Nutrition

nutritionGood nutrition is a metaphor for good health.

Clearly, good nutrition is not the same for everyone. Not only is there vast differences culturally for what good nutrition is, but the quality of food equally reflects the benefits of good nutrition. In the westernized diet the general trend leans toward more convenient and therefore more processed foods. This not only suggests a diet higher in sugar and fat but also one where there is no personalized plan of the right foods for the right person.

Your Body Chemistry is Unique

Nutrition is not as easy as prescribing one correcting diet to everyone or prescribing one vital vitamin or nutrient that is going to miraculously be your perfect match. If we only consider the number of cultures and gene pools we consist of, how could one set of food choices be the correct ones for billions of people?

In other words, body chemistry is individually unique. And it doesn’t stay the same throughout a lifetime. As the body ages and seasons change, the chemistry changes, and nutritional needs change.  In the presence of an illness, nutritional requirements change even further, sometimes requiring a specialized diet specific to the condition.

 Your Foods Should be a Rainbow of Colors

Foods that are higher in nutritional value are ones that are not packaged and are fresher or grown more locally. Organic foods contain higher amounts of nutrients also foods that are not genetically modified (GMO free). Fruits and vegetables of all colors provide the broadest range of nutrients.

Most people who switch from eating highly processed food to foods  that are in their more natural condition find they enjoy the taste of these foods even more and recognize enjoyable flavors  they couldn’t taste while eating a processed food diet.

There are several factors that influence diet and nutritional choices.

Food allergies.

Some people have food allergies. Often these are foods that create digestive symptom of distress. In some cases there is a genetic predisposition. Celiac disease is an example of a condition that can be traced by a genetic marker and requires a specialized diet to avoid foods that contain the gluten protein.  Many food allergies are more subtle and are not necessarily permanent. Often, in these cases eating certain foods too frequently over time can cause the body to react to its ingredients. Stopping them temporarily can de-sensitize these types of food allergies.

Digestion.

It is not uncommon for the digestive system to become out of balance. Foods that were once tolerated can begin to cause digestive problems. Since there are several enzyme pathways the food travels through, if just one enzyme begins to fail, the digestive process is affected. The stomach enzyme hydrochloric acid is a good example of an enzyme that decreases with aging.  Without it protein digestion is impaired. In most cases if the digestive pathway is repaired digestive function can be fully restored.  Without a healthy functioning digestion the absorption of food nutrients decrease.

Medications

can interfere with nutrition and the absorption of essential nutrients. A good example is the commonly prescribed statin medications recommended to lower cholesterol. Statins are known to interfere with the absorption of the important enzyme Co enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) crucial for each working cell in the body. Common side effects of a statin medication, including fatigue, muscle cramping, and even congestive heart failure, can be prevented by supplementing that vital nutrient. The essential vitamin B12 is one of the most common non-absorbed nutrients inhibited by frequent use of prescribed antacids. Lack of stomach acid also diminishes absorption of other essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Constitution or Body type

. In Oriental Medicine, good nutrition is dependent on the balance of the five elements that constitute the body’s composition. The quality of the “digestive fire” determines how well food is digested and used as fuel for energy. Correcting the digestive function involves seeking a compatible diet which matches the constitutional or body type individually.

Infections.

It is not uncommon for micro pathogens to survive continuously in the digestive system. These organisms are sometimes well tolerated within the digestive tract. More often they lead to disruptions in digestion and promote intestinal disease if without treatment.  An overgrowth of yeast is common as well as an imbalance between the “friendly bacteria” and those that are not so friendly. Usually an in-depth study of the digestive environment exposes what’s necessary to normalize the digestive function and absorption of nutrients.

Good Nutrition

depends on the combination of what you eat, how your digestion absorbs food, and the health of your digestive system. Your personal genetics are a crucial link to your relationship with your diet. A good diet plan is one that is personalized and unique to your needs. A review of your current diet trends, digestive function and body constitution all contribute to a sustainable dietary plan that encourages health and vitality.

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