At first glance, chiropractic and nutrition seem completely unrelated: what do chiropractic adjustment and healthy eating have to do with each other anyway?
Physical stress, biochemical stress and emotional stress affect our health and well-being. Chiropractic adjustments improve and restore spinal health, enabling the body to cope with these stresses more effectively. However, minimising biochemical stress through healthy eating is equally important and highly complementary!
Good, proper nutrition strengthens muscle and bone, encourages muscle healing and boosts immunity. All these characteristics of good nutrition accelerate the processes of recovery, relief and the restoration of function provided by chiropractic care.
What should I put in my body for better nutrition?
Now that the relationship between chiropractic and nutrition is better understood, the next problem is figuring out what is healthy for us and what is not.
In a world swamped with processed foods and an increasing reliance on takeaway, especially with our fast-paced lifestyle and the limitations of the pandemic, it’s hard to tell what nutrients we should be putting in our body. However, bad nutrition, particularly the consumption of fillers, preservatives and many unhealthy ingredients, hampers the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment.
To combat this, it’s important to be aware of the most crucial nutrients we need each and every day. One of these nutrients is salt.
What is salt, and how much salt should I be eating?
A naturally-occurring component in foods and commonly used to flavour foods, salt is typically composed of sodium chloride (NaCl) and contains minerals that improve muscle function and nerve transmission. Sodium regulates our body’s fluid and electrolyte balance, which is essential for nerve transmission, muscle contraction and relaxation. In doing so, the (healthy) consumption of salt boosts muscle recovery rates and mobility!
There are many types of salt, but the key is to consume unrefined salts over regular table salt. This is because unrefined salt is a whole food product, which means that important trace minerals such as calcium and iron are preserved, which builds musculoskeletal health. In refined salts, these minerals are absent as they are lost to the refining process.
Unrefined salts include:
- Sea salts
- Himalayan salts
- Celtic sea salt
The recommended intake across age groups is as follows:
What are the nutritional and chiropractic benefits of salt consumption?
Salts benefit the body in the following ways:
- Regulate water composition in and around your cells.
- Carry critical nutrients in and out of your cells.
- Maintain and regulate blood pressure.
- Support healthy brain function.
- Prevent cramps.
In particular, chiropractors recommend salt consumption for anyone experiencing leg cramps (especially night cramps): patients should supplement their intake with magnesium and potassium-containing salts to maintain an adequate sodium-to-potassium ratio. This is because night cramps are possibly caused by the depletion of fluids and electrolytes; unrefined salts contain minerals that can replenish them, as well as provide other minerals that nourish muscles and nerves.
However, as with all things, salts should be consumed in moderation. Salts contain plenty of sodium, too much of which interferes with bodily processes like water regulation and filtration, causing the body to retain more water. This causes dehydration as the release of water into the bloodstream is inhibited and water is pulled from cells instead. Excessive salt intake also increases the risk of high blood pressure, and kidney stones and worsens symptoms of heart failure.
We hope that this article has helped shed some insight on the importance of good nutrition! In the next instalment of this series on nutrition, we’ll be looking at fats and oils.
Of course, if you would like to know more about salt intake and chiropractic or have any general questions, give us a call at 62084669 or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org!