Eating for Mind, Body, and Soul

A holistic diet goes beyond what you eat. It is much more than the food on your table or the burning of calories through exercise. It concerns you as a complete person and is a key element to a healthy lifestyle. Its main aim is to nourish your body, arrest chronic health concerns, and increase your levels of energy to create an overall sense of well-being. 

As noted in holisticnutrition.com, the basic principle of holistic nutrition is that food offers the necessary energy for your body and mind to function properly, while supplying the essential nutrients to regenerate muscle, bone, fat, and blood. The nutrients that are derived from food are necessary for all-natural processes which constantly take place within your body. Holistic nutrition involves three major components: macronutrients, micronutrients, and fibre. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, and fats, while micronutrients include minerals and vitamins. These components play a significant role in how your body functions and they are essential to a balanced, holistic diet.

The World Health Organization has explained health to be “more than the absence of disease; Health is a state of optimal well-being”. In a post on livestrong.com, Amanda Landis, a practising nutritionist at Principal of Pure Balance Plan LLC, shared the 10 most important considerations about a holistic diet to help us better understand its objectives. 

Developing a healthy and balanced diet – One of the basic principles of a holistic diet is the need to balance the macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Neda Smith, co-editor of Holistic Nutrition, talks about the foods that give us nourishment, noting that not all carbohydrates are bad and they need not be eliminated from your diet. 

Maintaining an adequate diet – It is important to eat natural foods and avoid processed ones. Natural foods include fish, whole grains, vegetables, meats, fresh juices, herbal teas, and coffee substitutes. 

Balancing your diet – It is critical to balance the macronutrients in your diet with micronutrients like fibre, minerals, and vitamins to help the body in optimising energy so that it reaches high levels of physical and emotional health. 

Eating moderately – Foods with high sugar and fat content should be eaten in moderation. 

Digesting properly – It is important for you to digest your food to maintain good health. Cold beverages and foods do not help the cause as they are slow to digest. Also, you must chew the food well before you swallow it. It may come as a surprise, but foods that contain probiotics or friendly bacteria are strongly recommended, as they contribute to good digestion and intestinal health. 

Laying the foundation for good emotional health – Sandra Caton, editor for the American Holistic Health Association, stresses the importance of being consciously aware of your thoughts, behaviour, and feelings towards your family, friends and the people you interact with. 

Building respect for your environment – You can participate in community and neighbourhood cleanup projects and respect the Go Green philosophy. 

Gathering information to make well-informed, wellness-oriented choices – Making the right kind of food choices can help you avoid health problems in the future, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. 

Participating actively in your health decisions and your healing process – This can be done in part by disciplining yourself to maintain a nutritional diet and following a regular exercise routine. 

Integrating nourishment for your mental and spiritual health – Do you wake up with enough enthusiasm for the day ahead? If not, you can achieve this through various modes of attaining mental peace. These includes yoga, simple meditation, and recreation like reading or listening to music. 

Holistic nutrition emphasises a natural approach to a healthy diet, and considers a person as a whole entity, including all aspects of his or her lifestyle, as per holisticnutrition.com. This natural approach will incorporate spiritual, emotional and physical health to create an eventual state of well-being. A holistic approach to proper nutrition motivates sufficient education on the elements of basic nutrition to develop a healthy diet. This can include both natural and organic foods, and natural holistic supplements for chronic health conditions.    

 

– Tahseen