Nutrition is one of the most important health and lifestyle factors in the determination of health and disease today. This slideshow is about a forgotten way to approach nutrition.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Natural nutrition
In this lesson the student will learn the basic
components of a natural healthy diet,
Rules of recommending diets
How diets affect the body and mind.
Consider the Webster's definition of medicine:
"The science and art dealing with the maintenance
of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of
FOOD acts as medicine, to maintain, prevent,
and treat disease.
Natural nutrition begins with assessing which
foods cause harmful reactions in the digestive
A diet based on whole, natural foods is advised.
Natural nutrition encourages eating locally grown
organic foods and foods lowest on the food
chain, as well as eating slowly to improve
The food should also be enjoyed – mindfulness in
eating is as important as the nutrition in the food.
The Food Chain
How Does Food Impact Health?
The food we eat gives our bodies the materials they
need to function properly.
If we don't get the right nutrition, our metabolic
processes suffer and our health declines.
1. Meet the needs for vitamins, minerals and other
2. Reduce risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart
disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis.
3. Contribute to overall health and vitality.
Why has Nutrition Advice Changed?
We can't isolate a nutrient's effect.
Until recently, nutrition research emphasized the
role of single nutrients acting as a magic bullet to
miraculously prevent disease or, conversely, as the
sole agent responsible for the development of
During the past five years, however, research is
uncovering the concept of food synergy; which is
the additive influence of multiple nutrients or food
A 2003 study published in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition found that the beneficial effects of
whole grains might be more profound than any
single nutrient contained therein.
A 2007 study published in Circulation found that it
was the synergy of fish, fruits, and vegetables
that led to a reduced risk of blood clots.
In other words, it is not the effect of one nutrient
that leads to health, but a person's overall diet.
1. Eat a variety of foods.
Studies show that people who eat a variety of
food are healthier, live longer, and have a reduced
risk of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer,
Food variety means including foods such as fruit,
vegetables, whole grains, legumes, meat, fish,
seafood, nuts and seeds, and dairy products.
Variety also means including an array of foods
within each of these categories.
For instance whole grains can be whole wheat, wild
rice, oats, rye, or barley.
Because certain nutrients are present in particular
foods, eating a variety of different foods allows you
to get a variety of nutrients.
Variety means that you will include protein, fats,
carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals,
phytonutrients, and fiber in the diet.
2. Increase fruits and vegetables.
Scientific data from several studies show that the
higher the consumption of fruit and vegetables, the
lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease,
including stroke (American Journal of Clinical
Naturopathy recommends five to thirteen
servings of fruits and vegetables a day,
depending on caloric intake.
A serving is one piece of fruit, ½ cup of vegetable, 1
cup of salad greens, or ½ cup of juice.
Fruits and vegetables are not only full of vitamins
and minerals, but they contain beneficial
A plant cannot flee or fight so it is equipped
with "phyto," or plant, “nutrients” that can
defend against disease, blight, radiation,
weather, insects, and anything that may
threaten its survival.
When we eat these plants, we also benefit from the
protection of the phytonutrients.
Phytonutrient content is indicated by the colour of
the food. To get a variety of phytonutrients, aim for
five colours a day.
Fresh versus frozen?
Fruits and vegetables processed for freezing tend to be
flash-frozen at their peak ripeness and nutrient density.
Freezing locks in plant nutrients.
Fresh fruits and vegetables that are transported to other
states are generally picked before they are ripe, which
gives them less time to develop optimal levels of
vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
The solution is to buy locally grown fruits and
vegetables that have travelled the least amount of
distance to the table whenever possible and
supplement that with frozen products.
3. Choose whole grains.
Data from the Nurse's Health Study shows whole
grains reduce the risk of diabetes and heart
disease and improve the health of the
Whole grains contain multiple nutrients.
60% of calcium, 85% of magnesium, 77% of
potassium, 78% of zinc
75% of vitamins
95% of fatty acids
95% of fiber
4. Include beneficial fats.
Our bodies need a balance of two types of fatty acids:
omega 3 and omega 6, but we tend to get too much
Omega 6: Omega 3 = 1:1.
Plant oils, such as avocado, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed
oil, oils from nuts and seeds, and fats from fish whose
diet is made up of algae contain a predominance of
omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and have an anti-inflammatory
effect on the body.
5. Drink water.
When concocting a recipe for health, one of the
most important ingredients is water.
The body is made up of up to 65 percent water.
The brain is composed of 70 percent water and the
lungs are 90 percent water.
