Chiropractors offer nutrition counseling as part of holistic healthcare
When you think about consulting with a chiropractor, there may be many things that come to mind: back pain, carpal tunnel, spinal adjustments, or management of chronic pain. What may not immediately come to mind is nutrition counseling, but in fact, nutrition counseling may be one of the most important things your chiropractor can offer you.
Chiropractors are trained to assess the whole patient, and to seek out the root causes of pain and inflammation, and often foods cause both. In their attempts to uncover the cause of a problem, chiropractors are often the first to discover the nutritional deficiencies in their patients that are inhibiting their good health. Chiropractors focus on the body’s ability to heal and function when everything is in alignment, and putting the proper fuel into your body is an important part of ensuring a high-functioning immune system. According to the American Chiropractic Association, nutrition is a necessary component of chiropractic.
Nutrition-related illnesses are increasingly placing a burden on many people in our society. Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and obesity have reached epidemic proportions. It is clear that we no longer know how to fuel our bodies properly, and that a diet full of sugar and processed food is actually making us and keeping us sick. In addition, many musculoskeletal issues can be traced to inflammation, which can be caused by poor nutrition and excess sugar consumption. Although this information is becoming widely known and available, the support to put this knowledge into practice is sometimes missing.
In light of all of this, it is clear that every health professional ought to be addressing nutrition with their patients, and chiropractors have been focusing on it all along. Most chiropractors take more nutrition courses as part of their education than medical doctors are required to take, and in addition, many seek post doctorate education in nutrition because they see how vital it is for good health.
Your chiropractor may offer general advice, such as eat more vegetables, eat fruit for dessert, choose high quality meats, and eliminate refined carbohydrates, and may also look into specific recommendations for your condition. Your chiropractor will focus on food as your primary source of vitamins and nutrients, but if labs show you are deficient in certain areas, they will also be able to advise you on the best way to supplement those nutrients. The most common general recommendations are vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids, since it is difficult to obtain enough of these nutrients through diet and lifestyle alone.
There has also been increased focus on the health of our gut microbiome in recent years, and your chiropractor will also be able to advise you on how to include healthy sources of probiotics, either through fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir, or through a high-quality, properly handled supplement that will ensure a large number of live, active strains of beneficial bacteria. In order to maintain a healthy population of beneficial bacteria, you will have to eat real foods high in fiber as well. Good nutrition will support your health in every system of your body, from the cellular level on up, and your chiropractor will be an important source of information and support as you learn and implement that knowledge.