Chiropractors are trained experts in the anatomy of muscles, bones and nerves. What on earth does that have to do with eating right? Why do we have recipes on our website, and cookbooks in our waiting room? To find out what the connection is between the food we eat and our musculo-skeletal health, read on.
Chiropractors are holistic therapists. It means that we look at the whole person, and we spend almost an hour getting to know you before we start treatment. If your GP had time, she would be doing the same thing we do. Asking questions, building a picture of all the stresses and strains your body is under, and working together with you to remove them so that you can get better.
Everyone is different. Your chiropractor might advise you to focus on getting adequate rest, or exercise, or stress management. Often the thing your body needs to heal itself is to be fed some decent food for a change.
So, what exactly is the connection between the food we eat and our strength, mobility and pain? There are four factors here. (Note- the fourth one is the biggie.)
1. Vitamins and minerals.
If you eat mostly ready meals, breakfast cereals and other processed food, then chances are your body is lacking some of the basic building blocks it needs for strong bones and healing. I’m not just talking about calcium. Without magnesium, you can’t absorb calcium. Vitamin C stimulates the production of bone forming cells, zinc prevents the excessive breakdown of bone, and we need vitamin K for bone formation. It’s a complex picture, and although supplements have their place, they are no substitute for a fresh and varied diet.
2. Body weight
If you’re overweight, your joints are under extra strain from the moment you get out of bed. If you can reduce the pressure that your body is under by losing weight, you’ll see results. This applies especially to patients with hip and knee problems.
3. Gut health
In our gut there is a whole ecosystem of bacteria, and scientists are waking up to the crucial role it plays in all sorts of seemingly unrelated things. Depression. A tendency to stay thin or get fat. A strong heart. Fibromyalgia. Study after study is finding that a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut work wonders for our health, and this includes bones. Click here to read how the composition of the microbiome regulates bone health.
Inflammation is when injured cells swell up, enabling them to heal. Think of a swollen insect bite and you get the idea. This is going on all the time in the human body, but a common problem in modern society is that people have too much inflammation. When that happens, the body overreacts to injuries or irritation. The main reason we sell Omega 3 oil is because it’s anti inflammatory. Certain foods are also anti-inflammatory, while others encourage inflammation. This is why arthritis sufferers who follow an anti-inflammatory diet can gain real improvement. Chronic inflammation is also linked to lots of other health problems, from diabetes to depression.
Let us help you
Many of our patients have complex conditions, or chronic symptoms which have plagued them for years. Their journey back to health takes time, and the ones who make the best recovery are the ones who take our advice and make lifestyle changes. We can help you to do this.
In the Purchon house we seldom eat ready-meals, everything’s home cooked. Our kids largely enjoy what we cook, and my wife writes a blog to share the family favourites. Subscribers to our newsletter receive one recipe per month (it’s free- click here.)
There are so many wonderful cookbooks and websites out there to help you enjoy healthy food. Here are some links you might find useful.
Dr Robynne Chutkan is a leading expert on gut health, click here to visit her website, or find her books on Amazon. For more information about the anti-inflammation diet, check out this website by the arthritis foundation.