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In keeping with the theme of nutrition and how it relates to spinal and overall health, I will highlight potassium, a common and crucial mineral found in the human body. Your body uses potassium to support a whole range of its most crucial functions- neurological signaling, kidney processes and muscle movement. It helps regulate the heart and its distribution of blood throughout the body. While it is recognized for all these effects, a less well-known benefit might be its key role in maintaining bone health. Potassium’s role finds itself in the middle of the fight to maintain fluid balance within and surrounding the cells.
As metabolic processes create acid byproducts, your blood, tissue and other fluids contribute alkaline compounds that they have captured and stored from food to create a steady pH balance. Your bones contain alkaline reserves that act as the last line of defense: when alkaline levels run low in the blood and other fluids, the bones can transfer these reserves to maintain balance. Bone structures are weakened when they are called upon to transfer their alkaline reserves.
This is where potassium steps in. Certain compounds contained within potassium act as alkalizing agents; they can neutralize the acid byproducts. They can be called upon to create fluid balance instead of draining the reserves from your bones, making them weaker. Lifestyle and national dieting trends have both contributed to a chronic shortage of potassium levels in the population. Convenient eating, processed foods and a shift away from eating well-sourced produce puts everyone in danger of potassium deficiency. The recommended daily amount for potassium intake is 4,700 mg for adults. Here are some easy food options that add significant potassium into your diet:
A medium sized baked potato = 800 mg
A medium sized banana= 450 mg
½ cup of avocado= 680 mg
½ cup of tomato paste= 1,221 mg
As we get older, we are already struggling from other factors that seek to weaken our bones. Potassium is a great tool for keeping your bones at optimal strength. Let us help you get the right amount of potassium into your diet. At Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture we practice a complementary approach to health that starts with nutrition. We then build upon this base line of a healthy diet with chiropractic treatment, acupuncture and exercise. If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition and its role in an overall body of health call our office in Brooklyn at (718) 398-3100 .
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.
Support your spine through vitamin consciousness! We can show you how at Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture in Park Slope. I want you to know what vitamins do for you and what foods to look for in your search for health. An important part of vitamin intake is making sure that the food you purchase is of a high quality. Many processed, non-organic foods are stripped of the essential nutrients they would otherwise contain. With that being said, here is an alphabetical list of vitamins and how they contribute to back health, followed by what foods contain them.
|A: Immune system support, tissue repair||
Dairy, orange fruits and green vegetables
Look for: sweet potatoes and carrots, kale and apricots
|B12: Bone marrow support||
Red meat, dairy, fish and eggs
Look for: fortified cereals (bran products), fortified milk, shellfish and beef liver
|C: Collagen production (helps repair herniated discs and repair tissue). Great for the healing and repair of a worn spine.||
Fruit and vegetable
Look for: citrus, tomato, broccoli, green/red peppers
|D: Calcium absorption. Keep bones strong and fight osteoporosis!||
Look for:Fish oil, sunlight, mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified milk
|K: Calcium complement||Look for: Leafy greens, cauliflower, cabbage. Eggs and meat, particularly fish also carry vitamin K in smaller amounts.|
Having a healthy complement of all these vitamins is essential to back care, whether you are seeking to repair a damaged spine or prevent injury. There are a world of other benefits to be reaped from having vitamins in the proper proportions. If you are looking for someone in Park Slope to talk to about adding vitamins into your diet, we can help. Contact us at (718) 398-3100 or come and see us at our office in Brooklyn today.
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.
At Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture, we believe that the path to recovering health starts with your diet. We offer nutritional counseling and education in support of chiropractic and acupuncture treatments. Many conditions can be reversed through watching what we put into our bodies. By instituting dietary changes, adding in nutrient supplements and changing eating habits, you can restore lost vitality, relieve stress and treat back pain. Here are a couple ways we can add nutrients into your diet to support a healthy back and a healthy mind.
Magnesium is a natural alternative to prescription medication that can relieve back pain and help with healthful maintenance. In fact, it is a vital element to the maintenance of healthy muscles. Magnesium helps the body to make energy for our muscles. If they do not get enough energy, muscles will contract (think cramping) instead of relaxing. Anyone who is physically active should be taking magnesium supplements to help with recovery and performance. Leafy greens, beans and whole grains are a great way to get magnesium into your diet, but even these might not be enough.
Calcium is another mineral that we need to monitor. As we get older, bone density decreases, and the chances of osteoporosis increase. Adding the proper amount of calcium into your diet can account for this loss. Magnesium and calcium are inverse but complementary nutrients: calcium hardens bones and helps muscles to contract while magnesium keeps bones flexible and helps muscles unwind. This means that balance of these minerals is crucial!
