Good nutrition is an important part of any health-related goal. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution of becoming more healthy or an ongoing aspiration to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are getting the maximum nutrition from what you eat.
Even those who do their best to eat a healthy diet may be missing adequate amounts of certain nutrients that help keep the body in good working order. For many, supplementing is a good option to fill in those gaps.
“For people that are generally healthy I recommend Omega 3s, Vitamin D, and a multi-vitamin,” Dr. Lisa Rubis, licensed chiropractor and owner of Anew Chiropractic in Joliet said. “These are key supplements that I recommend for everyone - even when they are healthy - not just when they have conditions."
Omega 3s are essential fatty acids that are great for brain and heart function. These are also helpful in reducing cholesterol.
Our bodies do not make essential fatty acids on their own, Rubis said, so we have to get them from outside sources, such as fish or in supplements.
Vitamin D, which is found in very few food sources, provides several valuable functions including absorbing calcium and converting it into bone. Deficiencies in Vitamin D can cause depression and can be related to fibromyalgia joint pain.
“We get it from sunlight, so that’s why a lot of people are deficient these days,” Rubis said.
Rubis recommends 1,000 to 2,000 International Units a day, depending on the person. A measurement of 1,000 IUs is equal to about 25 micrograms.
Eating a diet that provides all of the nutrients your body needs on a consistent basis is possible, but unlikely. Many reasons can contribute to this, but the most likely is simply a busy schedule, that leaves us seeking out quick meals that are not necessarily the most nutritious. Add to that that even the best food choices simply have less nutrients and we are left needing to add to our diet.
“A multivitamin supplements micronutrients that we are probably not getting any more because our food quality and soil quality are not as good as they used to be,” Rubis said.
For many of her patients, Rubis recommends the Paleo Diet. This anti-inflammatory diet, often referred to as the “Caveman Diet”, consists of the simplified food sources that were most prevalent in Paleolithic times such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
“Whole grains can be a little bit inflammatory so we want to limit the whole grains and eat more vegetables,” Rubis said.
Rubis will sometimes suggest that patients who are looking to lose weight begin with a cleanse program. During this time, all processed foods are eliminated and replaced with certain whole foods, while flushing the system with lots of fluids and water. Some detox plans can be stressful on the body and are not recommended in conjunction with exercise.
“The one that we use is a 21-day purification program consisting of shakes, supplements and, a diet of fruits and veggies,” Rubis said of the practice at Anew Chiropractic. “This process helps the liver and kidneys to detoxify the body.”
Rubis cautions individuals should always consult with his or her physician before starting any type of nutritional supplements or diet to make sure it will not interfere with any existing medications they are taking or conditions they have.
Of course, a combination of proper nutrition and the right fitness plan is ideal to maintaining overall health. According to Rubis, being healthy is not just as simple as setting goals by looking up your height and weight on a chart.
“Looking at the BMI, (Body Mass Index), is kind of an individual thing. If you are in the normal range for your BMI, that’s fantastic, but you might still have poor nutrition,” she said.