St. Paul in the Summer: Nutrition

I am very excited to have the chance to write about this topic because as a chiropractor, I naturally enjoy the natural choice and I have spent a large portion of my education learning about how to not only ensure proper alignment of the spine and a fantastically functioning nervous system, I have also found passion at looking at how a person’s diet affects their health.   Summer is the perfect time of year for great eating!

It is hard to know what is best, especially when it comes to nutrition…on a daily basis, we see commercials for Flintstone vitamins, fortified cereal and even soda like Diet Coke Plus and 7up Plus that boast to have 10-15% of your daily B and E vitamin needs.  Vitamins are essential for a good diet, yet the choices we make in how to get them is the MOST important part of our diets and our health.   Supplements can definitely be a good source of nutrients but honestly, the easiest, cheapest and most beneficial way to ensure proper nutrition is by eating healthy foods regularly.

It’s important to understand that many of our daily vitamins need another vitamin or mineral to be activated so that it is used by the body properly.  I know this seems overwhelming and you may think “how could I figure this out everyday?”.   Yet the most of the ratios needed are produced naturally in foods in the specific combinations needed.  So the guess work is taken out!  Isn’t nature smart!!  (Side note: Many times the supplements we take do not have the critical ratios needed for the vitamins to be active so the body will not use them and get rid of them, literally flushing money down the toilet.)

With that said these are some of the most abundant and nutritious foods we see in the summer, these can be easily incorporated into lunches and dinners or eaten alone as a snack.  Many of these fruits and veggies can be found fresh at a local farmers market (a fun activity for the family) at a lower cost then the grocery store.

Tomatoes:

•       Just one cup of tomatoes:

•       57% of daily Vitamin C

•       Immune System, Collagen synthesis

•        25% of daily Vitamin A

•       Vision and Cell Growth

•        20% of daily Vitamin K

•       Blood Clotting

•       Lots of Lycopene:

•       Antioxidant with cancer-preventing properties

•        Protects the DNA in white blood cells

•       Protects from heart disease, lowers cholesterol and reduces the rate of headaches

Mushrooms:

•       Five ounces of mushrooms:

•        52% of daily Selenium

•       Reduces free radicals

•       45% of  daily Vitamin B2

•       Energy production

•       30% of daily Vitamin B3

Reduces cholesterol

•       A great source of:

•       Zinc

•       Immune System Function

•       Iron

•       Hemoglobin, Oxygen transport

•       Manganese

•        Rids the free radicals in Mitochondria

•       Copper

•       Helps with flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints

Peppers:

•       One cup of peppers:

•        291% of daily Vitamin K

•        105% of daily Vitamin A

•        20% of daily Vitamin B6

•       Vitamin K is the “blood clotting vitamin”, but also is very important for binding calcium and proteins to bones creating a STRONG, healthy bone mass

•       Important for people who are on blood thinners like Coumadin

•       Hot peppers have great anti-inflammatory  effects  through the compound Capsasin

Cantaloupe:

•       One cup of cantaloupe:

•        25% of daily Potassium

•        20% of daily Vitamin B6

•        Great source of Fiber

•       Cantaloupe has shown to:

•       Decrease the risk of cataracts, especially in women

•       Decrease the carcinogenic effects of cigarette smoke in the lungs for past or current smokers

•       ALWAYS wash your melon well!

Sunflower Seeds:

•       One quarter cup of sunflower seeds:

•        90% of daily Vitamin E

•       Primary fat-soluble antioxidant

•        55% of daily Vitamin B1

•        Central Nervous System and Cardiovascular Health

•        35% of daily Manganese

•        30% of daily Magnesium

•        Nerve and Muscle Tissue

•         Prevention of plaque build-up and arthrosclerosis in the vessels

•        Reduces the severity of hot flashes

•        Keeps the nervous system firing

•        Works directly with calcium for bone  health

•        Ensures proper nerve and muscle tone

With these suggestions alone, we have found:

•       Over 300% of your daily need for Vitamin K

•       Over 100% of your daily need for Vitamin A

•       Over 100% of your daily need for Vitamin C

•       90% of your daily need for Vitamin E

•       30-50% of your daily Vitamin B complex

•       Along with Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Fiber and MUCH MORE!!!!

Healthy Living

Can you believe it?  That was probably one of the easiest things you’ve done all day! That’s why I’m so excited to share this with you.   As a Minnesota chiropractor, I love to look at the body as a whole.  It’s so important to have all the components of the body working to their best potential so you can do the things you love to THEIR best potential.  That means moving well, thinking well and as we talked about today, eating well and to many people’s surprise, it can be done so easily!  When all of these things are in line, you as a whole are on your way to great health and wellness.   In a time of year when backyard barbeques, family and friends are a staple, share your summer salad and knowledge and let’s celebrate summer in all its abundances!