By Dr. Manny Kumar B.Sc., M.Sc., D.C. │Structural Chiropractor at Modern Chiropractic
After completing the first “Modern Nutrition – Superfoods” column, I have had a ton of practice members, family, and friends wanting more information on “super foods” and optimal nutritional choices. With the holidays approaching us and Thanksgiving on deck, creating healthy alternatives and adding certain foods into our diets will maximize our overall performance.
As a “structural” chiropractor, nutrition is a key component to achieving clinical goals in the office. These next four weeks are considered the 2014 playoffs for myself and practice members. Think about it – it will take 48 weeks to keep our body relatively optimal, but these last four weeks is where the true gains are made (good and bad). It’s where we are challenged, and where our choices really matter. With that being said, let’s get started.
For those of us who love to have a cup of coffee in the morning or throughout the day with a “sweet” taste, stevia is a great substitute to add (only 1-2 drops). Stevia has no effect on spiking blood glucose/sugar levels as fast as artificial sweeteners or refined sugar would (important for those who have diabetes). Stevia is also high in antioxidant (anti-aging) content and can be used in other drinks and dishes. Stevia can be found in all health food stores along with some other substitutes: raw cane sugar and raw organic honey.
This powerful anti-oxidant “super food” comes from the regions of the world near the Amazon River (Brazil). Due to the unique climate, this berry is able to grow on trees and pack an uppercut like no other. Acai berries are rich in antioxidants (anti-aging) and help aid during free radical damage, immune system function, and cancer prevention (free radicals – more on this at the Nutrition 1.0 seminar). When consuming acai berries (bowl) remember that these berries contain fructose and will spike your blood sugar levels fast. Powder form or organic berries are always preferred when consuming these powerful berries.
You have to be careful with this super food due to the fact that most beets we find are genetically modified and, in addition they are very high sugar content (more on this at Nutrition 2.0 seminars). The most important benefits and perhaps the essential reasons why you should have them listed as a “must have vegetable” would be because of their ability to boost stamina/energy, decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure and aid in detoxification support. Just like acai berries, beets are full of valuable nutrients and fiber that can be a real game changer when it comes to optimal health. An added bonus to this “super food” would be the green leaves that are attached to this vegetable; they are valuable in vitamins and minerals (don’t throw them away like I have in the past; however, make sure to wash them first).
This super food is packed with vitamins B, C, E, and many other minerals. As of late, liquid shots made out of wheat grass have become very popular and easy to consume (even kids like them). All you have to do is take them before or after your meal(s). There is a pressed juice shop located in my community that I utilize for added nutrients/minerals needed for an afternoon shift (when things get busy). Wheat grass can be found at a majority of all the farmer’s markets in San Diego. Personally, I like to use the one next to my office – Hillcrest Farmer’s Market (9am-2pm every Sunday – located on University & Normal). There are a variety in foods at this farmer’s market along with amazing vendors that will brighten up your week.
Similar to wheat grass shots, you can take these pea shoots in a liquid form. Personally, I enjoy adding them to salads and also hot dishes. The added benefits for pea shoots are that they have vitamins A, C, protein, and finally the most important, folic acid. Folic acid is very crucial to consume for females who are planning for pregnancy and those that are in their initial phase of pregnancy. Incorporating folic acid can decrease any chances of neural tube defects and allow your body to have a complete healthy environment for optimal fetal development. For those who don’t like to supplement in pill form, pea shoots are a great alternative.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR 2015:
For those thinking that they want to complete a post-holiday cleanse for great health changes in 2015, recently I have been introduced to an amazing fresh pressed juice company in San Diego called OH! Juice. I discovered them at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and they took the time to explain their process (very unique). When it comes to cleansing, we have to be very careful on what types of fluids we intake and at what amounts. For the person who is on the fence about conducting a juice cleanse, OH! Juice is just what you need. For more information, you can visit them at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market or go to their website: ohjuicecleanse.com.