Atlantic Coast Chiropractic

Simple Diet Changes to Improve Health

An easy to follow lifestyle diet is all about getting back to basics in terms of all the stuff that has crept into the American diet over the years. It is about cutting out all the foods that do not come naturally from the earth or from an animal. It is fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and animal protein. If it comes in a box or package, do not eat it.

To truly have a balance diet and experience ultimate health, we must limit grains and dare I say, eliminate sugar! Limiting the amount of simple and complex carbohydrates keeps insulin levels very low.

By adhering to the following tenants your body will have less inflammation (pain), more energy, decrease in body fat, improved cognitive function, and an improved immune system that responds when it should and shuts down when it needs to. This is vastly different then what most peoples bodies are doing that follow average American diet, high in processed foods, grains, sugars, while depleted in healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables.

1. Go against grains

The component of a simple lifestyle diet that is most responsible for changing ones health and physique is the elimination of wheat, corn, and rice. Even though these foods come from nature, they take a significant amount of processing and cooking to make them edible. You can't pick an ear of corn and start chomping away the way you can with an apple or carrot. Lets not forget the amount that these foods are genetically modified (topic for another day).

Grains contain lectins and gluten, substances that can inhibit mineral uptake and irritate the stomach lining to the point that it becomes permeable, which initiates the inflammatory process. This is the beginning stages of a cascade of events that lead to decreased vitality and health, ultimately leading to autoimmune diseases. Gluten levels in bread and wheat products have skyrocketed over the last few years, contributing to an epidemic of gluten sensitivity.

Due to the forementioned reasons, a simple balanced diet cannot be possible with regular consumption of these foods.

2. Pick your carbohydrates carefully

When choosing your carbohydrates it is best to stick to foods that are lowest on the glycemic index. These are foods that slowly elevate your blood sugar, as oppesed to high glycemic foods that elevate your blood sugar rapidly after consumption. Vegetables and tubers such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash, and yams are good as well as green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and asparagus.Fruits that are lower on the glycemic index include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and apples.

3. Get serious about the quality of your foods

Organic produce has been shown to be nutritionally superior to conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, and less pesticides in our food can only be a good thing. The most important foods to buy organic has been labeled as the "dirty dozen" and include apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, and potatoes. These foods should be bought organic as they absorb the most amounts of pesticides. While these foods will boost ones health, the benefits of naturally raised food is most apparent when you start talking about protein.

Grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, and free- range chicken and eggs are getting easier to find. They are infinitely more humane than the horrors of factory farming and far easier on the soil and atmosphere. Most importantly, they are just flat out better for you.

A study published in Journal of Animal Science detailed 10 major nutritional advantages of grass-fed beef. It is shown  to be lower in total fat, but richer in omega-3s and CLA, a nutrient that helps your body burn fat. Grass-fed beef is also higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, thiamin. riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

When we start to eat higher quality foods, the body will break down much more efficiently and be exposed to less chemicals and hormones. Changing the quality of your food is huge. By incorporating these easy tenets you get a lifestyle that promotes health and wellness.

Over the next few blogs, I will be diving into this arena of why eating whole foods are good and processed foods are bad. Next month we will expose the chemicals and additives that are in the ingredient list your never noticed!

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