Your Brand New Sports Car…
Imagine getting a brand new sports car: beautiful red paint, shiny new tires that hug the road around every corner, the brand new leather smell, and the feeling of freedom on the road. Nothing can stop you now, right? Well, what if I tell you the engine is not working properly and you forgot to put fuel in the tank? How far are you going to go? How much “freedom” will you experience? You are missing two of the most important driving elements that unlock this car’s potential.
How many of us treat our bodies the same way? How many of us forget to put the proper “fuel” in our system or neglect to take care of the “engine” of our body? Our skeleton (which includes the muscles, tendons, bones, etc.) makes the framework of our body—the “engine”. What we feed our system—our nutrition—is the “fuel” that powers us.
Sports Cars & Humans Require High Performance Fuel
Have you ever wondered what the 87, 89, and 91 numbers mean at the gas pump? These numbers relate to the octane rating of the fuel. To keep it simple, higher performing vehicles require higher octane fuels. Sports cars require higher octane to go faster and perform better at those higher speeds.
As human beings we are designed in the same way as a sports car—built for speed and performance. In order to perform at these higher levels we need to put the proper fuel in our system. Our bodies have the amazing capability to perform at high levels, but are we giving it the proper “fuel” necessary to reach our full potential?
Nutrition and Our Healing Capacity
The body has the ability to heal itself in amazing ways. When you cut your finger, your body creates a cascade of events that cleans the area, fights infection, provides a clotting response and ultimately heals the wounded area. It’s mind-blowing when you stop and think about it. However, even with this built-in response system, if we don’t fuel our system properly we can decrease our ability to heal.
Chronic Stress and Its Effect on Healing
Raise your hand if you have ever felt stress in your life (go ahead, raise your hand). Every one of us should be raising our hands. We have all felt stress. Stress is a normal and necessary part of life. Stress stimulates growth both physically and emotionally. When you exercise you are stressing your body. This stress will stimulate growth. When you overcome a difficult emotional trial, you grow. So increased and sustained stress for a long time is a good thing, right? Well, not exactly.
When we experience stress there are many hormones released in the body: epinephrine, cortisol, etc. These hormones increase the amount of carbohydrate released in our blood to provide quick fuel to our muscles and cells. For example, if you encounter a tiger in the jungle and you need to run fast, the body provides the fuel necessary for that quick burst of energy. However, if this response goes on for too long, our bodies tend to break down or have faulty repair systems.
Our immune system—the system responsible for healing—is intimately connected to our nervous system (the control center). When we experience stress, our nervous system will work for as long as it is told. If we are chronically stressed, our nervous system will continue to work. This increase in stress hormones results in a decrease in our immune system due to inflammation running rampant in our body—hence why those who are always “stressed out” tend to get sick more often.
Nutrition Can Help Fight Inflammation and Improve Health
There are many opinions as to how we can become healthy through proper diet. We are going to keep it very simple in this article and you should always consult with your chiropractor or physician to determine what is best for you.
The following foods may help fight inflammation and improve overall health:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish (Salmon, mackerel)
- Fresh Pineapple
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds)
- Dark chocolate
- Tumeric (ingredient in curry that makes it yellow)
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
Here are some common foods that tend to increase inflammation:
- Fast food
- Processed meats (hot dogs, sausage)
- Red meat
- Soda and other sugary drinks
- White bread or pastries
By avoiding foods that cause inflammation and adding in foods that help decrease inflammation you are providing the proper “fuel” to allow your body to heal itself.
Chiropractic and Nutrition Connection
Going back to our analogy of the performance car: without a good running engine and proper fuel our car will not go very far or fast without encountering problems. We can compare nutrition to the “fuel” for our body and our skeleton as the “engine”. As chiropractors, it is our job to make sure your body is functioning optimally with proper movement throughout. We can be compared to a mechanic tuning up your vehicle. Make sure you are providing the proper “fuel” and be sure to get your “engine” checked today by your chiropractor.
About Elite Chiropractic & Performance Center
Located just outside of Salt Lake City and in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley Elite Chiropractic & Performance Center is the premier chiropractic office in Utah. Drs. Monte Layton, Jeremy Wimmer, Chris Harbrecht and Jordan Mousley specialize in providing care for many different conditions and injuries. Those in the community seek Elite’s care for low back pain, neck pain, as well as shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain. Call today to schedule your first appointment. 801-432-7511