Nutrition Blog


The Importance of Water and Your Health

Posted by:
Dr. Clingan

Live Better, Feel Better

Prattville, Millbrook, & Montgomery, AL 

                You may assume you only need water when you're thirsty, you would be making a dangerous assumption.  By the time you feel thirst, your body is already in the process of dehydration.  All of the following bodily functions depend on hydration:

  • Digestion: This process begins with saliva production in the mouth. Made up of almost 100% water, saliva makes food easier to swallow. Water also allows for vitamins to be absorbed by the body, especially water-soluble vitamin C and the B vitamins. Without water, digestion of these vitamins would be like trying to digest a rock.
  • Circulation: Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to every tissue of the body. Without blood, tissues would starve. Blood also carries hormones and other important cellular messengers. The flowing nature of water allows these messengers to circulate through the bloodstream.
  • Nervous system function: The brain is the master regulator of bodily functions, and communicates with the rest of the body via the nervous system. Nerves, and the transmission of nerve impulses, depend largely on the electrostatic properties of water. And because water is a good conductor, a more fluid tissue allows for easier transmission of these nerve impulses.
  • Metabolic waste: The lymphatic system, the kidneys and the large intestine all work together to rid the body of metabolic waste. The lymphatic system reabsorbs extracellular fluid remains in the blood. The kidneys filter blood, eliminating unwanted materials and maintaining an appropriate electrolyte balance. The large intestines rid the body of any digested material that is not absorbed by the small intestine. It also serves to reabsorb sufficient quantities of water when necessary. Without water, waste material would build up to toxic levels.
  • Body movement and joint function: Almost every movable joint in the body is soaking with a substance called synovial fluid. It's comprised almost entirely of water and resembles a balloon squished between two surfaces. The synovial provides cushioning and absorbs the compressive load that the two joint surfaces experience. In addition, synovial fluid helps deliver nutrients to the bones and cartilage of the joint. Without proper hydration, the spinal joints can become very stiff and lead to injury or early degeneration.

                If you are wondering how much water you should be taking in daily, you are not alone. Most people are unaware of the actual recommendations!   We recommend 32 ounces of water, at the very least.  The ideal recommendation is arrived at by dividing your weight in half, and drinking that many ounces of water a day.



7 Common Signs of Nutrient Deficiency

Posted by:
Dr. Clingan

7 Common Signs of Nutrient Deficiency 

               Many people are unaware of the risks of nutrient deficiency.  Please take a moment to read the following possibilities.

-Poor Night Vision

                Vitamin A, known as retinol, is essential for promoting good vision and overall eye health.  It also helps to maintain healthy skin and soft tissues throughout the body.

- Cracks at the Corners of the Mouth

                More likely to occur for those following vegetarian diets because it's harder to get sufficient zinc, iron, and B12.

-Sores or Discoloration of the Mouth or Tongue

                Water-soluble B vitamins are essential for the health of the mouth and tongue.  Unfortunately, the body doesn't store them, so we have to constantly replenish them to maintain health.

-Weak, Spotted or Ridged Nails

                These are common signs of a deficiency in zinc, an important trace mineral needed for the proper function of the immune system.  Zinc also serves an important role in cell division and growth.

-Poor Blood Clotting

                Essential for normal blood clotting, vitamin K also plays a vital role in bone mineralization and cell growth.  Lack of vitamin K can result in bruising, frequent nosebleeds, and brittle bones.

-Weak Muscles and Bones

                In advanced cases it's called Rickets (for children) or Osteomalacia  (for adults), but it boils down to a deficiency in vitamin D, as essential nutrient for the growth, health and maintenance of the structural system.

-Frequent Cramps in the Lower Legs

                Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium support proper muscle development and growth.  Lack of these important nutrients can cause persistent discomfort in the feet, calves and the back of the leg.


                We love to help patients achieve their goals regarding diet and exercise.   Let us help you in living a healthy lifestyle!



Build a Better Smoothie

Posted by:
Dr. Clingan

Build a Better Smoothie

                As a snack or quick meal, a smoothie done right is packed full of goodness.  A smoothie makes a healthy snack or even a meal with the right ingredients.  Smoothies are extremely efficient in nutrition because you can include a lot of ingredients- it's an easy way to pack a punch with a lot of value. 

                The basic make-up of a smoothie includes liquids, protein, fruits and vegetables.  When you're making a smoothie, include brightly colored fruits and vegetables- these have important phytonutrients that can help bolster your overall health.  Don't forget to add protein to your smoothie.  Nuts and seeds are especially good, because they are packed with nutrients.  Another good choice is Greek yogurt, which typically contains more protein than regular yogurt does.  Be cautious of flavored varieties of yogurt- these can be high in sugar.

                If you would like inspiration for some great smoothies, take look at our smoothie board on Pinterest:



Take TV Off the Menu

Posted by:
Dr. Clingan

Take TV off the Menu

We at First Choice Healthcare understand that today’s hectic lifestyles have made the dining room table virtually obsolete. However, the cost isn’t just sacrificed family time, it’s sacrificed health, and that is something that we find increasingly alarming.

With the invention of TV dinners, an increase of eating meals in front of the television occurred. This increase can cause a higher intake of food, since most people become so engrossed in what is happening on screen, that what is happening on the plate and what is going into the mouth is missed. The end result is that normal mealtime satiation- the body’s signal that you are full- is delayed, sparking overeating.

Steer your family clear of the TV by making meal preparation a group project. You don’t have to be a gourmet cook to create nourishing fare. Keep it simple by limiting preparation time and number of ingredients. Fresh, organic produce and quality lean meats don’t need a lot of changing to taste great!

To learn more about turning off the TV and turning on to wellness- both at mealtime and all the times in between- go to a non-profit organization that encourages children and adults to watch less television.