Traditional Nutritional

The Foundations

Nutritional Therapy is built on five pillars of functional health known as foundations plus an underlying foundation of high quality, nutrient dense foods.  The foundations are: Digestion, Sugar Handling, Fatty Acids, Tissue Minerals, and Hydration.  

Let’s start with Digestion which is what our bodies do chemically and mechanically to break our food down into molecules that our cells can use. Digestion is fundamental to nutritional therapy since all of our cells depend on proper digestion to have what they need to function. Digestion is a north to south process, the sight and smell of foods triggers our salivary glands to produce enzymes which start the digestive process. In our mouth we begin the mechanical breakdown of the foods we eat. In our stomach both mechanical and chemical breakdown occurs, and with the addition of enzymes and other chemicals our food is now ready to pass into the small intestine. The small intestine works as both a digestive organ and a gland secreting important hormones needed for digestion. An important role the small intestine plays as our food continues south is the absorption of nutrients into the blood stream to be carried throughout our bodies. Next the process continues south to the large intestines where, some lost nutrients are reclaimed with the help of bowel flora, water is recycled back into our bodies and the feces are formed and then transported out of the body. When I look for dysfunction in the digestive system I use the north to south roadmap to determine what area of digestion is not functioning optimally. My first question is: am I chewing my food?

Next let’s look at the role Blood Sugar Balance plays as a foundational pillar for our health. Carbohydrates are the part of our diets that most affect our blood sugar balance since they are converted directly into glucose which is also called blood sugar. When looking at blood sugar balance we find that the primary organs that need to be functioning properly are the pancreas, liver, and adrenal glands. These organs all produce various components critical for using the sugars in our diet.

An important component that supports our bones and tissues are minerals, which make up 4% of our bodies. Minerals are classified as Macro minerals (large), such as calcium, magnesium, and Micro minerals (small), An important component that supports our bones and tissues are minerals, which make up 4% of our bodies. Minerals are classified as Macro minerals (large), such as calcium and magnesium, and Micro minerals (small), including iron and chromium. These and other minerals act as cofactors for enzyme reaction, help maintain our pH, and support healthy nerve conduction.  Since our bodies cannot produce these important minerals we must have them in our foods. Unfortunately much of the soil used to grow our veggies on an industrial level is depleted of minerals, and if the minerals are not in the soil they will not be in our food. Organic farmers are committed to the health of the soil they grow on, and will deliver to your table mineral dense veggies.

Making up about 15% of our bodies, fatty acids are essential to good health. Contrary to popular politically correct belief a fairly high percent of “good” fats are required for excellent health. These fats are needed as a source of energy, are required for absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, protect the lining of our bodies organs. Other roles healthy fats play include slowing down our body’s absorption of food to allow for energy regulation. and one of my favorite roles for the fats in my diet, they make my food taste better. When looking for fats to include in our diets, it is important to look at how these fats are processed, even more than their source. It is best to avoid fats that are processed with chemicals;  instead look for “cold” pressed oils. A lot of commercial foods have cottonseed oil as an ingredient which is best to avoid since cotton is one of the crops where there is many pesticides used in its production.

As you are reading this you may be dehydrated. Our last pillar for optimal health, water is the most important nutrient in our bodies. Did you know that you can go as much as 8 weeks without food, but only a few days without water?  Water plays many important roles in our bodies, including oxygen delivery to cells, nutrient transport, cushioning our bones and joints, and regulating our body’s temperature. Did you know that many of the beverages you drink daily are diuretics?  Do you feel fatigued, irritable, and headachy?  These are all early signs of dehydration. Coffee, tea, and many soft drinks act as diuretics and can deplete our bodies of needed water, and it is suggested that for every 8ounces of caffeinated beverage we should all consume 12-16 ounces of pure fresh water.

I know I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg with information about these pillars crucial to having a foundation for optimum health. There are many sources available for more information about these pillars  

Note - Nutritional Therapy is not designed to diagnose or cure any disease; for disease states, always consult your doctor or other medical practitioner

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.