Nutrition and Naturopathy for a healthy diet. In today’s busy and complex world, where we increasingly value convenience over everything else, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is difficult. The way we understand nutrition is changing every day, and it seems we are being bombarded with different health messages each week, sometimes contradicting other things we hear. More and more healthy eating “fads” are taking over from proper advice, and it can be hard for the average person to know where to start, or who to believe.
In order to make meaningful, long-lasting changes to your diet, you need advice from practitioners who understand the complex mechanics of food, and how what we eat interacts with our body chemistry.
Why should you consider naturopathy?
Naturopathy has an undeserved reputation as being unscientific and “woo woo”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Naturopathy is grounded in scientific evidence, which is then applied to practical solutions designed to help prevent and treat medical problems. More than that, the logic behind naturopathy is very simple; that the body is a naturally balanced system that works best when kept fit, and fuelled by natural produce. While complex synthetic compounds like modern drugs do have a part to play in healthcare, the first response to health problems is preventing them in the first place!
Why is nutrition important, and why should you consider changing your diet?
The first step to changing your diet and cutting down on unhealthy eating is understanding why you should do it. Nutrition is the science of nutrients (in food), and how our body reacts to different kinds of nutrients. It’s important because we all need to eat to survive and understanding what you should eat gives you the information you need to make informed choices about diet. It’s worth noting that your diet is a good indicator of current and future health, in conjunction with other measures. For example, the health impact of obesity is still yet to be fully understood, but the available research suggests being overweight carries risks of many diseases and disorders. Diet is an integral part of such challenges and controlling your food intake is an exceptional preventative measure to stop getting sick in the future.
The principle is the same for car engines. If you use high-quality, premium fuel with fewer additives, that burns more cleanly and efficiently, then your car will run better. The engine will be cleaner, more resistant to damage, and will perform at a higher level generally than if you were using a cheaper, lower-quality fuel. Your body is the same. Unhealthy foods are full of things that your body doesn’t want or need, and while they might taste great, they do very little good to you, and have lots of negative effects like weight gain, increased cholesterol, lethargy, and stress on your organs. Naturopathy is all about balance and maintaining your body’s natural equilibrium. Nutrition is a fundamental part of that balance, and so how you eat will affect the rest of your life too.
Some simple strategies for improving your diet.
Radical changes rarely work, and this is especially true of diets
There’s a reason why people are sceptical of modern dieting trends. The majority of those who decide to go on a diet will have initial success, and then gain the weight back within a year or two, and in some cases actually put on more weight than they started with. One of the reasons for this is that most of these diets are radical and difficult to maintain long term. Some are also not based on science at all, but an unfounded set of principles.
Healthy nutrition is a long term pursuit that fits into a broad health narrative. Naturopathy understands this and understands that making long-lasting change takes time and careful planning. The key to successful diet change is taking gradual, achievable steps that change behaviour in the long term.
Slowly eliminating unhealthy foods from the weekly shop is a good place to start. Junk food is often chosen as a snack, so making sure to choose healthy alternatives like fruit or grain-based foods as tasty alternatives is important. Once those smaller changes become new habits, then new changes can be introduced, so that each week you’re contributing to change, without having to go without everything you’re used to straight away.
Don’t forget about the drinks!
It’s easy to focus too heavily on food, and forget about the unhealthy drinks in our lives. Soft drinks are a major issue, but they are also a bit of a scapegoat when it comes to people who already only use them as an occasional treat. Remember to look at your daily staples like tea and coffee, which might be healthy in moderation, but if combined with sugar can add up to an unhealthy amount over the course of each day. Similarly, things like fruit juices and smoothies, especially if bought rather than homemade, can be full of sugar and other unhealthy additives that are hidden beneath a healthy veneer.
Needing help is not a failing
Discipline and personal responsibility are important to having a healthy diet, but they are not a magical cure to break unhealthy eating habits. It’s important to understand your limitations. Altering your diet to include more healthy food is a major lifestyle change that will be challenging, as well as taking time to implement properly. Speaking to industry professionals will make your healthy eating journey easier and more grounded.
Naturopathy is about understanding how the body works in practice. Our naturopaths are trained professionals who know how to craft individualised plans that incorporate nutrition into your personal health needs. This includes all the other aspects of mental and physical health that are part of healthy living. It’s a holistic approach that treats nutrition as part of an overall strategy to improve your health. We understand that sticking to a healthy diet is hard, and our experts are here to help you make meaningful changes that you’ll be able to maintain into the future.