What is Holistic Nutrition?
Holistic Nutrition is a natural approach to dietary and lifestyle choices. Setting itself aside from some of the alternatives, holistic nutrition focuses on the individual as a whole being, and by doing so, is able to address the root causes of a problem, rather than merely treating the symptoms. Holistic nutrition also brings a focus onto prevention, helping to avoid illnesses and states of dis-ease, before they even start. Furthermore, all aspects of the individual’s lifestyle are taken into consideration, incorporating emotional, mental and physical health to create a comprehensive state of well-being. In regards to the development of dietary choices, the holistic approach encourages education on basic nutrition and incorporates natural, whole and organic foods, natural holistic supplements and food treatments for chronic & acute health conditions.
Some of the conditions we commonly help with are:
- Acne/skin conditions
- Dietary changes/food allergies
- Disease prevention (i.e. cancer/osteoporosis/arthritis)
- Hormone issues
- Low energy / fatigue
- Sleep problems
Why is food so important?
In basic terms, food provides the energy needed for all of our bodily systems to function properly and supplies the nutrients that are required to build and regenerate bone, muscle, fat and blood. This understanding is one of a few fundamental principles of holistic nutrition. The many nutrients obtained from food are essential for the natural processes that constantly take place inside the body and they are split into three separate categories: macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, protein and fats; micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals; and fiber. These components all play an important role in how the body functions and are essential to a complete, balanced diet.
Which types of food are we talking about?
The most critical component of holistic nutrition is incorporating natural foods into your diet whenever possible. By natural, we mean whole foods, that have not been processed; there should only be one ingredient! Supplementation is sometimes a necessary factor, but whenever possible, the focus is on getting the nutrients you need from your food. Foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans, fruits, nuts and seeds are the basics of a natural, whole foods diet. It is also important to strive for as much variety as possible in your diet, because it’s easier on your body, covers all your bases, and makes meal time so much more fun!
A primary factor, included in all nutrition protocols, is healing. Our body’s are incredible mechanisms that are always striving to regain equilibrium. Holistic nutrition provides people with the knowledge of how this works, to heal naturally. With optimal digestion and the proper balance of all the macro and micro nutrients for optimum health, the client is able to reach optimum energy levels, emotional well-being and the ability to fight infections. Furthermore, by following some simple nutritional guidelines, one can help prevent various health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
Did you know that thirst pains manifest the same as hunger pains so they often go unheeded? It is of the upmost importance not only to nourish your body with plenty of fluids, but also to consume the “right” types of fluids. When it comes to hydration, water is by far the best option, but there are a few other great choices as well. Herbal teas or infused water are a great substitute, offer tons of hydration back into your body and are alkalinizing. Other options if you want to mix it up a bit are drinks such as unsweetened alternative milk and fresh juice, which are nutrient rich, and fermented drinks like Kombucha offer valuable probiotics to help support optimal gut health.
So what are the main benefits of Holistic Nutrition?
There are powerful psychological, spiritual and overall health benefits, when you follow a holistic nutrition protocol. Especially for people who suffer from chronic conditions and / or mood-related conditions. Many physical ailments are directly related to emotional and psychological well-being, so developing a healthy and balanced diet helps to relieve stress, and aid in memory loss and other cognitive functions. Holistic nutrition is designed to heal the body, enrich the mind and cleanse the spirit and cultivate the ultimate in healthy lifestyles.
As holistic nutritionists are not yet government regulated, it’s important to look for the certification, Certified Nutritional Practitioners (CNPs), as CNPs are holistic nutritionists with a 3 year diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition. This is recognized and approved by the Certified Nutritional Practitioners Council of Canada (CNPCC).