Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feeding Your Pain Some Happiness (Part Three)

Many people believe you get all the nutrients you need from food. This is no longer true. Over the last 60 years our way of life has changed dramatically and so has our food. It now takes 50 peaches to equal the same vitamin/mineral content of 2 peaches from the 1950s!

Happily, multivitamins are available to close the gap. But the key is, don't just buy a poorly made "one a day". They are referred to as bedpan bullets in the medical industry, and for good reason. Ideally you want a multi that is in capsule from and can be taken 2-3 times a day.

Taking extra magnesium is also a good idea. Muscle cramps, anxiety, poor sleep, constipation are just a few of the many issues that can arise from low magnesium levels. Only about 1% of magnesium is stored in the blood, so deficiencies can go easily undetected. And by the way, of all the nutrients lost in food, magnesium levels are most affected. Some vegetables have up to 80% less.
Magnesium is also referred to as the stress mineral. As you are under stress, the body needs and uses more magnesium.

I am also a big supporter of "greens" products. A typical serving equals 6-8 veggies in antioxidant levels. Taken first thing in the morning, they are a great way to start your day. I was introduced to greens years ago when first working in natural health and it is one of my must haves. From a chronic pain perspective, greens are your best friend for poor energy and digestion issues.

Essential fatty acids are just that: essential. And all of us could do with more. It is rare you see anyone getting enough EFAs from diet alone. So adding fish, flax, and hemp supplements are all ideal. When you lack EFAs, you can suffer from depression, anxiety, inflammation and dry skin. I recommend that you supplement with fish oil and then eat chia, hemp and flax daily.

I will end with a piece of advice I got from one of my doctors long ago. Whatever you can do to make your life with chronic pain better, do it. And trust me, one of the best ways to make your life better is giving it the nutrients it needs. This article about pain and stress management gives more details.
Eat well, take your vitamins and feel happy. Your body and mind will thank you!

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