YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: 5 Pillars of Optimal Nutrition – Part Two: Vitamin D, Probiotics & Fruits/Greens

November 30, 2017

Previously, we discussed the first two pillars of optimal nutrition for overall health: the importance of taking 1) a high-quality daily multivitamin like PhytoMulti, and 2) a high-quality omega-3 fish oil supplement.  Today, we’ll look at the other three pillars: vitamin D, probiotics, and fruits and greens drink mix.

Why do we call these the “pillars” of optimal nutrition?  A pillar is something that can stand alone, yet any structure will be much more secure if there are two, three or more pillars sharing the weight.  Likewise, you’ll benefit from getting even just one of these pillars of nutrition met each day; yet for optimal health, you’ll reap greater nutritional benefits by making sure all five bases are covered daily. 

Because of modern agricultural practices, it is not possible to obtain all of the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal health through the food you eat alone.  In other words, you can’t eat your way to health.  A healthy diet must be fortified with high-quality nutritional supplements in order to ensure you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for maximum health and immunity.

Let’s take a closer look at the third pillar of nutrition: vitamin D.  Vitamin D is necessary for proper immune function, for tissue growth and repair, and it plays a vital role in incorporating calcium into bone.  It also promotes a healthy heart, healthy blood sugar, and helps regulate blood pressure.  Interestingly, vitamin D is made by our skin!  The body is designed to produce the vitamin D it needs when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight, by using the ultraviolet B rays.  Because of this, people who live in the north, where they don’t receive enough sunlight during the winter, don’t produce sufficient vitamin D.   This is why winter is often referred to as “cold and flu season”.  Due to lack of vitamin D, our immune systems are compromised and we become more susceptible to illness and infection.  It is vital for individuals who endure the cold, dark northern winters (that’s us, South Dakota!) to supplement their vitamin D in order to boost the body’s supply and improve overall immunity and health.  

The fourth pillar of nutrition is probiotics.  We’re hearing more and more about probiotics because it is one of the fastest-advancing nutritional fields, and researchers are learning more about the health benefits of these “good” bacteria strains.  However, all this advertising surrounding probiotics has led to some misconceptions.  For example, most brand name yogurts sold in stores do not actually contain the amount, quality or strains of probiotics that are of any benefit to the body; quality is the key.  A high-quality probiotic will feature on the label the actual name and strain number of the “good” bacteria it contains. 

So how can bacteria actually be good for our health?  It is normal for us to have bacteria in our colon.  But antibiotic medications and other elements (such as caffeine, alcohol, cigarette smoke and even stress) can disrupt the ratio of good-to-bad bacteria in your colon and intestines, throwing the ratio off-balance.  .  A healthy body will have about 95% “good” bacteria and only 5% “bad”.  This is important because bad bacteria eat nutrients and produce toxins.  Conversely, good bacteria eat toxins and produce nutrients.  This of course is what you want.  If your body’s percentage of bad bacteria is too high and good bacteria too low, you need a quality probiotic to restore that ratio back to balance.  The right probiotic has been proven in studies to aid with such digestive ailments as diarrhea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as improve skin, boost immunity, and even help ease depression.  It reduces the body’s healing time so you can recover more quickly from injury or illness. 

Finally, the fifth pillar of nutritional health is fruits and greens.  You might think, “Fruits and vegetables?  That’s not a supplement!”  And you would be correct….sort of.  It is almost impossible to eat on a daily basis all of the necessary servings of fruits and greens that your body needs for optimal health.  A convenient, delicious and comprehensive way to supplement your daily intake of fruits and vegetables is NutriDyne’s Fruits & Greens drink mix.  Each serving provides over 20 servings of fruits and vegetables, and has the antioxidant equivalent of that many servings of fruits and greens. 

Antioxidants are important because they help reverse cell damage caused by toxins ,metabolic byproducts, and the aging process.   Oxidation can be compared to rust: a breakdown due to exposure to the elements.  Inside our bodies, our natural metabolic processes can cause damage to our DNA, and when portions of DNA are damaged, this leads to cell die-off.  Antioxidants reverse this damage process.  (Vitamin C is an example of an antioxidant.)   As our bodies undergo the natural aging process, our cells sustain the cumulative effects of oxidization, and this causes the body to become more acidic.  When acidity is too high, the 100’s of chemical processes our body needs to maintain health cannot run at an optimal level.  NutriDyn Fruits & Greens helps bring the body back to its natural state of pH balance by alkalizing and reducing acidity.  It is an amazing plant-based product that’s a quick, easy and great-tasting way to fortify immunity and overall health. 

Each of these five pillars of nutrition is important in achieving maximum health and well-being, yet incorporating even just one of the pillars will help you improve your overall health.  In other words, you can’t go wrong!

If you have any questions about the pillars of nutrition, would like to learn more about boosting immunity, or have other health questions, please call our team at Reinecke Chiropractic, and we’ll be happy to provide you with the information and answers you seek.