Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You really are what you eat!!!

Hippocrates said "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." This statement is as important now as it was then. Nutrition that we gain from our foods and nutritional supplementation are more beneficial than drugs for most any condition. The body knows what to do with food substances. It many times does not know what to do with chemicals or drugs. Drugs cause the body to have a specific reaction, which is why they are used. Unfortunately, forcing the body to react a certain way in one area... may cause other body parts, organs or processes to be negatively effected. If you watch the commercials on TV about prescription drugs, they are always followed by a disclaimer that says what all of the side effects could be, and some of them say that liver (or other) testing is required, to monitor possible negative effects.

The body is so complex, and has the innate ability to heal itself when the components that it requires are made available. The sources of these components are very important. Using food as a source for nutrients is multifaceted when it comes to the benefits that the body receives. For example, a medium sized apple contains about 80 calories. These 80 calories not only contain necessary fiber and vitamin C, but potassium and natural sugars. These small things are utilized by the entire body, not just one part. Apples also burn more calories during digestion than they provide when consumed. The same with broccoli, grapefruit and many other fresh food options. For more information on negative calorie foods visit our website at http://www.drkessinger.com/images/negative_foods.pdf.

In healthy individuals most of the nutrients that are required by the body can be delivered by a well balanced diet. On the other hand, if a body is not functioning properly or a disease process has already developed, higher concentrations of nutrients may be required to reverse the effects. In this situation supplementation is necessary. As we age we also lose the ability to process, create and absorb some nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. A good example of this is calcium. As we age our stomach acid becomes weaker and this makes the absorption of calcium more difficult. This process, coupled with other changes that happen to our bodies as we age (like lack of physical activity, and reduced sun exposure) can lead to osteoporosis in some individuals. As you can imagine, nutritional supplementation is required to combat these types of conditions.

Poor dietary choices and malnutrition have been linked to Fibromyalgia, ADHD, ADD, Heart Disease, Diabetes and many other preventable illnesses. Most times with nutritional counseling and supplementation to level out the body's functions, persons in an ill state of health find their symptoms are greatly reduced or eliminated.

In most cases, a pharmaceutical drug is not necessary to achieve optimal health. Of course in an acute situation, drugs may be required to quickly restore a bodily function. Prevention of these acute situations is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Each of us is created differently, and our body's ability to process nutrients varies. Proper nutrition and necessary nutritional supplementation will differ from person to person. As I mentioned before, the body is a complex system, and each of its functions depends on another equally important function to operate at its optimum level. If one of our body's systems is not functioning at an optimal level, it affects the entire body.

In short... a healthy life requires that you do a few important things, and not do a few things

  • Eat a well balanced diet - lean protein, fresh vegetables, raw fruits, whole grains, healthy fats....
  • Exercise regularly - one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy
  • Drink lots of CLEAN water - The body requires water free from chlorine, fluorine and other chemicals.
  • Take your supplements - if your body is not functioning at its optimal level, dietary changes and supplementation maybe required to return it to a healthy level.
  • Get some sun - 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun 3-4 times a week is important for health
  • Avoid inflammatory foods - Cows Milk, Pork, Chocolate, fried foods refined sugars and processed flours

  • Smoke - if you do, STOP
  • Eat hydrogenated/trans fats - change to healthy oils and fats (olive oil, nuts etc...)
  • Eat refined sugars and processed flours - if it comes in a package.... it's likely not good for you
  • Drink carbonated beverages - Diet or not, avoid all soda. It has no nutritional value and depletes nutrients that your body needs

Following these simple rules can help your body function as it was meant to. Eating a healthier diet can reduce inflammation, help maintain a healthy weight and increase energy! Each of us must be responsible for our own health, and if something doesn't seem right, check it out. The doctors in our clinic focus on whole body health, and we think that you should too!

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