Nutritional Therapy (Nutrition) –
By fuelling our body with the nutrients it requires, it can function efficiently and ward off infections and illness. Optimal conditions (mental, emotional, spiritual & physical) support optimum functioning. Good nutrition is fundamental to good physical health. We draw energy from food, and much of this is used for the processes of digestion, absorption, circulation and elimination. The rest is used for activities such as thinking, working and playing. In modern society, stress also uses up much energy!
When we eat processed and other low quality foods, we deprive our body of vital nutrients, and we burden our digestive system, which needs to eliminate them! Low energy also results in low immunity! Refined foods lack roughage so clog the bowels, and saturate the system with toxins that are reabsorbed and make us sick. Junk food is high in refined carbohydrates or fat or both, so supplies plenty of energy for our bodies to run on, but they do not sustain us in the long run, and do not support rebuilding or maintenance of health…eventually you will burn out!
A good nutritional diet includes fruits and vegetables that are:
- fresh (to supply the nutrients, and enzymes needed for digestion and metabolism, which are unstable and lost or destroyed during storage and cooking),
- whole (natural and raw, and the entire food item eaten, providing plenty of fibre for regular bowel movements),
- naturally ripened (so they contain the right balance of vitamins and minerals),
- in season (providing for our needs at the time)
Meals should ideally be simple, as too many different foodstuffs consumed at once confuse the digestive juices! Dining should be conducted in a relaxed, mindful manner, so as to support efficient digestion. Over-eating must be avoided (emotional eating is usually at the core of issue).
Our bodies require protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibre and water. We are all unique and require these in different amounts and form, depending on body type, stress levels, age, gender, blood group, history, health, and of course personal preferences.
Protein can be obtained from animal sources (complete and provides vitamin B12), and vegetable sources such as legumes, nuts, etc. (must be properly combined to provide all essential amino acids).
Carbohydrates include starches, cellulose, pectins and gums. These provide fuel for the brain, nerves, muscles and other tissues and metabolic processes in the body. Refined carbohydrates are too readily available and thus absorbed too quickly, upsetting the blood sugar levels in the body! Complex carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables are a better choice and can be eaten in abundance (some limitations do apply to fruits).
Fats and lipids
Fats and lipids are the most concentrated energy source. They provide building and structural molecules for the body (brain tissue, nerve tissue, liver, blood; they are a precursor for hormones), and are needed for vitamin D synthesis and bile production. They are also a source of fat-soluble vitamins. Cholesterol is a lipid, but most cholesterol is produced by the liver; only a small percentage is required from our diet. Saturated fats from eggs, meat, shellfish and saturated foods should be consumed in great moderation, or even avoided by some people. Unsaturated fats (from fatty fish, cold pressed vegetable oils, and some from eggs and cheese) are needed in slightly higher amounts. Vitamin F and Linoleic Acid and Arachidonic acid are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce, and must be obtained from dietary sources of fats and lipids. Vitamin E in oils protects them from oxidation, and can be removed during processing! It is best to obtain fats from natural whole food sources and to avoid heating oils too much. Never reheat oils! Butter is a natural source of vitamin A. Margarine is unnatural and not recommended. Eggs are high in cholesterol, but also contain lecithin, which is a natural detergent that emulsifies fats, to deal with the cholesterol, but this is only available if the egg yolk is not cooked until it is hard!
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin and mineral supplementation is beneficial for most people at a low daily dose. Pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and those with known deficiencies require more. Supplements should be regularly checked for compatibility with the body and the dose and variety should be adjusted according to lifestyle changes.
Water is a vital nutrient, and has many functions in the body. At least 2 litres of good quality (preferably filtered) water should be consumed daily by the average adult, preferably as small amounts taken hourly, and not with meals. Part of this can be made up of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, homemade soups and herbal teas. Increasing hydration levels can result in a considerable improvement in health!
Specific herbs can assist with healing and enhancement of wellbeing.
Lifestyle advice is important as it enables clients to maintain the healing effects of in-session and remote healing balances.
After all, we are each responsible for our own health, and this forms a vital part of the healing journey.