sleeping in healthy positions.

 2) Eat breakfast. Beginning your day with a healthful, nutritious meal kick-starts your machinery and replenishes your energy storage after your night’s fast – that where the word “breakfast” comes from, breaking your fast after sleeping. Coffee and a donut are not the kind of fuel you may choose to put into your finely tuned physiology – pick breakfast foods that have less sugar and artificial ingredients, and more balanced whole foods in moderate quantities. Some people do well with fruit, some with cereals, some with eggs, but select foods in combinations that your body
processes well.

 And drink water – your body needs it after having none for seven or eight hours. Don’t make the assumption that coffee and juice are as good as water — your body treats them more like food. Drink water, and your body will thank you for it.

 3) Exercise. Scientists have an assortment of theories on exercise, many of which have merit, but the simplest exercise is just deciding to move around more as part of your lifestyle. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park on the other side of the parking lot and walk a hundred yards to your office. Walk around the block before or after dinner. Use part of your lunch hour to ride a bicycle, stretch, or do some yoga.

Some exercise experts recommend short bursts of high intensity exercise, while others say that working physical movement and activity into your daily routines is better – in fact, why not do both, and you’ll be astounded how quickly your body gets stronger, more flexible and less cranky.

4) Maintain a desirable weight for your height. There is obviously a wide range of acceptability for this, but the product of sleeping enough, eating well and exercising, the first three habits mentioned, should get you into the ball park.

 A word to the wise — don’t try to be something you’re not. Some people have slimmer body types, others have thicker body types, and regardless of your natural gifts, you have to aim at the right proportions for someone of your particular body type. Be reasonable, and if you need feedback you can easily consult height and weight charts to get an idea if you are within the desired boundaries.

 5) No smoking. If you’ve never smoked, even better. Most research shows that your body starts to repair itself once you stop smoking, and depending on the amount of damage, you’ll come all the way or part of the way back to optimal. At the very least, notice the relationship between serious chronic illness and smoking, and do everything possible to reduce or eliminate smoking in your life and your family’s life.

 Smoking is a major contributing factor to the majority of the preventable disease our society is burdened by, so it cannot be overemphasized to quit or avoid smoking and campaign for others you care about to do the same.

 6) Drink less than five drinks at one sitting. Alcohol is a matter of personal taste and conviction, but there is a correlation between health problems and excessive drinking. Where is the line for you? No one really knows for sure, but this study demonstrated that those who drank fewer than five drinks at a sitting were measurably healthier than those who drank five drinks at a sitting or more.

 Give or take the right amount for any particular person, observing moderation with alcohol is consistent with good health, quality of life and longevity.

 7) Avoid snacks. Sugary bursts confound and irritate your body’s regulatory mechanisms, and daily coffee, soda pop, and donuts are both a poor start to a day’s nutrition and a lousy snack along the way. It pumps the body’s energy systems, and exhausts your resources, making you crash and crave more sugar. And diet sodas have recently been linked to heart attacks and stroke, so they aren’t much better for you.

 Some diet and nutrition experts believe that several smaller meals are easier on your body, while others subscribe to the more traditional three squares – but snacking on empty calories or non-nutritious foods seems to lead to worse health and shorter life.

 There are other positive habits you can adopt to make your health and wellness even better. You can take appropriate nutritional supplements in addition to your clean, wholesome, balanced diet. You can meditate, get massage or do yoga to relieve stress. And you and your family can enjoy the miraculous healing benefits chiropractic is famous for with periodic chiropractic examinations and adjustments when necessary.

You only get one body – take good care of it and it will take good care of you. Good health is not an accident – it’s the product of good luck and good lifestyle decisions. You may not be able to control your luck, but you can improve your chances with good lifestyle decisions, so keep moving toward your ideal, and you and your family will have the best likelihood of good health.

Better Eating, Better Health

Most health and wellness authorities agree that obesity and overweight are sabotaging many people’s efforts to be healthy. Many experts estimate the number of overweight people in our culture to be over 60%, with over 30% being classified as obese – the drain on our health care system and the suffering that these citizens experience can be addressed in most cases with some simple changes in their eating.

