The Role of Nutrition in Holistic Wellness: Beyond Diet Trends

Written by nwgadmin
June 10, 2024
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Holistic wellness goes beyond simply not having an illness; it’s a proactive and comprehensive approach that considers your entire being. This includes your physical, emotional, and mental health. At the core of holistic wellness is the understanding that every aspect of your life influences your overall health, which is where the importance of nutrition comes into play.  Proper nutrition feeds not just the body, but also the mind and spirit, paving the way for optimal health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people think of dieting when they think about having good nutrition. In this article, you’ll learn specific changes you can make to your nutrition, without following a diet trend, improving your overall health and helping you feel your best.

What is Holistic Wellness?

Holistic wellness is an approach to life and health that emphasizes the connection between mind, body, and spirit. It seeks to maintain balance in these areas through a variety of means, rather than just addressing symptoms or specific health issues. It integrates both modern medicine and traditional healing methods to promote overall health and prevent disease. This includes the use of holistic nutrition, which focuses on consuming natural foods that provide essential nutrients without the harmful effects often associated with processed foods.

What Role Does Nutrition Play in Holistic Wellness?

Eating well involves much more than buying organic foods that are part of holistic diets – what’s most important is choosing nutrient-rich foods. This type of functional nutrition plays a significant role in our health since it targets the use of specific nutrients to heal and maintain the body at its peak. For example, healthy fats, including omega-3, fatty acids, and short-chain fatty acids, are vital for brain health, mood regulation, and reducing inflammation. These fatty acids are crucial components of a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support not only physical health but also mental well-being. Additionally, foods rich in beneficial gut bacteria, such as fermented foods, enhance gut health, which is directly linked to the gut-brain axis and plays a significant role in mental health and immune system support.

Specific Ways To Practice Good Nutrition: Beyond Diet Trends

While diet trends such as low-carb diets and juice cleanses can be tempting with their false promises of quick fixes and dramatic results, they aren’t sustainable or healthy. More often than not, diets involve depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to function.  Instead, it’s more important to incorporate practices such as mindful eating, where you focus on the experiences and impacts of food on your body and mind. Limiting processed foods can also be helpful, which reduces your intake of unnecessary sugars and unhealthy fats. Incorporating natural foods into your diet also ensures you receive essential nutrients without the additives found in many processed items.  These practices create a holistic approach to nutrition that supports your overall health, rather than just pursuing temporary changes.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is about developing an awareness of your eating habits, the sensory experiences of food, and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. The practice of mindful eating enables you to pause between your triggers and your actions, helping you break free from habitual eating behaviors. Here are some ways to incorporate mindful eating into your routine:

Eat slowly

Take time to chew your food thoroughly, which aids digestion and allows you to truly taste and enjoy the flavors.

Eliminate distractions

Try to eat away from your desk, TV, or smartphone. This helps you focus on the eating experience and listen to the cues your body is giving you about satiety and satisfaction.

Engage all senses

Notice the texture, color, aroma, and even the sounds different foods make as you eat them. This can turn eating into a more delightful and immersive experience.

Check in with your hunger cues

Before eating, ask yourself how hungry you are. This can prevent overeating and help you learn to distinguish between true hunger and eating out of boredom or emotion.

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Limiting-Processed-Foods

Limiting Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain excessive amounts of sodium, sugars, and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Reducing your intake of processed foods can dramatically improve your health. Here’s how you can start:

Read labels

Be wary of foods with long ingredient lists and additives that are difficult to pronounce. This often signals that a food is highly processed.

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store

This is where you’ll typically find fresh produce, meats, and dairy, as opposed to the central aisles which are often filled with processed foods.

Cook at home more often

This allows you to control the ingredients that go into your food, ensuring meals are healthier and contain fewer processed components.

Choose whole grains

Select whole grains over refined ones. Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat have their natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals intact.

Incorporating Natural Foods Into Your Diet

Natural foods are those that are minimally processed and free from artificial substances. Eating more natural foods is crucial for getting the nutrients your body needs to function optimally, including helping to improve your nutrient absorption. Here are some tips for incorporating more natural foods into your diet:

Prioritize organic and local produce

Organic foods are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and local produce is likely to be fresher and full of flavor.

Increase your vegetable and fruit intake

Try to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits at every meal. They are high in essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.

Choose lean proteins and healthy fats

Incorporate a variety of proteins from both animal and plant sources, such as fish, lean meats, beans, and legumes. Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil.

Experiment with herbs and spices

Instead of relying on salt and sugar for flavor, use herbs and spices. This not only enhances the natural taste of your food but also provides health benefits.

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By focusing on mindful eating, reducing your intake of processed foods, and incorporating more natural foods into your diet, you can significantly enhance your holistic wellness journey and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Each of these strategies is interconnected, supporting not just physical health but also contributing to mental and emotional well-being.

Holistic Wellness at National Wellness Group

National Wellness Group specializes in holistic health and wellness treatment, helping patients achieve peak health and optimal vitality. As a value-based clinic (rather than volume-based), we provide individualized care and natural treatments in the form of holistic medicine that work in harmony with your body. During your first appointment, we will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation to assess your current health and discuss any symptoms you are experiencing. This gives us a deeper understanding of the issues you are facing, as well as learn more about your lifestyle and diet.  We will then come up with a plan to improve and restore your overall health with a holistic approach. Treatment will vary based on your specific needs, but typically will include a combination of prebiotic and probiotic supplements, IV therapy, making changes to your diet with foods you like that are full of nutrients, combining functional medicine with quantum energy and quantum diagnostics (and turning them into healing energies), and more.  Our team of leading health practitioners at National Wellness Group are determined to improve your health.