Nutrition is a core foundational aspect of health. What we eat, how we chew and digest, how we absorb, utilize, and excrete food is the Naturopathic key for understanding how to remain healthy, avoiding illness, and heal from conditions. Hippocrates, two thousand years ago, stated “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be food.” Modern Naturopathic physicians are still advocates of this wise axiom.

Americans seem to be addicted to everything food-wise which breaks down a body. They love to eat and drink refined sugar, in huge amounts, nearly 160 pounds per person a year. They love deep fat fried foods, processed, and fast foods. They love over-eating at meals and gorging themselves on junk food like potato chips. They have an aversion oftentimes to pure, natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and drinking plain filtered water. This is why 60% of Americans are overweight, 500,000 die yearly from cardiac disease, 24 million are diabetics, and people in general have high blood pressure, digestion problems, skin rashes, fatigue, headaches, auto-immune diseases, and the whole realm of poor health. This diet also causes nutrient deficiencies to develop – Americans are unique in history for being overweight AND under-nourished.

Dr. Weston Price, an eclectic and brilliant dentist, went around the world nearly 80 year ago to find those people who lived the longest lives without developing chronic health conditions. He studied 12 such communities and found that nutrition was the key component in their (long lives), as well as exercise and a feeling of belonging to a supportive group. Some of the people ate a lot of animal based foods, some ate mostly seafoods, some ate mostly vegetarian with sparse animal products, but none of them ate processed, packaged, sweetened, trans fat containing foods.

Nutrition does not have to be complicated. Four Profound Rules would keep all of us strong and healthy:

1. Do not overeat. The only proven way to live longer and healthier is to slightly under-eat while getting in all the nutrients you need. That does not mean develop anorexia nervosa or any other dangerous behavior towards food. It does mean perhaps stopping your meal at the very beginning, the first moment, of feeling full. It also means ensuring those meals are chock full of wonderful nutrients. Not microwaved meal washed down with soda.

2. No junk! No junk means just that – no cookies, candy bars, cakes, ice cream, soda, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, fried food, trans fat foods, fast food, refined flour foods (white bread, white rice, white pasta), not eating just agri-industry meat and poultry products. Perhaps reserve this to one day a week for eating something unhealthy, but the other days of the week eat as well as you can.

3. Eat healthily – and get good variety in your diet. As much as possible, buy organic foods. They do contain more nutrients and less toxins than conventionally grown food. Our bodies thrive on variety and to avoid developing a food allergy and disease state that comes with that, varying our food is necessary.  This means eating mostly foods fresh from planet Earth:

*Fruits and vegetables–one or two fruits a day and ideally five different types of veggies every day.

*Whole grains – not just wheat based. Brown or wild rice, oatmeal (not sweetened instant), millet, quinoa, rye crackers, buckwheat – there are many different grains available to regularly use in your diet.

*Protein – beans, nuts, organic dairy, omega three eggs, non-GMO soy, fish, organic poultry, organic grass fed/finished beef, pork, lamb, game meat.

4. Avoid foods which you learn you have a reaction to.  Listen to your body – it is erudite. If it gets psoriasis if you eat eggs, don’t eat eggs.

Naturopathic physicians are nutrition experts, understanding how foods affect basic nutrition, biochemistry, hormonal balancing and inflammation in the body and mind. By working closely with patients, NDs are able to discern aspects of patient’s diets which are working against them, making and keeping them sick. NDs can also do standard and alternative tests to help uncover specifically the nutritional problems lurking in patients. NDs use dietary modification and appropriate supplementation to teach the patient how to make dietary changes which will enable them to return to health and stay there. This can also allow patients to decrease and to stop medications or avoid surgeries.

If you do not feel 100% your best, nutritional analysis and counseling from a Naturopathic physician should be your FIRST step on your path to full health recovery.

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