In our office, we like to help our patient achieve a much healthier life and not to simply just be pain free. Those steps involve more than just being adjusted, no matter how very important that act is. Here are 6 foundational pillars that will help you in your journey to health.
- Properly functioning Nervous System (communication lines working the way they are supposed to between your brain and the rest of your body)
- Healthy Diet (must have a properly functioning gut.)
- Plenty of water (stay hydrated)
- Healthy spiritual life (prayer, meditation, etc....)
As a Chiropractor of course I am going to put the Nervous System first because without that, nothing works. Now the next thing we are going to look at are some things to help you have a healthy diet. I am going to step outside the box just a litte bit because as you look at people that make up your surrounding communities and talk to friends and family, you know or will quickly discover that there is a problem. We all know someone who is if not obese then on the verge of it and at the very least a little or a lot overweight. I see these people everyday and in fact I see one first thing in the morning when I look in the mirror. However I am trying to do something about it and in that process I am trying to discover answers through careful research and not relying on the late night infor-mercials to educate me.
I am not asking you to simply rely on what I say but to search for yourselves and in your own personal dealings. I will try to let you in on some things that I have learned which just seem to correctly resonate with me. One very important thing that I have read and what I recommend to many of my patients is the book "Wheat Belly" written by Dr. William Davis. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist who noticed that his patients just weren't getting better and has made an astounding revelation that the American obesity/diabetic epidemic really occured in the early to mid 80's when a (for lack of a better term) genetically engineered form of wheat was introduced into our food supply. I am going to very liberaly borrow from Dr. Davis's book to hopefully open you eyes to not believe whatever you see on the news or from large corporation's i.e., large cereal or bread companies.
In just an overview of Dr. Davis's book, he goes on to state that mainstream dietary whole grains. Yet Americans have increasingly become obes. Davis says this is because we consume foods that contain wheat products at nearly every meal. Studies show that wheat, which has a higher glycemic index (the measure of how much a particular food increases the blood sugar level) than refined sugar, is a direct cause of adominal weight gain. Wheat Belly proposes that by eliminating wheat from their diet, people can reduce belly fat and become thinner, healthier and more energetic. Signs of diabetes and inflammagory disease such as arthritis and asthma may also be reduced or eliminated. Dr. Davis goes on to state that once wheat is gone, excess weight will melt away, energy and focus will improve, and even diseases such as diabetes may be lessened or cured.
When wheat was first harvested 8500 years ago it was to supplement the diet of the hunter-gatherer. This ancestor of modern wheat was much different genetically that its modern equivalent; most notably it had a gimple genetic code with only fourteen chromosomes. This wheat was called einkorn which was then crossed with a wild grass which yielded emmer. This was the wheat from biblical times. Emmer was eventually crossed with another natural grass, yielding Triticum aestivuum- a complex wheat containing forty-two chromosomes that was genetically easy to manipulate.
Fifty years ago, intense manipulation began. Modern wheat is descended from strains created at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, an agricultural research program developed to increase the yield of soy, corn, and wheat. and thus reduce world hunger. Founded in 1943, this program hybridized, or crossbred, existing strains of wheat. By 1980, it had created thousands of strains of wheat that, thanks to human intervention, were hundreds of genes apart from the original einkorn wheat.
No safety testing was ever done on these hybrid crops. It was simply assumed that since the wheat was still a form of wheat, it would be safe. But analysis of the proteins in modern hybrid wheat found that while about 95 percent of the proteins expressed in the offspring are present in both the parent strains, 5 percent are unique and are found in neither parent. So what we know about the safety of the parent strains may or may not be true of the hybrid strains.
In addition, modern wheat expresses a higher number of genes that make gluten proteins. Gluten makes bread more stretchy and pliable, and makes it rise more. But it comes at the cost of causing greater blood sugar spikes.
Other key points that Dr. Davis goes on to make are things such as
- The way the body processes the carbohydrates in wheat can result in increased abdominal fat and overall health issues.
- The amylopectin A carbohydrates in wheat cause blood sugar levels to spike, leading to elevated insulin levels and visceral fat storage. Studies show that eliminating these carbohydrates from the diet should lead to weight loss.
- The gluten proteins present in modern wheat, while making wheat better for baking, can also trigger inflammatory reactions.
He also states that
- When wheat is digested, gluten is degraded to a substance that can bind to the brain's morphine receptors, creating feeling of euphoria and driving a desire to consume more wheat, creating an addiction.
- Eliminating wheat from the diet breaks the addiction and will diminish hunger and lead to a better mood, improved ability to concentrate, and deeper sleep.
- Doctors have observed that consumption of wheat worsens the symptoms of schizophrenia, autism, and ADHD.
- You know each and everyone of us in our lifetimes has spent hundreds, even thousands of hours being hammered with commercials ranging from "healthy" cearals and food bars and innumerous other processed foods touted as being healthy and have come to rely on speed and convenience to feed our families. Many of us have lost the ability to recognize much less taste an honest to God vegetable. With all of the choices available, it is absolutely impossible to not like vegetables, it simply means you haven't tried them all.
I can tell you with all candor that I have stood in lines at fast food places and looked around at the unhealthy people surrounding me and wondered if when they looked around and saw me, did they see the same unhealthy person? I think the answer was a resounding Yes.
I have recognized my "Wheat Belly" and am in the process of doing something about it and other health problems that I have created for myself. Take personal responsibility for yourselves and make a change. We are here to help.
I am a realist and know that many will not take the time to read this book but tell you what....try your own experiment. Take four weeks out of you life and don't eat any wheat or any other grains and see how you feel. This would include wheat, rye, and any other supposedly "healthy" multi-grains or grain flours. Four weeks, in exchange for a lifetime of better health.
One parting thought. "Let me describe a typical person with wheat defieiency: slender, flat tummy, low triglycerides, high HDL ('good') cholesterol, normal blood sugar, normal blood pressure, high energy, good sleep, normal bowel function." -Dr. William Davis
Thank you for your time,
Dr. Jon Alan Smith