The Importance of Good Nutrition
I consider nutrition to be one of the main pillars of health. You cannot out-medicate/supplement/exercise a poor diet. The nutrients obtained from the food we eat is broken down by the digestive system and used to power cells, repair tissues, and drive metabolic pathways. If you're looking to improve your health, the first place you should look is your food.
Nutrition is more important today than ever before. Due to the creation of mono-cropping on a large scale and the excessive use of synthetic chemicals and pesticides, our soils have been (and continue to be) depleted of nutrients. The USDA has even established areas considered food deserts due to their lack of easy access to nutritious whole foods, but abundance of processed unhealthy foods.
There are many diets and food trends being promoted on the internet, but not one diet is best for everyone at every time. The nutrient requirements necessary for infants are not the same nutrients needed for teens, young adults, post-menopausal women, and so forth. Finding the best diet for you in this moment may take a bit of work, but there are certainly some basic tenants that nearly everyone should follow:
Consume fresh, filtered water daily. A good goal is 1/2 your body weight in ounces. For example, a 200-lb person needs 100 oz of water daily as a minimum.
Consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Go for local, organic, and in season when possible. If you can't afford organic, don't fret! You can follow the Environmental Working Group's Guides known as the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 to know which foods are most important to avoid or get organic.
Get enough fiber. Adequate fiber intake is very important for both gut and cardiovascular health. Adults should aim for 20-35 grams per day.
Minimize sugar and other processed foods. This one is pretty straight forward. Sugar is highly inflammatory and has many known adverse affects on the body. Processed foods often contain poor quality ingredients and are thus lacking in nutrition. Furthermore, processed foods often contain hidden salts & sugars, dyes, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, and other substances known to be harmful to the human body.
Food As Medicine
Taking basic nutrition a step further, we can actually use various foods in increased quantities to treat certain conditions. For example, one might recommend a diet rich in healthy fats to someone with low HDL ("good") cholesterol. I often recommend seed cycling to patients trying to balance their hormones. Many people have heard of using ginger for an upset tummy. There are many ways to use that which is available in our refrigerators and cabinets as a means of increasing vitality and fighting disease.
When Food Isn't Enough-
Supplements, IM Injections, and IV Therapy
There are certain times and certain conditions that require more nutrients than what we can get in our food. For example, vegans almost always require the use of vitamin B12. These folks might choose to take a B12 supplement orally or receive B12 injections on a weekly or monthly basis. Individuals with conditions that may lead to malabsorption, such as Celiac Disease or Crohn's, may find benefit in IV Therapy as this allows nutrients to bypass the gut. For others, they are taking medications which are known to deplete certain nutrients. Some of the more common examples include Metformin & B12, Statin drugs and CoQ10, and Prilosec and Calcium. HERE is a more comprehensive list you can download.
We do not offer IV Therapy at this time, but hope to add this service in the future. If IV therapy is indicated, we have referrals available to provide this to our patients.