The present world demands convenience at the cost of health. A person finds it more convenient to look for a packet of chips or a can of soft drink to feed himself rather than preparing something fresh when he feels hungry. Consequently, the results leave a direct impact on health in terms of obesity or diabetes. The outbreak of these issues gave rise to holistic nutrition to determine and limit the quality of the food we take in order to heal ourselves.
The term “holistic” is used to denote something as a whole and not in parts. A holistic approach to anything involves analysis and treatment of a complete system rather than dissecting it into sections. Holism is an important aspect of science. For instance, holistic medicine treats a person on a complete body treatment basis and not for a single symptom.
As far as nutrition is taken into consideration, it is the interaction of essential nutrients with the food we consume, that maintains our growth and healthy living. In simple terms, nutrition is the act of nourishing ourselves to grow into a healthy human being. Therefore, holistic nutrition can be roughly expressed as “nourishment of a body as a whole”.
Holistic Nutrition – The definition
The definition of holistic nutrition is not limited to a single sentence. It is a philosophy that deals with the interconnection between the mental and emotional as well as the physical and chemical aspects of a living being. Holistic nutrition is the intake of food in its natural state to maintain optimal health and wellness of the body. The natural state of food takes into account the unrefined food that has not been processed and grown as whole food. It is a very conscious approach to eating that considers health above all other needs. It is about looking at oneself as a whole living being.
Holistic nutrition guides us to listen to what our body wants from us and not what we want to give our body. There is a great difference between the two. The former approach leads to healthy living and the latter prefers convenience in the first place. It avoids everything in the food that is not optimal for the body.
Holistic nutrition is focused on educating us about the basics of nutrition and guides us to overcome the difficulties while we practice it. It addresses the issues that we face in our daily life related to our health and mind.
The relevance of food in Holistic Nutrition
It is from the organic and whole foods that we get essential nutrients in the form of energy. A healthy and balanced diet is driven by three main components: macronutrients, micronutrients, and fiber. These three components encompass all the vitamins, mineral, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins needed for our body. But holistic nutrition contains much more than a proper balance of these nutrients and a considerable intake of calories. It provides complete nourishment to our body. A plate full of vibrant food having phytonutrients is more important than reducing the number of carbohydrates and fats from your body. The significance of food that we eat is determined by its type – organic or manufactured.
The difference lies in the nutrient level of these foods. Manufactured foods do not have the required energy whereas unprocessed, organic foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, whole grains, etc consist of a large number of vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Our body is designed specifically to process and eliminate these organic foods.
Holistic nutrition is not about restricting oneself from eating something, but it is more focused on self-care. If we look forward to adding more organic food to our diet rather than limiting what we eat, it automatically makes up our mind to choose healthy options.
A Holistic Approach to Healing
Healing is about rebalancing the body’s natural functionality. Each organ in our body has a predefined function and a natural state of performing that function. When this natural state is disturbed, it results in pain; both physical and emotional. It causes discomfort in our body. Hence, we want to return to our natural state of working so that everything goes in the right direction. This process is known as Healing. Holistic Healing involves a holistic view of this natural state of functioning. It is concerned with the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical aspects of a living being. It considers the root cause of an illness, whether physical or non-physical. The main goal of holistic healing is to achieve wholeness.
While balancing this disturbance in the natural state with the holistic approach, the results are long-lasting and can be experienced on all the levels of a being. It is a life-long process to maintain the overall balance of life. Holistic Healing works on two basic principles:
- Balancing every level
- Balancing all the levels with one another
To follow the first principle, we adopt a balanced living style. We often miss balancing one or the other level in our state of being. When all the individual levels are balanced, the second principle is automatically fulfilled.
Benefits of Holistic Nutrition
Holistic Nutrition has a very positive impact on our health. Apart from the overall health rejuvenation, it benefits spiritual health also. Holistic Nutrition provides much more than this:
- A holistic approach is focused on a specialized treatment of body that considers our lifestyle first and then heals our mind and body.
- It gives us more energy to do our work and keep us focused on day-to-day activities.
- Holistic Healing helps us to deal with regular stress and puts our mind at ease.
- It treats a lot of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, asthma, tumors, and heart problems.
- The quality of sleep we take daily is improved to a great extent by holistic healing.
- It takes care of our immune system so that our body is ready to fight all types of ailments.
- It leads to a positive approach towards life with increased confidence as the real fuel of life is now known to us.
Holistic Nutrition should not be taken as a diet or health plan. Rather, it is a lifestyle. It teaches us the way to purify our mind and soul and live a healthier life, not with deprivation but with wholeness.