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Holistic Nutrition

Pragya T Mar 7, 2020
Holistic nutrition means taking care of all the important aspects - from knowing the importance of dietary constituents, to involvement of organic food, studying latest nutrition researches, to taking note of the foods that are to be included according to certain need or disorder in the body.
The process can be a challenge; however, with some smart shopping and cooking tips, you can greatly improve your diet.
"When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need."
- Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb

Holistic means treating the body as one whole. Our body is a mysterious system, which keeps working 24 hours a day and keeps performing complex processes like digestion, breathing, healing, etcetera.
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine wrote "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food". To keep the body in optimum shape diet and exercise are required. Diet plays an important role and when one follows a healthy diet, one will prevent host of diseases or even cure some serious illnesses.
This is the aim of holistic nutrition. However, this is not its only aim. Everybody knows what are the benefits of following a healthy diet; weight loss, great skin, great hair, increased immunity... the list is endless.
These are some of the benefits of following a healthy diet. It is not a specific diet, but it is an individual's approach to healthy eating.

How to Follow a Holistic Nutrition Approach

"Most illnesses arise solely from long continued errors of diet and regimen."
- Ibne Sina
People who want to inculcate a holistic nutrition approach in their lives need to understand some terms associated with food. So, understand what are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, calories, alkaline food, acidic foods, dietary fiber, sugar, preservatives, food additives, organic foods, etc.
"Stomach: A slave that must accept everything that is given to it, but which avenges wrongs as slyly as does the slave."
- Emile Souvester
Fresh fruits and vegetables are very important in a holistic diet and one should try to consume them as much as they can.
They are the best source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber.
It is said that one should consume fruits the first thing in the morning. Also, one should eat a fruit or vegetable salad before they have their main course. This is because they provide vital energy which are enzymes to the body, these enzymes help to absorb nutrients from the main course.
Proteins from lean protein sources are also advised. Carbohydrates can be gained from grains. One should also learn to differentiate between healthy and non-healthy fats. Mediterranean type fats are important to maintain overall body health. Some examples of Mediterranean style fats are olive oil, fish, and nuts.
One should drink plenty of water too everyday. You can get enough water by drinking filtered water and from juicy fruits and veggies.
Fruits like tender coconut, watermelon and cucumbers are rich in water content. Once you have understood what all the food groups are and what all they contain, you should develop skills in shopping for healthy foods and healthy cooking habits.
"Eating is always a decision, nobody forces your hand to pick up food and put it into your mouth."
- Albert Ellis, Michael Abrams, Lidia Dengelegi, The Art & Science of Rational Eating, 1992
It can be challenging to shop for healthy foods, as many foods you see available in the supermarket contain some kind of chemicals in them.
Even fresh fruits and veggies are exposed to pesticides and fertilizers which adds up to a certain chemical content. Packaged food contains preservatives, food additives, sugar, salts, food coloring, etc. Hence, try to buy as much organic produce as you can. It is virtually free from pesticides and fertilizers.
Make sure you check that the food is certified organic. Avoid packaged foods as much as you can. But, if you can't help it then always go with the no-sodium, no-sugar, additive-free and preservative-free variety.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."
- Lin Yutang
Learn how to cook food in a healthy way. Refrain from overcooking the food as this will result in loss of nutrients. However, cook any non-veg items thoroughly to prevent any poisoning of food. You can learn recipes which involve boiling, steaming, grilling and roasting of foods.
Avoid using too much of oil while cooking, and try to make different salad and fruit recipes to keep your diet interesting and enjoyable.
"Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal the patient with food."
- Hippocrates
Make modifications in your diet by adding special foodstuffs in your diet which help you recover from a deficiency or a disorder. For this purpose you will need to make changes in your diet by consuming the most healthy foods related to the disorder.
For example, if your digestive health is weak, then consume plain yogurt as much as you can. If you have dry skin and dry hair then consider eating skin friendly vitamins like E and D as much as you can. In case you suffer from common cold and cough infections then eat a lot vitamin C foods.
So, make changes in your diet and overtime you will see that the holistic nutrition is helping you heal. Note that one should follow a holistic diet with their ongoing treatment.
Holistic nutrition is an individual's approach to healthy eating, and so there are no limits to changes in the diet you can keep making as time passes by. Hence, try to educate yourself as much as you can by reading about nutrition so that you can follow a healthy diet. Also, sometimes it is not possible to eat always healthy.
For example if you are traveling you can't expect all the time to get healthy and fresh food. But, make smart choices so that you eat the most healthy food available in that region. By following a holistic diet for a long time you will see that you have cured your disorders. Because,

"Every patient carries her or his own doctor inside." - Albert Schweitzer