How much importance do you place on nutrition? We’re sure you put a lot of effort into choosing what you eat, but perhaps you haven’t thought about how important it can be to feel good. We want to offer you a new approach: a more natural, nourishing and regulating diet. Because our bodies need to be nourished with the right foods. We are what we eat, and our health depends to a large extent on our nutrition.
In this article, we want to talk to you about integrative nutrition. It is a part of integrative medicine that focuses on food to prevent disease and, more importantly, promote good health. Do you want to know about its benefits and the principles that govern it? Read on.
Integrative medicine and nutrition
Integrative medicine combines conventional and natural medicine to provide patients with all the tools to help them. This type of medicine is based on taking care of global aspects of the individual: physiological, psychological, nutritional and social. For this reason, it is said to be a holistic discipline.
In integrative medicine and nutrition, the context of the patient and the circumstances that determine it are essential. In this respect, it is very much taken into account that physical and emotional stress and the hectic pace in which we live cause wear and tear on our cells. This wear and tear can develop into a more or less severe illness. In addition, other factors intervene in our health over the years, such as having resorted to medication from an early age, the environmental pollution to which we are regularly subjected, and the impoverishment of soils due to chemicals and pesticides, which means that the food we eat is not of the same quality as it was years ago. Today, we could say we are overfed but not sufficiently nourished.
In this context, integrative nutrition is about balancing the functioning of cells to prevent and treat future diseases.
What is integrative nutrition?
Integrative nutrition is nothing more than a natural treatment that is not aggressive for our organism, and that can improve common pathologies such as:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Digestive disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- High cholesterol
- Migraines or headaches
- Anxiety and depression
The three basic principles of integrative nutrition
- Choose foods that are as natural as possible. In other words, those to which no components are added and which have not undergone industrial treatment. Thus, we can say that this group includes fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables, pulses, seeds, nuts, lean meats, fish, seafood, eggs… This type of food can be found in the traditional market -better if they are locally and sustainably produced-. This type of food has a shorter shelf life, i.e. it spoils quickly, and some of it is only safe if cooked. For this reason, foods are also produced with minimal processing, which makes them easier to store. These foods, like those mentioned above, undergo some processing – they are washed, pasteurised, fermented, sterilised, frozen, packaged… -. In this group are dairy products, bread, oil…The rest of the foods you find in a supermarket can be considered ultra-processed, as in addition to needing several processes to produce them industrially, fats, sugars and salt are added to them… These are the ones that we should avoid to a greater extent.
- Choose the nutrients that best suit our lifestyle and organism. In this regard, we must be aware of our body’s specific needs depending on age, sex and activity. Suppose we are very active and demand training to gain muscle mass. In that case, we should prioritise the intake of proteins and healthy fats, nor should we disregard carbohydrates, as they provide energy. But if, for example, we are going through a less physically demanding stage, it will be better to moderate carbohydrate intake so that unused energy is not stored as fat; food intolerances or allergies should also be considered, and, of course, cultural tastes and conditioning factors.
- Please pay attention to the regulatory function of nutrition to adapt to our organism’s biological rhythms. Nutrients enable cells to complete the chemical reactions necessary for their functioning. These micronutrients stimulate the functioning of the immune system, support average growth and development, and help cells and organs to perform their respective functions. For example, silica, calcium and magnesium strengthen bone structures; silicon also detoxifies the body of heavy metals such as aluminium, a potent neurotoxin that mainly affects the brain and can promote the onset of Alzheimer’s for example; vitamin C has an antioxidant effect and is necessary for the growth and recovery of tissues throughout the body. In this respect, it is essential to supply the body with vitamins and minerals.
Integrative nutrition to prevent disease
Some of the main goals of integrative nutrition are to lower the body’s toxicity levels – this can be achieved with trace elements such as silicon, as we have seen – to boost the immune system and to optimise gastrointestinal health. This is the only way to restore the balance that will allow us to feel good.
Integrative Nutrition provides our body with all the nutrients it needs for proper body function. For this reason, the integrative diet must be adapted to each person; nutritional objectives that are too general will not achieve significant changes.
This is why it is recommended to consult a nutritionist or a doctor specialising in nutrition, who can establish dietary guidelines for each person. The professional knows the body’s biochemical processes and metabolic functions, including the specific organs and tissues and how dependent they are on certain nutrients. They will establish the particular nutritional guideline for each patient.
How to achieve balance with integrative nutrition
The act of eating is not only pleasurable but also significant for your health. Knowing this will allow you to choose and cook food in the best possible way for your body. To do this:
- Set tangible goals. Setting short-term, simple objectives are better than thinking about long-term goals that seem almost impossible.
- Be aware of the physical and emotional moments you are going through to determine what kind of food you need.
- Choose healthy options and ditch ultra-processed foods that provide lots of calories but little or no nutrients.
- Stay committed to the changes and be aware of how important it is to eat quality food.
- Supplement your diet with natural options to help restore balance.
Silica supplements, for example, help to eliminate heavy metals from the body, especially aluminium, as we have already seen, which prevents brain deterioration. Products such as Dr Loïc le Robault’s Original Organic Silica promote joint well-being and are highly assimilable anti-ageing products. This multi-purpose nature makes it a great ally of integrative nutrition.
Supplements also help nourish your body when food intake is insufficient and are a good source of micronutrients as we age. For example, did you know that with age, the production of collagen needed to maintain healthy joints decreases? That is why, from age 35 onwards, it is recommended to ingest collagen to make up for this deficiency. This supply will be reflected in good joint health.
Therefore, improving the quality of the food you eat should respond to your concern to maintain optimal health conditions, and not so much to enhance aesthetics or cure a particular disease. Given its preventive aspect, integrative nutrition should not be taken as an option when we are already experiencing an illness but is based on nourishing ourselves properly to prevent future diseases. So the sooner we start, the better.
Remember that integrative nutrition aims to balance physical, mental and emotional health optimally. It is a philosophy of life chosen to feel good and notice its effects in the medium and long term. We encourage you to try it!