Nutrition & Supplements

Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of good health. It involves the use of a diet of healthy foods along with the proper and correct use of nutrient supplements to help maintain optimal physical and psychological health. The importance of proper diet and overall nutrition is often overlooked by conventional physicians, however, who receive very little education about nutrition during their medical training. By contrast, holistic physicians, naturopaths, and other health practitioners make diet and nutrition an essential part of their overall preventive and treatment programs for their patients.

While a shift to a healthier diet can improve health in and of itself, in many cases nutritional supplementation is also needed, due to a variety of factors, such as environmental pollutants, the stresses of daily life, and modern farming and food packaging methods which further deplete the nutrient content of our foods. For this reason, holistic physicians focus on both improving their patients' diets and devising a nutritional supplementation program to meet their specific nutrient needs, as determined by a variety of testing methods. The primary supplements used by most people to create and maintain good health are vitamins and minerals.

An estimated 80 percent of all Americans are said to be suffering from some form of malnutrition (nutrient deficiencies).

Poor diet and nutrient deficiencies have been linked to a wide variety of chronic disease conditions, including heart disease and cancer, our nation's two most prevalent killers. Conversely, healthy eating habits have been shown to prevent or help reverse most diseases of a chronic nature. 60 percent of all cancers, for instance, can be prevented by good diet and proper nutrition.

High fiber diets have been found to significantly reduce the risk of certain cancers (especially of the colon and rectum), coronary heart disease and hypertension; lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels: help stabilize diabetes: and minimize the incidence of hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, gall bladder disease, and diverticulitis. Yet the average American diet supplies only 25 to 33 percent of the amount of fiber necessary for optimum health.

Excessive weight can contribute to many forms of illness, including adult-onset diabetes, yet as a nation we are continuing to grow fatter. Currently, 22 percent of all Americans are obese, and over 30 percent areoverweight, due in large part to poor eating habits and lack of exercise.

Included as part of the standard American diet are six substances which are known to pose health risks: sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, and excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol. The average American eats 150 pounds of sugar each year, or the equivalent of over 40 teaspoons a day, and daily drinks a minimum of two and a half cups of coffee.

Most Americans are also unknowingly chronically dehydrated, due to their failure to consume enough pure water each day, relying instead on coffee, soda, and commercially prepared, nutritionally lacking juices and teas.

The mineral content of soil used to grow today's crops is on average one-sixth of what it was 50 years ago, due to commercial farming methods, resulting in devitalized produce. Additional commercial farm production methods, along with shipping and storage procedures, further degenerate crops of their nutrient value.

An estimated 50 million American are lactose-intolerant (sensitive or allergic to dairy products), many of them unknowingly. Due to each person's unique biochemical individuality, the amount of specific nutrients required for health can vary as much as 700 percent from person to person.

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