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Yours in Health: You are what you eat

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Everything we put into our bodies becomes part of our cells and tissues. Nutrients from our food helps to keep connective tissue and bones strong, hair healthy and skin young and vibrant.

Your food choices can cause disease and inflammation, change your mood and even your mental well-being. If you have any pre-disposition to diabetes, heart disease, cancer or auto-immune disease it is important to be mindful of what is on your fork.

There are many different diet choices out there, ranging from paleo to vegan. There is no right way for anyone to eat, since we all have a different genetic make-up.  However, there are a few guidelines to be aware of when making healthy food decisions.

  • Choose organic produce whenever possible. Glyphosate or Roundup, is a pesticide used on most crops. Studies done by researchers at the University of Washington, found that ingesting excess amounts of glyphosate increases the risk of cancer by 41 percent.
  • Know where your meat sources come from. Grain-fed meat has a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. A higher omega-6 diet can lead to inflammation, cognitive decline, allergies, heart disease, arthritis and mental disorders. Omega-6 examples include grapeseed, corn, soy, and sunflower oils.  Organic, grass-fed meat contains a high amount of omega-3s. To add omega-3s into your diet, eat salmon, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed.
  • Limit your sugar intake. Daily sugar consumption should not exceed 25 grams or 6 ¼ teaspoons. High amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup lead to a fatty liver, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Drink clean water and lots of it! Heavy metals and carcinogens can be found in unhealthy amounts in drinking water, causing tap water toxicity. Reverse osmosis and filtration water machines are a way to ensure you are drinking clean, healthy water. Drink your body weight in ounces daily. Adding lemon to your water is a great way to sneak in extra electrolytes, plus lemons are an excellent liver cleanser.
  • Eat small meals during the day. It is good to eat small meals or healthy snacks regularly, especially if you are inclined to have low blood sugar. Mixed nuts and seeds, guacamole, hummus, or apple slices with nut butter are some great options.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake. Try not to exceed drinking more than 1-2 cups of coffee per day, and do not drink caffeine after noon. Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day.  Be mindful when consuming alcohol, as it too can contain hidden ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup and glyphosate.
  • Eat several cups of vegetables a day, mainly consisting of greens such as kale, spinach, microgreens and broccoli. Greens are high in vitamin B, A, K, C, and folate.

Always aim to eat live, whole foods. The less processed and packaged foods you eat, the better you will feel on the inside and out. 

Dr. Andrea Wick is a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist. She graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia, and now practices at Healing Hands Chiropractic in Big Sky. She has a passion for holistic health care and being active in the outdoors.

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