Nutrition and, more commonly, “diet” have become highly discussed topics. Some people are trying to lose weight, some trying to gain. Ponder this: what is the goal? Why do you need to lose or why do you need to gain? Is it because your doctor said so? Is it because you want to look better in your clothes? Is it because you’re an athlete trying to be faster and stronger? Whatever the reason may be, I ask you to consider… what you consume doesn’t just feed your stomach, it fuels your body. Just like your dream car, your body deserves the best possible and most appropriate fuel for ideal performance.
But I’m not an athlete… is this some- thing I really need to worry about?
Yes! Whether you’re an accomplished Iron Man or the Average Joe sitting at a computer, your body has specific nutritional needs. Every organ in the body requires energy to function. Solving a math problem, digesting food, driving a car, exercising, everything needs energy to be performed. In order for this energy to be produced, a complex series of chemical reactions takes place. What is one of many requirements for the chemical reactions to be completed? B-vitamins! Without a significant source of B-vitamins, the body cannot perform any task to the best of its ability. Also, if the body endures stress during any activity, mental or physical, we need our anti-oxidants! Free radicals are formed when there is stress. Anti-oxidants have the ability to repair stressed cells and rid the body of excess free-radicals.
Did you know… muscles need particular nutrients too?
When we hear “muscle,” people often think about the biceps or quadriceps. In order for muscle contraction to take place, more chemical processes take place. Two very important nutrients necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation are calcium and magne- sium. You may ask, but I thought calcium is for our bones? It certainly is! However, in order for our muscles to relax, calcium must be available. In fact, the body will take calcium from the bones if there is not enough present to perform other tasks, such as muscle contraction. Let’s not forget about a very important muscle, the heart. Although a different type of muscle compared to the biceps and others, calcium is essential for proper functioning. Have you ever experienced muscle cramps? Often, among other reasons, this is a result of not enough calcium. The muscle has the inability to relax when appropriate.
Can’t I get enough vitamins and minerals from my food?
If we were living in the 1950’s, I might say “prob- ably.” Unfortunately, that is not often the case any- more. As a result of over-utilizing crops, pesticides and pollution, and the intense processing of foods today, fewer and fewer nutrients are actually present in what we eat.
What supplements should I take?
Simply the best supplements to take are those of good quality and appropriate for your individual needs. A definite hierarchy exists among supplement companies. First, whole food supplements are best uti- lized by the body while synthetic vitamins are not recognized as well. The biggest consideration to make is that every body is dif- ferent. Are you an Iron Man or a desk worker? Do you have any specific nutrient deficien- cies? Do you have a disorder than inhibits absorption of par- ticular nutrients? It is vital to have answers to these questions before choosing supplements. Meeting with an educated professional such as a chiropractor, clinical nutritionist, or registered dietician to discuss your personal health history and needs is the best way to determine what supplements should be added to your diet.
Why do you have such an interest in nu- trition and its effects on the body?
In 2003, I was diagnosed with multiple food aller- gies, including gluten, via antibody testing. Leading up to my discovery, I suffered from frequent upper respiratory infections, asthma symptoms and could not compete as an athlete to my fullest potential.
After completing an elimination diet, I was able to breathe, avoid unnecessary antibiotics and compete faster. The experience spiked my interest in natural medicine and lead to my completion of a Doctorate of Chiropractic and a Masters degree in Clinical Nutri- tion. My degrees and personal experiences allow for an appropriate amount of empathy and the knowledge to help others. I now offer, along with chiropractic care, clinical nutritional counseling as well as clinical testing to help patients determine the best fuel for their bodies.
Dr. Meyers is pleased to announce the joining of Chi- ropractic with Care and Body Logic Massage Therapy Center. Coming this fall, the new “Body Logic Mas- sage and Chiropractic” will be offering clients and patients massage, chiropractic and nutritional services to the Virginia Beach area. Body Logic will remain in the same location. Information for all services can be found at www.bodylogicvb.com.