Holistic Nutrition

December 2, 2022

Lately, the world seems to be going crazy about nutrition and healthy eating. Every week there is a new shocking breakthrough. The world has discovered a new superfood, previously known unhealthy foods are now healthy, or another ‘guaranteed’ life-changing diet has been discovered.

Please don't get me wrong; I am happy to see more people interested and curious about nutrition. But, like you, I have found myself getting confused and overwhelmed. How do I even keep track of the “right” and “wrong” foods?

Then some people speak of these old golden rules:

  • "A little bit of everything is the best way to go!" or
  • "Eat everything your body asks for; just aim for balance"

But let's be honest; this advice does not work for most of us.

Let's look at why being healthy is often so difficult, what holistic nutrition is and how to include it in your everyday life.

Why is Living a Healthy Life So Difficult?

According to my experience, some of the significant reasons you might struggle to live a healthy life are:

  • You are stressed, tired and overstimulated.
  • You are unsatisfied with your job, relationships and the city you live in.
  • You prioritise your money and career above cultivating friendships.
  • You are not spending time in nature or moving your body.
  • You might smoke or consume too much alcohol or caffeine.

If you’re struggling with depression or stress, yoga can help! Read more here: 

How can you make living a healthy life easier?

It is crucial to take a close, honest look at the elements contributing to your wellness and carefully analyse them. Do this before you move on to yet another diet.

The following questions can help you identify what factors contribute to your health: 

  • What do you eat when you're stressed?
  • How often do you exercise?
  • Do you have time to cook?
  • How healthy are the people around you?
  • Do you have easy access to healthy foods?

The answers to these questions will clarify your habits and challenges. As the saying goes, “The first step toward change is awareness.” After analysing your answers, identify what will nourish you mentally and physically

This is the core of what is referred to as "holistic nutrition.”

Healthy Life with Holistic Nutrition

What is Holistic Nutrition?

In simple terms, holistic nutrition is about eating for your mind, body and soul

Eating healthy is easy when you approach it with a holistic view—considering all aspects, such as your mind, emotions, education, community and environment.

You don't have to get divorced, move to another country, find another job or new friends before you can achieve and maintain your ideal weight. But, to find the ideal diet that enables you to be healthy long term, you need to look at the bigger picture and include all aspects of holistic nutrition.

How to include holistic nutrition into your life

When I talk about holistic nutrition, you should consider the following:

  • A diet that is in line with the environment and nature.
  • A diet that includes foods that don’t harm other living beings.
  • A diet in which you focus on consuming foods that nourish and support your body.

A holistic diet should consist of at least 85% plant-based food sources. The other 15% can be animal products such as eggs or organic dairy products. Research shows that most people don't need meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Plant-based proteins contain less saturated fats and cancer-promoting chemicals, and more fibre and micronutrients than animal proteins. With a well-balanced diet, you can get all your nutrient requirements by eating mainly plant-based.

Protein Requirement Per Day
How Much Protein Do We Need

In the last decade, "new" science has revealed principles that have always been clear in ancient wisdom and oriental medicines like Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine. These principles suggest that nutrition and diet should be approached according to the individual, as everybody thrives on a different diet. There are many universal rules in healthy nutrition, but because we're all different, a "healthy diet" for me, will not necessarily be the best option for you.

This is another crucial element of holistic nutrition—individualising. One size does not fit all.

Let’s Recap!

Holistic nutrition is the concept that health embraces many elements like community, friends, emotional health, family, education, occupational satisfaction, and a healthy diet. Plus, since every individual has different needs, nutrition should be individualized.

Hopefully, you’ve also learned that it is always better to approach a problem from various angles. Often, the solution is a combination of minor adjustments to each element involved in the issue.

A holistic approach is the only way to solve this.

References

  1. Huang, Jiaqi, Linda M. Liao, Stephanie J. Weinstein, Rashmi Sinha, Barry I. Graubard, and Demetrius Albanes. "Association between plant and animal protein intake and overall and cause-specific mortality." JAMA Internal Medicine 180, no. 9 (2020): 1173-1184.
  2. Katz, David L., and Suzanne Meller. "Can we say what diet is best for health." Annu Rev Public Health 35, no. 1 (2014): 83-103.

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