Using Proper Nutrition to Heal your Body

Posted by Dr. Payson Flattery on Thursday, June 4, 2015

Heart shaped food

Your body is a complex organism. Depending on the environment, it can thrive or wither, just as any sort of life on this planet. We know this, scientifically, and yet many people overlook the basics of what this fundamentally means. The way you treat your body will greatly influence your comfort level, issues like chronic headaches or pain, and your health in general. The idea of taking medicine regularly to combat illness is a reactive approach to healthcare. Using nutrition to maintain a healthy body can set you up for long term wellness and actually support your immune system, so you can prevent disease before it strikes.

Nutrition: A Proactive Approach to Healthcare

Many people associate the word “diet” with weight loss thanks to the multimillion dollar dieting industry in the United States. However, the concept of a diet isn’t limited to something so trivial as a 30 day weight loss program. Your diet refers to the types of foods that you choose to put in your body. When you adapt to a certain diet, you are taking on a conscious awareness of how you are treating your body.

The reason diets help people lose weight is because they are so often focused on what you will take out of your diet. This is a negative focus on food deprivation that leaves many people hungry, and can reinforce unhealthy perceptions about food and eating. A healthy diet is a diet that focuses on what you can eat, and the many positive things that healthy foods can do for your body. Rather than thinking about what you can take away from your body, think about what you can provide your body with by making simple changes to the way you eat.

Elements of a Healthy Diet

A nutrient dense diet is an eating plan that emphasizes foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. These are the core substances that our bodies need to thrive. Nutrients include things like protein, vitamins and minerals, and carbohydrates.

A diet rich in nutrients will support a healthier immune system, can decrease your risk of heart disease, enhances mental clarity and cognitive strength, and reduces risk of chronic pain and illness. Protein, for example, provides structural support to your muscles and actually helps to strengthen the body. Vitamins are absorbed into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body offering additional support, including to your eyesight, ability to focus and to your heart.

To the contrary, something like sugar will detract from your health if eaten in too high of a quantity. Sugar acts as a stimulant immediately but actually slows down the nervous system in the long-run, and negatively influences the immune system. What is worst, your body will actually become hooked on sugar, leaving you feeling physically ill if you don’t get your regular fix.

Similarly, too much fat can cause damage to the body. This may happen in the form of weight gain, but also through the development of cholesterol in your arteries. Eating a diet rich in fats can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Converting a diet rich in fast foods and sugar sweets to a diet rich in whole grains and leafy greens can have an astounding impact on your health and overall quality of life. Before turning to medication to reactively address a disease, consider the many changes that you can make to your diet to turn your body into a vessel of health, rather than a vessel of disease.

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