  1. Less is more – eating until you are full is a tactical error, since the stomach may take a short while to get the message “I’m full” to the brain. In the meantime, if you were eating rhythmically and absent-mindedly, the way so many of us do, you probably ate way too much, and the results show around your middle. Pause periodically throughout your meal to see if you are done before you think you are.
  2. Nature knows best — processed foods are filled with unnatural additives and preservatives, which confuse the body, make you toxic, and interrupt normal metabolism. Choose a balanced diet of whole foods, including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid artificial ingredients. An apple a day…
  3. Everything in moderation – including moderation – it’s okay to go crazy every now and then, as long as it’s the exception and not the rule. By eating healthfully, you buy yourself some latitude to overdo it from time to time, if the mood or situation calls for it – no need to be super-strict all the time, just use good common sense and you’ll be amazed how resilient and adaptable your body can be when it is working right.
  4. Keep your body working right so you digest and use your foods properly – people have been using chiropractic care to keep their bodies working right for 115 years! The nerve system must be functioning well for you to digest and use the nutrients in your foods – if you haven’t had a check-up recently, come on in for an exam!

Experiment and find out the best times of day and correct amounts of water for you to drink. Everyone is different, but one thing is for sure – if your body needs more water, supplying it in the right proportions can be a sure path to better health, improved body function, and feeling great!

What’s In Those Energy Drinks?

A couple of weeks ago several of our office staff went to Clearwater, Florida for our almost monthly management workshop.  The workshop starts at 9:00 on Thursday morning after our flight arrives in Tampa at about 10:30 Wednesday night.  By the time we get our rental car and get to our hotel, check in and get to bed it is usually well past midnight and sometimes pushing 1:00 in the morning.  We most often get about 5 or 6 hours’ sleep the night before our Thursday morning workshops.  I don’t know about you, but I require no less than 7 hours’ sleep in order to function at full throttle the next day.  Without my normal amount of sleep I can have a tendency to be a little on the grumpy side, so on the occasions that I miss my usual 7-8 hours of blissful rest, I supplement my lack of energy with good strong coffee.

The Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago when I desperately needed my coffee the hotel restaurant made exceptionally weak coffee and I just could not get it down.  I went to a local jiffy mart and saw a wide array of energy drinks offered for sale.  I have seen these things at the stores around town before but haven’t paid much attention to them since I almost always have plenty of energy already, but this morning I was in dire need.  I settled on one made by SoBe which was called “No Fear” and was sugar free, of course.  I read the label and was satisfied that I had at least heard of all of the ingredients and none of them were lethal, so I drank it.  I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it actually tasted very good.  It had a hint of passion fruit flavor and just the right amount of carbonation.  As the day progressed I did not feel the grumpy tiredness I usually feel after missing my precious rest and my mind remained sharp.  I was able to enjoy the workshop and did not get jittery at all, which I sometimes do if I overindulge in coffee.  I decided that maybe these energy drinks warranted a closer inspection.

I checked the main ingredients of the SoBe No Fear and was surprised that most of the supplements contained in it are actually good for you.  One of the main ingredients of this super energy drink is taurine and upon investigation I discovered that taurine is an amino acid derivative that shields the heart form harm.  It assists bile acids in clearing cholesterol from the body and can actually help to lower blood pressure.  I knew that taurine is an amino acid but I was not sure what it does.  I am pleased with these properties, so I moved on to the next one.  Inositol was the next ingredient, and this is simply a form of Niacin which I take anyway to assist in lowering cholesterol.  Creatine is also a major ingredient of No Fear, and it is a supplement which is taken by many exercise enthusiasts to assist them in building muscle.  I could use a little more muscle, so I like this one, too.  The next major ingredient listed was Panax Ginseng.  This form of ginseng is a popular energy tonic that has been used for revitalization for thousands of years by many people in Asian cultures.  Other things in this particular drink included vitamins B6, B12, C, folic acid and selenium.  All of these have beneficial effects on the body including powerful antioxidant functions.