Based on your unique health profile, we can recommend nutritional supplements that can get you the proper amount of nutrients with the correct balance to support total health. Call our office in Brooklyn today at (718) 398-3100 or come see us at our location in Park Slope. Together we can create a health plan that will combat pain and keep you healthy for life.
(Please note: We offer nutritional counseling in support of Chiropractic & Acupuncture Treatments only. But there is not a nutritionist on staff.)
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.
Nutrition is a huge component of overall physical health- it influences everything from your metabolic rate to body weight, skin complexion and emotional stability. Healthy living starts with healthy eating! Unfortunately, we live in a society where food is made to be ultra-convenient, fast and filling. Fast food companies and supermarket chains use this as an excuse to replace quality nutrition with food products that are simply not good enough. Living with less stress starts with the nutrients and building blocks that you put into your body.
With this in mind I will spend a few blogs elaborating on easy and convenient ways that you can incorporate healthful practices into your every day routine. Nutrition and chiropractic are complementary sciences that can be combined into a dynamic health plan that will improve your well-being.
One thing that will help cognitive functioning as well as promoting healthy bones and nerves is hydration. So...Drink water! Studies show that 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. The body is hugely reliant on water and when it does not receive enough, it has to ration its existing supply, which means that vital organs throughout the body are not getting their recommended amount of H2O. Being just a little bit dehydrated can raise the body’s levels of the stress hormone Cortisol.
Doctors recommend 1 quart of water per 50 pounds of body weight. If this standard is met and maintained you will experience an uptick in the functioning of your brain, nervous system and digestion! Grab a reusable water bottle and make it your companion. Being hydrated is cool.
Remember: Coffee and soda do not count!
At Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture, we want to help you understand nutrition and how it affects your biochemical well being. We offer instruction and monitoring that will help you recover a sense of health that will change your life. We can also recommend vitamin and mineral supplements that you may be missing. Don’t take on the responsibility of changing your diet all alone. Call us at (718) 398-3100 or come on in to our Park Slope office today. By working together, we can change unhealthy habits and replace them with great ones!
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.
Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances (Oxford Dictionary). Mental health and emotional health are not terms usually associated with chiropractic care but the simple truth is: chiropractic can help. At my office in Park Slope, we create treatment plans that go beyond simply treating pain. We want you to feel great mentally, emotionally and physically. You can’t feel wholly great unless all three areas are addressed and balance is established. I want to give you some substantial reasons to use chiropractic as a therapy for stress.
Stress can cause physical pain. Experiencing stress regularly is harmful: high blood pressure is one of its better known side effects, but overstress can lead to a whole range of physical ailments from muscle tissue deterioration to chronic headaches. It is common to hear that joint pain is experienced during moments of prolonged stress. This pain is processed by the central nervous system through a system of neuron transmissions in the spinal cord. The spine then sends signals to the brain, which creates the sensation of pain. Do you ever feel tense when you are stressed? This is a physiological manifestation of the tightness in your muscles. If back muscles are tensing and retracting, they can create misalignments in your spine that cause pressure to the nerves. Simply put stress= pain.
Luckily, these symptoms can be treated by chiropractic therapy! Spinal manipulation can work your spine back into place, and treat nerves that may have become inflamed due to the build up of stress. It can also improve your blood circulation. All of these are important to an effective stress management plan. If you are interested in reducing the hold of stress on your life, come see how we can help at Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Brooklyn. We can be reached at (718) 398-3100 and walk-ins are welcome.
Karen A. Thomas D.C., L.Ac.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine based on a method of study that manipulates strategic points along the body. Together these points form a map known as the energy meridian. When thin needles are inserted into these points, corresponding parts of the body can be isolated and targeted for therapy.
It is important, therefore, to have the treatment performed by a professional who is trained in the application of the science of acupuncture. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we use acupuncture specifically to treat pain resulting from trauma, sports injuries and repetitive stress injuries. Most studies indicate that needle acupuncture, when practiced regularly by skilled hands, can relieve pain in a matter of weeks.
Acupuncture is one of the safest forms of therapy and has far fewer side effects than traditional methods of treating pain. When combined with sound chiropractic therapy, acupuncture can create a multi-dimensional blueprint for your specific ailment. My team at Community Chiropractic and Acupuncture in Brooklyn wants to show you how acupuncture can be added to your treatment plan in order to weaken the hold that chronic pain has on your life.
Dr. Karen A. Thomas, Chiropractic Neurologist and Licensed Acupuncturist