Nutrition And Supplementation
In an ideal world, every person would be able to get the vitamins and nutrients they need through their diet, however in a toxic world this is not always the case. There are many reasons for imbalanced or deprived nutritional states including disease processes such as celiac sprue, food sensitivities, medications, such as statins, antidepressants, diuretics, and corticosteroids, and an unhealthy diet of processed and genetically modified foods. To focus on improving your nutrition you should base your diet on real, nutrient-dense whole foods to better nourish your body. We require three things to survive – oxygen, water and food, but it is the nutrients in our food that determines if we thrive, so quality matters.
There are two types of nutrients in food that we need:
- Macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates & Fat
- Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals & other compounds required in small amounts
Carbohydrates and fats, except for two fatty acids, can be provided by the human body for a short period of time if dietary intake is insufficient, but this is not true for micronutrients and essential amino acids found in protein, which must be obtained from the diet and should be consumed daily. The key to nourishing your body and achieving optimal health is to maximize your intake of bioavailable nutrients
Food refining created three harmful foods which can destroy our health – flour, sugar, and industrial seed oils. It also brought us chemical additives, preservatives, and emulsifiers. More than 50% of the calories the average American consumes today come from flour, sugar and industrial seed oils. This is a serious problem because these three also promote overeating foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. They also tend to promote inflammation, and inflammation is at the root of all modern disease!
Evidence suggests you should minimize your intake of flour, sugar and other sweeteners, industrial seed oils and processed and refined foods and snacks of all kinds. Eat healthy fats that play important roles, including reducing inflammation.
The next factor that determines the quality of the food we eat is how it is grown, harvested or raised. The highest quality produce is grown local and organic. The highest quality meat, dairy products and eggs come from pasture-raised animals. The highest quality fish is wild-caught, and preferably cold-water. Organic plant foods contain on average, 25% higher concentration of 11 nutrients than their conventional counterparts, especially polyphenols and antioxidants.
Even when we are careful about our diet and nutrition there is evidence that nutrient deficiencies may occur. There are some deficiencies that are more likely when consuming the Standard American Diet. We suggest you supplement wisely to avoid these deficiencies whenever possible, especially as you age. There are two distinct kinds of supplementation: Maintenance & Therapeutic supplements.
- Maintenance supplements are basic micro-nutrients that are difficult to obtain in adequate amounts even in a healthy diet – like vitamin D, vitamin A, EPA, DHA and magnesium.
- Therapeutic supplements are designed to accomplish specific goals like treating a health condition, a nutrient deficiency, or specific symptoms
You may want to consider supplementing with some of these nutrients depending on your diet and circumstances, including any active disease or current medical treatments you are undergoing along with your overall health goals. You should take a multivitamin daily because you may not get enough of other vitamins and minerals for optimal health. It is important that you seek advice from a professional who will help you identify and prioritize what supplements you may need specifically for you and how much to supplement.
All these factors can play a vital role in your body on a cellular level and at Willowbend Health and Wellness, we help you find a balance in your nutritional needs to optimize your health. We offer micronutrient testing, which provides an intracellular and extracellular assessment of the levels of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your body and how well they are functioning. Whether you are healthy or struggling with a chronic condition, the benefit of micronutrient testing aids in restoring balance in the body and ensuring which nutrient supplementation is appropriate for you at this time in your life.