Like exercise, proper nutrition provides a wealth of benefits-both physical and emotional-that contribute to your body's strength and its ability to ward off disease and disability.

A healthy diet translates into a healthy body; the proper mix of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are the best recipe for ensuring your skeletal, muscular, nervous and circulatory systems function smoothly.

Following are some dietary tips that will help you keep your spine, joints, and muscles healthy:

  • Ample amounts of water are actually quite good from a dietary standpoint: Water keeps your cells hydrated and helps your blood work more efficiently in carrying nutrients throughout your body. Tea, coffee, sodas and alcohol actually have the opposite effect. Drinking excessive amounts of soda and other carbonated beverages could interfere with calcium absorption, which may lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.
  • Calcium (milk, broccoli, salmon and kale) keeps your bones strong.
  • Choose foods rich in fiber. A goods rule to follow is an intake of 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Foods rich in fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts and some fruits and vegetables.
  • Foods high in vitamin C (broccoli, bell peppers, citrus fruits, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and strawberries) help ward off osteoarthritis. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue.
  • Fortified dairy products and fish rich in Vitamin D help preserve your cartilage.Organically grown foods usually have smaller amounts of toxins in them, so they are arguably safer and healthier.
  • Raw foods. Canned tomatoes are the rare exception here, but many raw foods retain vast amounts of minerals and other nutrients that are destroyed or diminished by the process of cooking.
  • Eat the skins of fruits and vegetables because they often contain more nutrients than what's inside.

Children's Needs

Children should eat a balanced diet, one that includes fruits and vegetables; breads and cereals; milk and dairy products; meat, fish, and eggs.

Minimize starchy foods, such as crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips.

About calcium and children's bones

Your child's intake of calcium and the long-lasting benefits it provides bones and spinal structures in later years cannot be overstated.

Calcium can be found in many foods other than milk. Broccoli, salmon, and kale are just some of the foods rich in calcium.

The recommended calcium intake for children ages 4 to 8 is about 750 mg per day. Children ages 9 to 18 should take in approximately 1,000 mg per day. Three 8-ounce glasses of milk will fit the bill for children under the age of 8. Milk substitutes such as those made from almond and soy are acceptable alternatives, as long as they are fortified with vitamins and calcium. Orange juice can be a source of calcium if your child doesn't prefer or can't tolerate milk.

The doctor may recommend a nutritional consultation and the use of vitamins, minerals, herbal therapies and dietary modifications as a valuable part of your treatment plan. These will aid the body in a variety of ways, including:

    • decreasing inflammation and pain
    • decreasing muscle tension and spasm
    • accelerating the repair of injured tissues
    • preventing and treating colds and flu by stimulating immune system function
    • decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression
    • promoting better quality sleep
    • improving allergies and sinus conditions
    • decreasing heartburn, bloating, gas, and reflux
    • lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
    • decreasing liver toxicity associated with hepatitis or long-term use of prescription medication
    • decreasing motion sickness, pregnancy-related morning sickness, and nausea
    • improving athletic performance

For overall health and wellness, a healthy diet, plenty of water (8 – 12 glasses of pure water each day), adequate sleep, rest, and exercise, are all essential.
Daily Supplements

In addition, part of a healthy lifestyle should include a high-quality multiple vitamin/mineral, taken 2–3 times per day.

Potential benefits of a quality multiple vitamin/mineral:

. Reduce your risk of disease including: cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
. Recover faster from colds, flu's, and other infections
. Heal quicker from injuries, sprains, and strains
. Feel more energetic, get better sleep, and improve physical/athletic performance

Why diet alone may not be enough:

. If you're not eating the perfect diet
. If you eat junk food, processed food, fatty food, or sugary snacks
. If you consume alcohol or smoke
. If you use prescription drugs
. If you are under increased stress
. If you engage in strenuous exercise
. We are all subject to environmental toxins, pollutants, and nutrient-depleted soil

Why the RDA's are not adequate:

. Most of the current scientific literature recommends doses much higher than the RDA's for optimal health and prevention of disease. why the popular "drug store" multiples are inferior:
. You get what you pay for: most of these products are just plain cheap
. Most contain doses up to the level of RDA's, which is not high enough
. Most contain artificial fillers, preservatives, dyes, allergens, etc.
. Most do not have the proper ratios and balance of key nutrients
. Most are missing certain key nutrients altogether
. Most contain cheap forms of nutrients which lead to poor absorption and low bio-availablity
. Many contain iron, which is harmful and potentially toxic, if you're not anemic

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