Many practitioners of chiropractic care have long embraced the promotion of their patients’ pursuit of a good diet and proper nutrition as one of the ways that people can practice preventative health care. Dieting, when combined with exercise and an otherwise healthy lifestyle, can help patients maintain a weight and level of wellness that is positive for their present and future. When it comes to advice from any kind of doctor, a healthy diet is the most often promoted, and juicing can be a wonderful addition and complement to that diet. Both could help combat environmental and chemical toxins. There are many chemicals in processed foods, and not all chemicals create a positive effect inside the body. Processed meats containing sodium nitrate, like the kind found in bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, may lead to cancer. Some types of fish could contain a lot of mercury. Canned foods are commonly in contact with a liner called bisphenol-A, which can cause heart disease and diabetes. Meat and dairy have other toxins that are present in the soil, often added by the farmers themselves in the form of pesticides, which further increases the growing problem of poison-resistant pests and diseases. Chicken and dairy products may contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Some chicken may have arsenic, and non-organic milks may have bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which can lead to breast cancer. Artificial sweeteners, such as the kind found in diet soda, should also be avoided. Aspartame can cause headaches, dizziness, and nerve cell damage. Artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, and manufactured snacks (with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils) could also contribute to various diseases. Beyond just diseases, many patients experience irritability and headaches when they consume foods that contain artificial dyes.1
A Healthy Diet
The American Chiropractic Association advocates proper nutrition in order to prevent many medical problems. They suggest eating more raw foods, since canned and cooked foods can reduce nutritional value. Fresh and frozen foods have more minerals and vitamins. Organic foods have lower heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins. A high fiber diet is also recommended: “25-30 grams of fiber a day”. This can be accomplished through the consumption of beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals and breads. Eating at home instead of out at restaurants can help patients avoid the heavy salts, fats, and sugars. Proper hydration, with water, is important. Sports drinks are not nearly as hydrating or as good for a patient’s health as regular water. Of course, the ACA recommends avoiding smoking and alcohol, both of which damage the body, sometimes to an irreversible point. A vegetarian or vegan diet can help prevent diseases. Even still, people should avoid “fried foods, hydrogenated fats and commercial meat substitutes”.2
One way to make sure that people are getting enough nutrients in their diet is juicing. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Valuable and sensitive micronutrients become damaged when you heat foods…Juicing is an easy way to virtually guarantee that you will reach your daily target for vegetables.” The target is 6-8 servings per day. Juicing can help patients absorb nutrients more readily, and it can make it easier and more palatable to include a wide variety of vegetables into the diet. The types of vegetables used need to be free of pesticides, also known as “organic”. The vegetables most likely to contain pesticides when not organic are: carrots, lettuce, celery, kale, spinach, collard greens, and cucumber. Some vegetables are bitter, so counteracting this with citrus, ginger, fruits, and herbs can be helpful.3 Juicers do not have to be very expensive to work. There are many recipes available online.4 Of course, proteins and fats must also be incorporated into the diet. This means that it is not recommended for patients to only drink juice and forgo solid food. Juice alone does not provide the long-term energy to replace a balanced diet. Juicing can be a wonderful complement to a healthy dietary lifestyle, as long as the patient learns how to balance their intake necessary liquids and solids.
Converting to Veganism
In addition to juicing, a vegan diet is the most healthy change a person can make. Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet but, unlike vegetarians, vegans do not eat any type of animal product, including milk, cheese, eggs, gelatin, and, for some, honey. Some vegans also avoid wearing and buying non-food items that contain animal products. Contrary to popular belief, vegans get plenty of protein and nutrients, and they can enjoy substitutes for animal products, such as ice cream, cheese, and burgers. Tofu is also not the only food that vegans eat. Even those with allergies may still follow a vegan diet. Those who prefer raw foods will find that any fruit or vegetable may be eaten without being first cooked while most animal products have to be cooked first for safety. Many patients find it easier to first go from a meat-eating diet to a vegetarian diet before converting to veganism. A vegan diet, being so healthy and containing all of the supplements that a patient following a juicing diet will need.5
Find out more about a vegan diet.