When we consume foods that are depleted and void of nutrients, our body cannot rebuild the highest integrity cells. Proper nutrients are needed to detoxify internal toxins generated in the body, and external toxins found environmentally. We also need nutrients to build hormones and neurotransmitters. Over-processed foods stress the body and in turn inflame the body. Additionally, when the body is exposed to the same kinds of foods, allergic reactions may result. Therefore, eating well is very important to overall health. Poor nutrition affects key body systems in different ways:
BRAIN. Our brain is the executive of our body. It decides how our body works. It uses neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones to send signals to run our body and regulate moods and body functions. The brain uses 25% of energy the body consumes, but it is only 5% of our overall body weight. In order to build neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones, we need optimal nutrients and energy. Without a well-functioning digestive system and optimal nutrients, our brain function will suffer greatly.
DIGESTION. The digestive system is key to our health. This system essentially consists of the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Some people have inherently weak digestive systems. Others may be overly stressed and exposed to toxins. When toxins come into our system, our parasympathetic nervous system becomes stressed and our body sends energy to there, instead of where it needs to be. Everyday stress depletes energy from digestion as well, leading to incomplete digestion of the foods we eat. Many people with weak digestive abilities have developed allergies to gluten. Gluten is a sticky substance that attaches to organs and glands. When our body mistakes it for a foreign enemy, gluten attaches to microvilli. Our bodies’ immune response is to attack microvilli, which weakens microvilli and causing malabsorption and “leaky gut syndrome.”
LIVER AND KIDNEYS. We are constantly exposed to environmental toxins such as fire retardants, pesticides, herbicides, carbon monoxide and others. Our liver is overloaded with toxins, and needs nutrients to detoxify and regenerate cells. When you have an optimal functioning liver, you have optimal nutrients available to detox. Once the liver has done its work, the kidneys excrete toxins out and keep vital nutrients in. If the kidneys are not functioning well, many problems ensue. One issue is not being able to filter water out of our system. When there is too much water, it can hinder digestion. In Oriental Medicine, too much water in the body can lead to extinguishing digestive fire. It can lead to the stomach not being able to digest food properly.
IMMUNE SYSTEM. Toxins and allergies can overload our immune system, which is weakened when our body is overexposed to toxins. When we have a weakened immune system, it will react to minute aggression such as gluten and toxins and it could trigger autoimmune disease.
HORMONES. The hormonal system consists of the pituitary, the hypothalamus, the thyroid, the pancreas and the adrenal glands and other organs and glands. Our hormonal system works as a feedback loop. When we experience stress in the form of food allergies and environmental toxins, our adrenal glands weaken and produce insufficient hormones. The feedback loop system becomes weakened and overall body function is compromised.
Holistic Nutrition Therapy addresses the root causes of dysfunction and disease in these critical body systems.