What Is Holistic Nutrition?
Holistic nutrition involves conscious decision making of food choices that serve to promote overall well-being and not hinder it. Furthermore, that what you choose to ingest will have a positive or negative effect on your body as a whole including mind, emotions and spirit. Incorporating integrative nutrition principles involves gaining knowledge about food choices and how it aligns with your individual biological makeup. We all have different biochemistry so a dietary plan that may work for one person will not work for another.
Consider that what typically entices us to eat, much of the time, maybe for purely unconscious reasons such as we crave something or simply because of what it tastes like.
Fortunately we are living in an era that recognizes the substantial importance of nutrition, making it much easier for us to make healthy dietary choices. Understanding how nutrition enhances overall wellness has become the standard in the modern world and healthy food has become faster and more convenient. This is not a trending fad that is going away and due to increased market competition and consumer demand the cost factors associated with affording healthy nutrition has been somewhat alleviated as well.
You can get almost any type of healthy organic food you seek these days at restaurants, grocery stores and local farmers markets. People want whole natural food options that they know are good for them and provide many healthy benefits. Consumers have become literally sick and tired of being poisoned by shameless food profiteers putting dollar signs in front of public health. We became aware that synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, GMOs and preservatives found in foods wreak havoc on our collective health. Thankfully food companies with a conscience continue to sprout up left and right forcing the old paradigm food industry to conform or lose their precious profits. We are seeing the acai bowl replace the #4 combo meal as the lunch of choice and a mixed berry smoothie instead of a soda.
How To Practice Holistic Nutrition
At its core holistic nutrition involves monitoring the dietary intake ratios of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbs, fats and calories through meal planning and herbal supplementation. Making special note to understand that this ratio can vary greatly from individual to individual. You should focus on nutrition for your whole being that energizes and helps maintain optimal weight. Understand the concept and impact of the gut microbiome and the balance of gut flora that science is proving has a profound impact on nutrient absorption and food cravings.
To begin applying the principles of holistic nutrition it is important to first understand that this is not a ‘fad diet’ that lasts for a specific amount of time but a lifestyle that involves viewing food as more than just sustenance but as having medicinal value that can improve overall health and help heal unwanted physical conditions. Also know that it is not always possible to get all your necessary nutrition from food alone. Herbal supplements provide another level of nutrition for optimizing wellness. Herbal supplements can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes in order to aid in specific health conditions as well. The use of natural remedies instead of pharmaceuticals, including things like Advil and NyQuil, is recommended whenever possible. It maybe necessary to consult with a Naturopathic Physician to learn more about ways certain health conditions can be treated with herbal supplements.
Know what to eat and what not to eat in general and specifically for your own unique biochemistry. Ingest only organic whole foods and organic herbal supplements whenever possible. Rule of thumb is if it doesn’t have a label like a fruit or vegetable it is definitely natural and if it does have a label you can read it to find out. Also you can ask yourself if ingesting something will help your body or hurt your body? Do what you can to make better choices when shopping and eating out. Food preparation matters too, so you want to avoid things that are fried or microwaved. It is easy to find holistic nutrition recipes these days and there are a number of solutions available to help you make the correct choices when grocery shopping that incorporate the principles of holistic nutrition.
Seek the right advice from professionals, don’t guess at your nutrition needs, meet with a certified holistic nutritionist or health coach for answers to specific questions and personalized nutritional assessments. Do some health tests that identify your unique biochemistry to make your nutrition as individualized as possible. By getting on the right program specific to you will save you bunches of time and money. Many conscious companies in the wellness industry are providing solutions to obtain unique bio data that identify possible nutrition deficiencies as well as make diet and supplement recommendations accordingly. The latest ultra personalized nutrition apps and programs utilize the latest technologies such as algorithms, biosensors and genetic testing for pinpoint accuracy and results.
Check out our guide to ultra-personalized integrative nutrition with customized meal planning, grocery shopping and recipes…
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- Rustad, Claire, and Chery Smith. “Nutrition knowledge and associated behavior changes in a holistic, short-term nutrition education intervention with low-income women.” Journal of nutrition education and behavior 45.6 (2013): 490-498.
- Willer, Helga, Minou Yussefi, and Neil Sorensen. The world of organic agriculture: statistics and emerging trends 2008. Earthscan, 2010.