Whole Food Philosophy
" Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food ." HippocratesThe nutritional philosophy of the naturopathic physicians at our clinic can be summed up in three words, "Eat whole foods." This may sound like an oversimplification, but until this simple suggestion is put into practice, healing is not likely. In addition to this basic tenet of good nutrition, an individualized nutritional plan is recommended. Condition specific nutrition and specialized diets formulated for the individual patient are an integral part of treatments at the Clinic of Natural Medicine.
What are whole foods?
Whole foods are those that have not been bleached, stripped, denatured, or processed in any way. When shopping for groceries, a good rule of thumb is to buy foods only from the perimeter of the store, since most processed foods are found in the aisles. Whole vegetables, fruits, seeds, meats, nuts and beans as well as whole grains are the basis of a sound nutritional foundation.
Why eat whole food?
Food dictates what the body will use as raw material for new cells. It is tempting to believe that we stopped growing after puberty. The truth is that we continue to create new cells throughout our bodies every second of every day of our lives. Although we cannot perceive the changes, we shed our skin every 30 days, the mucosal lining of our GI tracts every 3-14 days, and our bones are completely destroyed and regenerated over the course of approximately 15 years. When new cells are created, there are certain components the body cannot synthesize-these are the essential nutrients (amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals). These components must be ingested. If we eat a diet devoid of these essential nutrients, the new cells that are created are not healthy. Long term consumption of such a diet can lead to chronic degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Why are processed foods so bad for you?
The purpose of processing food is largely to lengthen the food's shelf life. Lengthening the shelf life means preventing mold, decay or fermentation. These natural break-down mechanisms are all performed by living organisms-fungi, bacteria and yeast. These organisms have nutritional needs that are similar to ours: they need certain amino acids, vitamins and minerals in order to survive. Processed food is devoid of these life-giving nutrients so that no organisms can "spoil" the product. If we too are organisms on this planet, and the food is designed to be insufficient to sustain life , than how can we derive all of our nutritional needs from processed foods?
Each of us processes food differently, depending on what our bodies are capable of digesting. The art of optimizing your nutrition is in recognizing which foods your body uses most efficiently and which foods may cause problems for you. Our physicians have studied various diets and nutritional programs. They do not recommend a one-size-fits-all diet for everyone. After consulting with one of our physicians, you are given dietary recommendations that cater to who you are and where you are in your journey for optimal health.
Where do I start?
The foundation of good health is ingesting the proper building blocks for your body to regenerate healthy, vibrant cells. Change is not always easy. Our physicians will help guide you to make the changes that are permanent and conducive to your lifestyle. Many conditions require specific dietary inclusions and exclusions. Our physicians can help you navigate the ocean of information on nutrition, and guide you to the best nutritional guidelines for specifically for you.