Eat For Life and Living
By Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor
It may be arguable, but I would make the assertion that there is no single factor of greater importance for longevity and vitality than nutrition and, by that, I mean eating good food. Of course, everyone knows about the impact of obesity on such things as cardiovascular and diabetes risk. We know about the impact of junk food, excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse. These are obvious consequences, on the negative side of the ledger, of eating and drinking poorly and too much. What we tend to ignore is the positive side of the ledger which is all about the impact of proper nutrition on the health of your cells.
Think of a cell as an individual life unit that does what you, as a whole body, do. Cells take in nutrients, use those nutrients to do repair, produce energy, and do the work of the cell. A cell is a microscopic, mini-you. The ability of a cell to properly reproduce, produce energy, and do the specific work for which it is designed is almost entirely dependent upon the nutrients that are provided as raw materials. If the cell does not have the raw materials, then it will not function properly, and you, as an aggregate of 30-40 trillion cells, will also not function properly, will age more quickly, and will be susceptible to all kinds of health problems and, ultimately, disease.
In a nutshell, you will feel better, have more energy, and likely live longer if you eat good food and do not poison yourself. Here are some basic concepts and tools that you can apply to this most important problem.
Basic Concepts and Tools:
- As much as possible, eat organic, fresh food and minimize the amount of processed and adulterated food you consume.
- Drink plenty of water and, once again, as pure as possible. Coffee, beer, wine, fruit juice, and pop do not qualify as “water”. In fact, caffeinated beverages tend to dehydrate, rather than hydrate, a person.
- Eat only as much as you need to eat to support vigorous exercise. This means that you must use portion control and not just eat something because it is in front of you, or because you are sad, lonely, or upset. In Okinawa, a community which lives longer than most other places in the world, they eat using a principal known as “Hara Hachi Bu”, which means that you eat until you are 80% full. This is sound advice.
- Make the bulk of what you eat, by volume, fresh vegetables and fruit. A plate of food should be full of vegetables, have minimal carbohydrates and have some healthy fat and a serving of protein.
- Focus on consuming some good quality protein, preferably organically raised meat and wild fish, with each meal.
- Good quality oils are such things as olive oil, coconut oil, and even butter. Poor quality oils are the ones that can sit on your shelf for months and never go rancid.
- Reduce, or eliminate altogether, consumption of refined sugar and refined starches. These only serve to rapidly elevate your blood sugar and set you up for obesity and diabetes.
- Sometimes food is not enough. We are exposed to all kinds of toxins. We undergo ongoing chronic stress. Our food is grown in soil that is depleted of essential nutrients. For these reasons, and many more, most of us need supplemental nutrients. I am talking about vitamins. Most of us should be taking a multiple vitamin, fish oils, or other source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, and a probiotic supplement. This collection of nutrients will provide some of the basic building blocks that are needed for the work of your cells.
I can virtually guarantee that if you do even a couple of the things listed above, you will feel better, lose weight, have more energy, live longer and resist disease. The truth is that, unlike the old Western movies that I grew up with, the cavalry is not coming to save the day. You are your own cavalry and you will save yourself each and every day with the decisions that you make and the actions that you take to improve your nutrition.
Don’t underestimate the power of nutrition on your health and longevity. Take control of your health by making simple changes to your diet. Call (952) 209-7447 or schedule a free exam with us today!