What is holistic nutrition?
About the author
Emilie Delworth, DHN. Visit Elevate Wellness Center at 2034 Lake Tahoe Blvd., in South Lake Tahoe, call 530-541-9355 or visit www.elevate-wellness.com.
Today in the U.S., we are faced with the alarming reality that we are the sickest developed country in the world, and for the first time in history our children’s generation is expected to live shorter lives than the adult population.
The good news is that we can do something about it. We have the knowledge and the power to take charge of our own health and set a better standard for our children.
So where do we start? Nutrition.
So you’re ready to make a change. You’re ready to lose the extra weight and heal your body. Maybe you’re confused about where to turn to for help. Maybe all of the contradictory information on the internet has your head spinning. In this article I intend to make the case for Holistic Nutrition as a thorough, and effective, starting point.
“Holistic” refers to the practice of addressing the whole person as opposed to isolated symptoms or systems in the body. Holistic practitioners understand that all systems within the body are interdependent. We trust in the natural processes of the body and we aim to restore homeostasis, a stable and constant equilibrium within the body.
“Nutrition” refers to the science of nutrients and other food substances in relation to regeneration and degeneration of the body. It is the foundation of the body’s structure and function: “You are what you eat.”
Holistic Nutrition in Practice
Holistic Nutritionists understand that while you are what you eat, you are also what you ingest and most importantly, what you absorb. For this reason, we focus more on ensuring proper digestion. We understand that if your body is not digesting food properly then you are not absorbing the nutrients and other health promoting elements that food provides.
We focus on lifestyle and dietary influences on the natural release of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. We focus on ensuring the health and diversity of the gut microbiome, while avoiding substances that damage the gut and inhibit homeostasis.
Holistic Nutritionists focus on food quality and nutrient density over calorie counting. We understand that the whole food is greater than the sum of its parts. While micro and macronutrients are important, we understand that the way food is grown, soil health, the way food is cooked, stored, and the emotional state we’re in when we eat, matter just as much.
We understand that pesticides, food dyes and preservatives influence the digestion process and kill off essential gut microbes.
Holistic Nutrition focuses on biochemical individuality, the understanding that each body is designed with subtle biochemical differences. This may include a difference in anatomical features, epigenetic predispositions, chemical functions and much more. Therefore, there is no one specific diet that works best for everybody.
In my Holistic Nutrition practice I focus on Orthomolecular Nutrition, which refers to the practice of correcting imbalances and deficiencies through providing extra substances internally that are natural to the body, such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and other elements found in food.
This is achieved through fine tuning the diet to the individual’s specific needs and through temporary therapeutic supplementation. Pinpointing these potential imbalances is accomplished through a confidential, in-depth process of examining the current diet and lifestyle, and through a questionnaire that provides a statistical analysis of symptoms associated with an array of imbalances.
There are also many external factors that can greatly effect change on the gut microbiome and overall health status that are important to address, including the following:
Childhood trauma and stress influences the health and development of the gut microbiome so referring clients out to professionals who can help to properly process such experiences is sometimes necessary.
Toxic load often accumulates through environmental toxins, personal care and household products, so cleaning up one’s outside world is needed to ensure optimal gut health and proper liver function.
Exercise and mobility influences brain health, cardiovascular health, metabolism, and also the distribution of nutrients throughout the body, so purposeful movement and appropriate activities are encouraged.
Social life and connections to community greatly influence one’s psychological and emotional state, and even reduce the likelihood of developing chronic and degenerative disease, so clients are encouraged to engage and invest in healthy relationships with friends, family and community.
Relationship with one’s self is for some, the greatest hurdle in overcoming food addictions and health concerns, so clients are coached in finding the balance between staying accountable and allowing one’s self to be imperfect.
With all of the above factors in mind, I encourage you to examine how Holistic Nutrition looks at the whole person and all of the many factors that make up the individual.
Follow ups are provided regularly throughout the process of healing and fine tuning the diet so that clients stay accountable, are better able to overcome challenges, and are set up for long term success.
Sounds thorough and effective, right? If you’re ready to break the cycle of chronic disease today, Holistic Nutrition can help.
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