Ingredients are listed on food labels in the order of highest concentration.  For example, in regular soft drinks the first ingredient is carbonated water and the second one is high fructose corn syrup (sugar).  These are the two main ingredients in regular sodas.  Everything else is coloring, preservatives and whatever flavoring is added with the exception of occasional caffeine.  The twelfth listed ingredient on the label of SoBe’s No Fear was caffeine and the twenty second listed ingredient (out of a total of 25 ingredients) was guarana seed extract.  These two can be detrimental if you tend to have hypertension or are sensitive to caffeine in other ways.  Both guarana and caffeine can excite the heart and raise arterial pressure, so if you have heart problems or hypertension you should avoid anything containing these items.  Indulge in the various energy drinks on the market but always read the labels first to see what it is you are putting into your body.

Nothing in the world can replace the proper amount of sleep, but there are occasions on which we cannot avoid coming up short on the snoozes.  I have managed before to bridge that gap with coffee and I suppose I could still continue to do that on those odd days.  But when I want something refreshing that has everything coffee has to offer and some bonus supplements that my body will be happy to have I will reach for one of the many available energy drinks.  Unfortunately for me, the SoBe No Fear Sugar Free is not available in Milledgeville.  I have looked everywhere.  Maybe I will become an importer from Florida.  Treat your body well.

Soda Troubles

When I was in college I was addicted to Diet Coke.  I mean really addicted.  When my roommates and I were moving to Hidden Cove Apartments one Summer we looked for two things when we chose the location of our specific apartment: the proximity of the swimming pool and the location of the nearest Coke machine so that we would always have that supply of Diet Coke just a stone’s throw away.  My bedroom was actually the dining room of a huge 3 bedroom apartment so I was closest to the sliding glass doors that led out onto the patio that was adjacent to the pool and drink machine.  I must have consumed at least 6 or 7 Diet Cokes a day.  If only I had known what I was putting into my body then I would have reconsidered.  The only saving grace for me was that I didn’t consume full sugar drinks.  I was also lucky that I was not allergic to aspartame, even though the side effects of it are severe enough.  Many people suffer today from a range of illnesses that can be traced to soda consumption.  It is a public health problem that needs attention from all of us when we consider our own future health and that of our children.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, the average American consumes over 56 gallons of soft drinks per year.  In the year 2000, more than 15 billion gallons of soda were sold in this country.  That is an alarming amount given the fact that each twelve ounce can of soda contains on the average 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 or more calories, caffeine, and multitudes of artificial preservatives and coloring.  The soft drink industry is the single heaviest user of refined white sugar in the United States.  For those who prefer the diet variety as opposed to the full sugar ones aspartame promises a whole list of its own potential health hazards.  (Try soda with Splenda if you simply must have it on occasion.)  The consumption of carbonated beverages has been linked to an increase in obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and various urinary tract maladies.  In spite of all of these facts, soft drinks amount to over one quarter of all beverages consumed in the United States.  The soda marketing in our country is, of course, aimed straight toward our children and teenagers.  Carbonated soda adds more sugar to the average two year old’s diet than cookies and ice cream combined.  Teenagers are the highest consumers of soft drinks because they have easy access without as much parental control.  Look in the breezeways of high schools.  Drink machines are everywhere.  The drink companies make deals with schools in many areas in order for the machines to be placed there.  They pay a certain percentage of profits to some schools.  Teenage boys consume an average of 3 or more cans of soda per day while ten percent of them admit to 7 or more cans per day.  Girls average 2 or more cans per day with ten percent of them admitting to chugging down 5 or more cans in a day.

Some of the components of soft drinks are:

Sugar – sugar increases insulin levels in the body which then increases blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes just to name a few.  A twelve ounce serving of soda contains in excess of 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance of sugar.  Tooth decay is definitely increased with higher soda consumption.

Aspartame – This is a chemical which is used as an artificial sweetener in diet sodas.  “The blue stuff” has at least 92 different health hazards associated with its use, including brain tumors, birth defects, emotional disorders and many more.

Phosphoric acid – This chemical has been suspected of hindering the body’s ability to absorb calcium and other nutrients.  This can lead to osteoporosis, a major public health issue for many people today.  Phosphoric acid may also neutralize the hydrochloric acid which is normally present in the stomach in order to facilitate proper digestion of food.  If food is not properly broken down in the stomach, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs from the food we eat.

