Many chiropractors have long embraced diet and nutrition as one of the ways that people can practice preventative health care. A healthy diet is often promoted, and juicing can be a wonderful addition and complement to that diet. Both can help combat environmental and chemical toxins.
Toxins in Foods
There are many chemicals in processed foods. Processed meats containing sodium nitrate, like the kind found in bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, can lead to cancer. Some types of fish can 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. 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) can also contribute to various diseases.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 consuming beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals and breads. Eating at home instead of restaurants can help patients avoid the heavy salts, fats, and sugars. Proper hydration, with water, is important. Of course, the ACA recommends avoiding smoking and alcohol. A vegetarian or vegan diet can help prevent diseases. People should avoid “fried foods, hydrogenated fats and commercial meat substitutes”, though.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 (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, but juicing can be a wonderful complement to a healthy dietary lifestyle.
Find out more about a vegan diet.