I won’t lie. I cringe a little bit every time someone says to me, “______________ (fill in the blank) are really good for you,” and as a holistic nutritionist, I hear that a lot.
People think that the holistic approach is all about eating good foods. It is and it isn’t. Nutritionally speaking, it’s about knowing HOW to use food to build OPTIMAL health for each individual.
Let me explain. We are constantly being fed with images and ideas of the latest and greatest foods or diet that will fulfill all of our health goals. This happens without taking into consideration that everyone has different health needs and lifestyles. Bringing home a jar of coconut oil isn’t going to save your life, and having some organic butter at home isn’t going to kill you either. It’s important to remember that food is science, and within this science there exist catalysts, activators, alterations, and denaturing. As holistic nutritionists, we strive to get the body to achieve its own balance.
Some ideas to consider…
Pair wisely. I’m not talking about food combining here, but rather understanding that washing down a totally healthy meal with a rum and coke is going to have a neutralizing effect and put extra strain on your system trying to do its job.
Know your cooking methods. Vitamins are destroyed by heat. Frying and deep frying destroy all oils and create free radicals which do damage in our body. This doesn’t mean that we should all jump on the raw food bandwagon either. It just means eating “good” foods won’t do you much good if you don’t learn about how to best prepare them to maximize nutrition.
Get your nutrition from many sources. Don’t solely rely on a few foods to get your vitamins, minerals, and energy (proteins/fats/carbs) “for the day.” Have a variety. Try new foods. Switch up the menu from week to week. What you don’t get from one food, you can get from another.
Nutrition grows in our own backyard. Yes, those new and exotic foods certainly have their appeal. Once they’re taken from their natural environment, however, they go through a huge process to get here… A place where it doesn’t even exist in nature, and may not be meant for the metabolism of our climate.
Fads exist – even in the food industry. For optimal health, context determines everything.