SHIFNAL CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Healthy Eating

05/01/2015

Oh groan!  Here she goes, banging on again about what we should eat, what we shouldn’t, what’s good for us, what isn’t...boring!

Well, I hope it’s not going to be that bad, but when you think about the fact that what you put in your mouth is the building blocks for everything you then expect your body to do, is it any surprise that I have decided to devote a certain amount of time and effort to this topic?  Remember, any time you have a painful problem, there will be a certain amount of damage to your body that has to be repaired.  If you aren’t giving your body what it needs to do those repairs, then how on earth can  you expect it to suddenly manufacture the structures you need to get out of pain?

We’re forever hearing the should and should-nots with regard to diet in the press, but here are a few simple rules.

  1. Salt.  Yes, you need it in your diet.  No, you don’t have to add it.  There is more than enough salt occurring naturally, particularly in products such as meat, to take care of the average persons requirements.  Take a look at any processed foods in supermarkets – you need much less than 1g a day, and their salt content often far exceeds this in each portion!

  2. Fat.  Again, required in the diet, but only the right sort.  Oily fish are an excellent source of the right types of fat, while saturated fats should be avoided wherever possible.  Some vegetables and pulses are also very high in the right sort of fats.

  3. Protein.  Lots of it, please!  While processed meats aren’t the best source, due to the other things the manufacturers tend to add, for most people a diet which includes plenty or fresh meat, chicken, eggs and fish is a good way to go.

  4. Fruit and vegetables.  The more the merrier – and the more colours, the better.  The different colours are often an indication of different nutrients, so eating lots of greens is all very well, but don’t forget the oranges, the yellows, the purples...and any others you come across!  Government guidelines recommend 5 portions a day, but the evidence suggests 8 is closer the mark.  Not only does it ensure all the right vitamins and minerals are there, but the fibre is vital in staving off diseases such as colon cancer.  Also, it helps you feel more full for longer, so you won’t snack as much.

  5. Carbohydrates.  Ah the evil carbs!  Actually, not evil at all.  Always choose the whole grain option, and remember potatoes are an excellent source of all sorts of vitamins as well, and you’re in good shape.

So yes, diet is vitally important.  But it doesn’t have to be difficult.  You can ask any of my patients and they will tell you I hate cooking.  Well, I don’t really, but it’s not something I want to do at the end of a busy day, when I finally drag myself home.  I want something I can stick in the microwave for a few minutes and then it’s all there and ready for me.  Trouble is, if I was to buy ready meals from the local supermarket, even the healthy-living-type ones, they will be loaded with salt, sugar and probably not a small amount of fat.  Also, I am not exactly even close to being a millionaire, and those things are expensive!  What I do instead, is once every six weeks or so, I’ll have a cooking session, where I make a few meals from scratch, and then I’ll freeze off portions with some frozen vegetables in there as well, and hey presto!  An instant ready meal without all the down sides of the supermarket option.  Naturally, if you are trying to feed your whole family, then this doesn’t work as easily, but it is still always  useful to freeze any spare portions you do end up with for those occasions when you’re in too much of a tearing hurry to take the time to cook from scratch.

Eat healthily, exercise regularly, and if you do have the misfortune to suffer an injury such as back pain or a torn muscle, at least you are giving your body the best chance of recovery.

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