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Do You Know Nutrition: Whole-food supplements important part of diet

Aug. 9, 2010 at 3:09 a.m.
Updated Aug. 10, 2010 at 3:10 a.m.

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

I know that nutrients are critical for the human body every day, which is why they are called essential. Please tell me exactly what the body does in a 24-hour period that nutrients in the form of daily supplements can help with?

Because our food lacks in nutrients, it is important to take a good whole-food supplement to help your body through a 24-hour period as it regenerates.

What happens exactly: on average, your heart beats 103,689 times; your lungs respire 23,045 times; your blood flows 16,800 miles; your nails grow .00007 inches; your hair grows .01715 inches; you breathe 438 cubic feet of air daily; you speak 4,800 words (women speak more than men - but you knew that already - right?); you take in 3.25 pounds of food and another 2.9 pounds of liquid; and you move approximately 25.4 times during your sleep at night. No wonder you feel tired.

I have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. Can you please make some diet suggestions?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic condition, and a form of arthritis resulting in joint pain and inflammation primarily in the spine and pelvis region. It is recommended to eat plenty of vegetables, some fruits, garlic - which helps with inflammation, beet root, coconut water and coconut milk.

It is important to follow a low-starch diet, based on research by rheumatologist Dr. Alan Ebringer.

Dr. Ebringer's belief is that ankylosing spondylitis is caused by a bacteria that resides in the stomach, and that starchy foods promotes the bacteria's growth, therefore removal of starchy foods can eliminate it. It is also recommended to eliminate sugar and caffeine.

If you smoke, it is imperative to quit as soon as possible.

I would suggest that you eliminate nightshades from the diet. Nightshades include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant. Nightshades are reputed by some to cause or worsen arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Men are 10 times more likely to develop ankylosing spondylitis than women and do so from the ages of 20 to 40.

Ever wonder why Ed Sullivan had a different physique - he suffered from ankylosing spondylitis.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant. E-mail her at doc.phyl@yahoo.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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