Nutrition is the use of food as medicine. You have heard the expression ‘You are what you eat’ and it is so true.
What we eat influences our body’s ability to build itself and maintain optimal health and wellbeing. It is virtually impossible to be healthy if you are eating nutritionally depleted food.
Nutrition isn’t just about eating nutritious food it is also about how our body processes these foods. Digestion begins from the moment we think about food or smell it. This activates our digestive enzymes and the chewing process in the mouth is essential to break down food to assist the digestive process.
Many factors influence the nutritional value of our food, such as the use of pesticides and herbicides, the quality of soil and how fresh the food is.
Supplementation is essential in today’s society as our food contains little nutrients. In clinical practice, supplementation is used to address blatant nutrient deficiencies which can result in ill health. Practitioner only products contain nutrients of the highest quality which are free of harmful ingredients. Dosage is also a big part of clinical outcome.
A healthy diet is a wholefood diet!
A healthy diet is one which consists of all macronutrients- Carbohydrates, Lipids and Protein and micronutrients (various minerals and vitamins). A healthy diet is void of saturated and trans fats, carcinogens, preservatives, additives, colours, flavours, salt, alcohol and refined sugars and is rich is whole grains, fruit, vegetables and various forms of meat and vegetable proteins.
Wholefoods are foods which are as close to their natural state as possible. They are not refined or chemically altered. Foods which are in their natural state are nutrient rich and dense.
Foods which are processed and refined lack any nutritional value. Although fortification (replacing nutrients which were lost through processing) may be deemed as improving the nutrient profile of the food, the nutrient balance and complexity has been lost.
The preparation of our food and the cooking process is crucial as excessive washing and cooking, heat and light can affect the nutrient balance.
Although supplementation is needed in many cases, it should never replace a balanced, whole food diet. Supplementation does not give us free reins to eat a highly processed and nutrient depleted diet.
Things to keep in mind
- Chew your food properly
- Drink a sufficient amount of water. The general guideline is 30mL per kg of body weight
- Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Eat fruit and vegetables which are in season
- Eat organic where possible
- Eat seasonally and buy locally
- Avoid artificial colours and flavours.
- Avoid adding salt to your meals
- Don’t overcook vegetables
- Marinate meat where possible to allow for the protein to be broken down which aids in easier digestion
- Eat a sufficient amount of protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats