What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is the study of how food and drink affects our bodies with special regard to the essential nutrients necessary to support human health. It looks at the physiological and biochemical processes involved in nourishment and how substances in food provide energy or are converted into body tissues. These nutrients, which are the source of energy for our bodies, are classed as: carbohydrates, fats, fibre, minerals, proteins, vitamins and water. Good nutrition means obtaining the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in the right combinations. An important part of the study of nutrition is looking at diseases that can result from malnutrition and the role that food plays in the development of chronic disease.
Poor nutrition can lead to a lack of energy, digestive problems, food allergies, weight gain, depression and anxiety as well as many of today’s most prevalent chronic diseases like coronary heart disease, cancer and ADHA. Having nutritional knowledge and making informed choices about the foods you eat can help you achieve optimum health over your lifetime.
Nutrition is also about why we choose to eat the foods we do, even when we know they may not be good for us, what is going on at a cellular level and how that affects what we crave and therefore set up food cycles that are unhealthy or damaging. Nutritionists advise people on what to eat and how to modify their diet so they can maintain or restore optimal health or help relieve ill health and combat disease.
There is almost daily advice in the media on what to eat and what not to eat (and drink) and most of it is confusing and contradictory. Celebrity chefs and fine dining have continued to grow in popularity as have food fads and quick win diets. Food is a subject close to everyone’s heart (and stomach!) and more and more people are realizing what you eat can affect both your short term and long term health.
Naturopathic nutrition seeks to uncover and support the cause of a disease, rather than just treating the symptoms as conventional medicine often does. Many people find that improving a poor diet to cure one symptom can often lead to other health benefits such as increased energy levels, improved skin and better sleep, amongst a number of other benefits.
Whether you take your studies further to become a nutritionist or not, the knowledge you gain will be invaluable as it is knowledge you will be able to integrate into daily life to the benefit of your own health and well being.