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Nutrition and Staying Healthy

Updated on May 1, 2015

Nutritional counseling has become an important part of my acupuncture practice. The fact is, no matter how often you get acupuncture, you will never experience real healing unless you also nourish your body with the right foods.

Diet and Inflammation

A healthy diet can go a long way in preventing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious health problems. It can also reduce chronic inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response, and under the right circumstances promotes the healing process. But a diet that includes too much sugar, saturated fats and unhealthy oils, processed foods and preservatives can send this inflammation response spiraling out of control. This same chemical reaction that helps heal infection and injury becomes overstimulated and starts to attack healthy cells, which over time leads to chronic and often serious health problems.

Some of the symptoms related to this kind of inflammation include body aches and pains, congestion, allergies, frequent infections, skin outbreaks, joint pain and stiffness, weight gain and obesity. And over time, an unhealthy diet and chronic inflammation can increase your chances of developing some types of cancer.

Diet and cancer

Studies have shown that many cancers can be avoided. According to The Cancer Project, one-third of all cancer deaths in this country are due to a poor diet. Yet many Americans remain unaware of the strong connection between diet and cancer. In fact, more people are concerned about the link between genetics and cancer. In reality, there are many other factors involved in the actual development of cancer besides simply the genetic predisposition. Environment, diet, and lifestyle play a large role in whether or not a person with the gene for it actually goes on to develop cancer.

Take control

Old habits can be hard to change. The way we eat is often closely intertwined with family, culture, tradition, and emotion, and change can seem impossible. Start simple. Increase your dietary fiber each day, add more fruits and vegetables, and try decreasing fat consumption. A powerful way to immediately improve your diet is to eliminate all processed foods, even if you do nothing else! Discover ways to make over your favorite recipes by substituting healthy ingredients to reduce fat and calories without sacrificing taste.

Americans are relying more and more on medications and even surgery for conditions that can be managed or even avoided simply by eating a nutritious diet and becoming more physically active. There are easy ways that you can start eating healthier by making small changes. For help getting started, click here.

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