Is the message pretty clear?  Drinking excessive amounts of soda can be an enormous health risk.  Spin-off illnesses as well as those directly attributed to the consumption of excessive amounts of soda cost our health care system untold millions annually.  You can easily improve your health and the health of your family by eliminating or severely restricting the amount of soft drinks you consume.  Increase your intake of pure water to help unload some of the toxins your body has undoubtedly accumulated by drinking too much soda. (Tea is not water.)  Make yourself healthier and reduce the burden on the public health system by stepping up your responsibility level for your family’s well-being.  Treat your body well.

Digestive Health

In our Monday lunch staff meetings I usually make my best attempts to be inspirational or motivational but when we return from a seminar I always bring some tidbits home and share them with our staff so they can learn as we do about various topics.  This past weekend we attended the Spring Conference of the Georgia Chiropractic Association in Savannah and were reminded of some valuable facts that were part of the subject matter in our Monday staff meeting this week.  We were talking at the conference with many other chiropractors from all over Georgia and vendors from around the country.  We all agree that the body heals much better and more quickly if the spine is adjusted and nerve interference is removed and maintained but there are some conditions that people do not heal from no matter how many times they get adjusted.  Other intervention is necessary and we heard from a former professor of ours about the role the digestive system plays in the body’s overall ability to heal.  I know this does not sound as much fun to learn about as perhaps the secret to enlightenment or the latest techniques to get the best beach body but the health of your digestive system is paramount.

People suffer from many obscure conditions that can be traced to the malfunction of the gastro-intestinal system, or the gut.  The GI system plays vital roles in the operation of our bodies.  It digests food, absorbs nutrients that are converted to energy, transports small particles which are attached to carrier proteins across the lining of the gut into the bloodstream, acts as a major player in the chemical detoxification of the body, and acts as a defender against various infections because it contains many antibodies and other disease-fighting chemicals.  As long as the gut is performing its duties properly our bodies hardly know it is there.  Sometimes, however, the intestinal lining becomes hyper- permeable and allows particles that do not belong there to cross into the bloodstream.  Large particles of bacteria, partially digested food and toxins leak into the body. 

This is a major cause of improper healing.  It also is responsible for many cases of fibromyalgia and food allergies.    The gut is what allows the body to absorb nutrients and convert food to fuel.  If these functions are not working well the entire body is unhealthy.  Sometimes doctors might diagnose irritable bowel syndrome if symptoms of excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and indigestion are present.  While IBS might certainly be going on, the leaky gut problem is likely occurring as well.  When food particles leak from a hyper-permeable intestinal lining, the body assumes that these are foreign particles since they are not normally found in the bloodstream.  The body then develops antibodies that leak across the membranes and are similar to antigens on our own tissues.  The antibodies which are made to attack them actually begin to attack our own tissues and autoimmune disorders often develop.  Many diseases, according to Dr. Paul Goldberg, a leading authority on leaky gut and how to heal it, are direct descendants of leaky gut syndrome.  He traces rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and other diseases to serious complications within the digestive system. 

Often overuse of different medications, especially antibiotics, can be attributed to an unhealthy gastrointestinal system.  Excessive antibiotic usage results in high presence of yeast in the body and yeast secretes a number of enzymes which ultimately break down proteins.  The intestinal membranes are partially proteins and these enzymes can actually break down the membranes and their linings.  This results in leaky gut syndrome and there we are again with all of the unhealthy particles being released into our bloodstreams. 

People are obsessed with their outward appearance and making sure the body appears to be healthy on the surface.  We should be granting equal time to assuring the health of our organs and tissues for longevity.  It is no secret that our food supply is mineral-depleted due to over-planting and over-processing of the end products.  If we are not supplementing our diets with vitamins and minerals that are readily absorbable into our systems, we are missing the proverbial boat.  If we are not supplying our digestive systems with proper support to add back healthy intestinal flora and plenty of the right kinds of fiber to assure adequate transit time of our food through our systems, we are costing ourselves the health we could ultimately have.  Ask your health professionals to provide you with information on the proper nutritional path for you to follow to internal as well as external physical health.  While tests for leaky gut are not often performed they are available.  Sometimes just by process of elimination and testing probiotic supplements you can find relatively simple solutions to some extremely complicated physical issues.  Don’t wait until your health fails before you look for solutions to protect it.  Treat your body well.

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