Holistic nutrition is an approach to eating that emphasises the positive impact of food on the whole body. It involves making good food choices, connecting to your core self and getting proper nutrients by eating mindfully. Explore the workings of this holistic approach to health and how it can improve your relationship with food.
The Real Deal with Holistic Nutrition
Holistic nutrition is a way of eating that focuses on nourishing your whole self (mind, body and spirit). Instead of simply counting calories or restricting what you eat like other types of diets, holistic nutrition focuses on the consumption of nutrient-rich foods that will support you long term. For example, instead of depriving yourself of carbohydrates or fat because they are tagged as "bad" under some diet programs, holistic nutrition looks at the big picture—including how carbs and fat make you feel and how they contribute to your overall health.
According to holistic nutritionists, holistic nutrition is a holistic approach that works with the body's own systems for weight control, overall health and energy. This means looking at how your emotions affect what you eat, how diet can contribute to your overall health, and how nutrient deficiencies impact your moods. This natural approach also looks beyond food to incorporate holistic lifestyle elements like mind-body activities, environmental factors and more.
Holistic nutrition incorporates whole foods and fresh ingredients to create meals that promote wellbeing and prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The presence of certain enzymes in food also helps to strengthen the body's immunity against microbial infections caused by bacterial overgrowth.
Health Benefits of Holistic Nutrition
Holistic nutrition falls under the same category as holistic medicine and holistic beauty therapy; it concerns not only healthy eating habits but also what you do with your mind and spirit that contributes to your dietary habits and affects your ability to reach your health goals.
When you nourish your body with natural foods that are in keeping with holistic nutrition principles, it can lead to better health than diets based entirely on food groupings or calorie counting alone. Healthy gut function is especially important within holistic nutrition since it encompasses more than just physical wellness; emotional and mental health are also key areas of concentration for holistic nutrition practitioners.
There are many ways that holistic nutrition can help you, making it key to achieving optimal health. Some of its notable benefits include:
- Weight loss and a healthier body composition
- Lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, hence reducing the risk of heart disease
- Balance and harmony
- Increased energy levels
- Reduction in food allergy symptoms
- Assists in the treatment of digestive issues
How to Get Started With Holistic Nutrition
You can start integrating holistic nutrition principles into your life by eating more whole foods and less processed, sugary ones. Holistic nutrition practitioners educate their clients on eating a balanced diet, which may vary depending on the health issues and goals of each person. For example, someone suffering from cancer would be recommended a diet rich in fruits and vegetables so that they can have sufficient antioxidants to break up free radical cells which cause cancerous cells to form within the body. Generally speaking, though, holistic meal plans can include anything from organic foods to a gluten-free diet.
Holistic nutritionists also recommend the practice of mindfulness – such as meditating for 15 minutes each day – so you can learn to live in the present moment without worrying about everything that's going wrong all at once. This type of stress-relieving activity is especially helpful since it can reduce inflammation. It can also help promote better sleep, which makes it easier to focus on what matters most during the day.
It's common for holistic nutritionists to recommend other natural health practitioners to aid their clients in achieving a healthier lifestyle. They work closely with holistic doctors, chiropractors and acupuncturists, among others.
Follow this 5-step guide if you're ready to start your journey towards holistic nutrition and a healthy relationship with food:
- Explore the pages of a food guide created from the standpoint of a holistic nutrition professional. These may include lifestyle recommendations and holistic exercise routines, as well as healthy foods to include in your regular diet.
- Practise holistic meal planning methods using fresh natural ingredients. Don't be too conscious about the food pyramid. While holistic nutritionists do not discount its benefits, they focus more on helping their clients develop an individualized diet based on their likes, dislikes, occupation, food sensitivities, lifestyle habits, and many other personal factors.
- Try holistic exercises that you enjoy doing at least twice per week. Some highly recommended ones include yoga, Pilates, tai chi and qigong.
- Seek the advice of a holistic nutritionist regarding holistic nutrition programs that are suitable for you.
- Keep a food journal to track how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally after each meal, not to calculate how many calories you've consumed.
Since holistic nutrition is all about nourishing your mind, body and spirit, some holistic recipes you can try at home are as follows:
- Quinoa salad with black beans and avocados
- Whole wheat spaghetti with kale pesto
- Cauliflower chickpea curry
- Omelettes with vegetables
- Pumpkin spice smoothie bowls
These dishes and many others promote mindful eating, which in turn leads to optimum health. Bon appétit!