Ho·lis·tic (Merriam Webster’s)
(adj.) Relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts <holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body>
Nu·tri·tion (Merriam Webster’s)
(n.) the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; specifically the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances
We live, breathe and function on metabolic processes. While we are busy enjoying life –our bodies are busy with internal activities designed to keep us going. There are thousands of processes going on at any given moment. There are also multiple substances that need to be present for these processes to take place optimally. When our diets are deficient in certain vitamins, the body will rob organs and tissues of these vitamins to use in metabolic processes.
Holistic nutrition versus allopathic or traditional medicine:
In his book Enzymes: The Key to Health, Dr. Howard Loomis, Jr. president of the Loomis Institute of Enzyme Nutrition, lists some key differences between the science of nutrition and traditional medicine. They are paraphrased as follows:
Nutrition uses foods to heal; allopathic (or traditional) medicine primarily uses prescription drugs to heal. Nutrition seeks to maintain a health; medicine relieves symptoms and treats disease. Nutrition seeks harmony in the body through diagnosing dietary stress; medicine seeks alleviation of symptoms and/or curing of disease primarily through pharmacology*. Nutrition focuses on natural bodily processes while pharmacology focuses on pathology.
Holistic Nutrition asserts that disease is a disturbed bodily function. Health is a normal condition of the body and mind, with all the parts working properly. Sickness and disease are materializations of our bodies trying to correct abnormal environments or imbalances. Imbalances can be due to faulty nutritional patterns, improper rest, toxin buildup, stress management and other lifestyle conditions which over time result in a weakening of the body.
Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.”
The four basic building blocks of a good diet are protein, fat, carbohydrate and water.
Food is a material consisting of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and other substances that are essential for an organism to sustain growth, repair itself and furnish energy for activity of the organism.
When we eat, various nutrients and compounds within the foods will be distributed to different cells, organs, tissues and structures throughout the human body. Parts of the foods will be immediately discarded and parts will be stored and/or used. The object of digestion is to break down the foods we eat into small enough particles that the nutrients and compounds can pass through the gut wall directly into the blood stream where they can be carried to various parts of the body.
If we consume a chemical, by the process of digestion, that chemical may well be distributed to different organs within the body via the bloodstream. The body is a fantastic organism that defends itself from hundreds of chemicals and toxins daily. If we are fortunate, that chemical will be filtered out by the kidneys or liver. The safest choice is always natural or organic. Thicker skinned fruits such as bananas and grapefruit may not absorb as many toxins as thinner skinned fruits such as strawberries or blueberries.
When we eat foods that are not good for us, the body must defend itself from those toxins. Once unwanted food particles pass through the gut wall and into the blood stream, our white blood cells attack and destroy those particles the same way they do foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. By eating healthy foods, we can protect ourselves long term. In addition digestive enzymes can be useful not only in helping the body to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat, but also to break down potential unwanted food particles that could become toxic.