A whopping 83 percent of the blood is water.
Water is needed for the digestion, absorption, and
transportation of nutrients.
Water keeps skin smooth and
soft, serves as a solvent for
waste, reduces toxicity, and
flushes toxins and excess salt
from the body.
It also regulates body
temperature and is useful in
Sometimes the cue for
thirst is confused as a cue
Include green tea.
The healthful properties of green tea are primarily
attributed to its potent antioxidant activity and
polyphenols called catechins. The most active of
these polyphenols in green tea is called
Numerous studies have shown an association
between green tea and protection
against cancer, including breast, colon and
Green tea has also been used for improving mental
alertness, aiding in weight loss, protecting skin
from sun damage, and lowering cholesterol.
A 2008 study published in the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition found that the green tea
increased fat burning, as well as improved insulin
sensitivity and glucose control during moderate
Generally, two to three cups of green tea daily is
the recommended intake for the most benefit.
When steeping green tea, it is recommended that
you use hot water (185 degrees) rather than boiling
hot water (212 degrees).
Boiling water will "cook" the tea leaves and create a
bitter tasting tea.
7. Control portions.
While calories are not the whole picture, it has long
been shown that moderate calorie restriction is a
way to slow the aging process.
A 2006 Clinical Interventions in Aging article on
delaying age-related disease recommended, on the
basis of current research, a diet low in calories and
saturated fats and high in whole grains, legumes,
and fruits and vegetables - all of which maintain
lean body weight.
8. Avoid trans-fatty acids.
Trans-fatty acids are man-made fats, created by
adding hydrogen to vegetable oil in a process called
Hydrogenation is favoured by manufacturers
because it increases shelf-life and adds stability to
When a trans-fat is eaten, the body recognizes it as
a fat and uses the trans-fat for function just like any
other fatty acid.
Fats are powerful modulators of cell function, but
because hydrogenation alters the chemistry of the
vegetable oil, it is less effective as a fat.
Trans-fatty acids can affect function and responses
of many cell types.
They have been shown to cause endothelial
dysfunction, raise LDL, lower HDL, increase
triglycerides, and promote inflammation (New
England Journal of Medicine, 2006).
9. Avoid corn syrup and other
Evidence is mounting that corn syrup has negative
impacts on health.
Researchers, from Rutgers University, found
"astonishingly high" levels of reactive compounds
(called carbonyls) in the soft drinks containing
high fructose corn syrup.
The compounds, associated with "unbound"
fructose and glucose molecules, are believed to
trigger cell and tissue damage.
When we eat ordinary sugar, the body produces an
important signaling hormone called leptin that
tells the brain that the body is full and hence
controls our eating.
But when we eat high fructose corn syrup, we don't
produce leptin and don't get a signal to stop.
It is best to avoid or limit soft drinks, including diet
A study published in Circulation (2008) found a 34
percent increase in risk for metabolic
syndrome in subjects who consumed diet soda.
10. Limit processed foods.
A common recommendation for healthy eating is
to shop around the perimeter of the supermarket,
where the fresh, natural, non-processed foods tend
A farmers' market is the best place for fresh
Other options are food co-ops, natural food
stores, or farm shares.
How nutrients interact
One of the breakthrough concepts from the Human
Genome Project is that "genes in and of themselves do
not create disease.”
Only when they are plunged into a harmful
environment unique to the individual do they create
the outcome of disease.
An advancing area of study called Nutrigenomics
looks at how different foods may interact with
specific genes to modify the risk of common
chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes,
obesity, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
Nutrigenomics also seeks to identify the molecules
in the diet that affect health by altering the
expression of genes. (For example, by triggering
the genes that start the onset of Type II diabetes.)
One study showed that participants who consumed a
diet of whole rye (low-insulin-response) experienced
changes in their gene expression that reduced their risk
of developing diabetes.
Participants who consumed a wheat-potato (high
insulin response) diet experienced the opposite-a
change in their gene expression that increased their
We cannot change our genes, but we can change the
environment which impacts how our genes manifest.
One important component of this environment is food.
Issues of mercury contamination
In Eat Drink and be Healthy, Walter Willett
discusses issues of contamination in certain fish.
He says that farm-raised fish are less likely to be
contaminated by mercury and other toxins, but
they may not be as high in omega 3 fatty acids,
depending on what they have been fed.
"If the fish are fed other fish or algae they will have
a higher content of omega 3 fatty acids, but if they
are fed wheat and corn they won't contain much."
Changes in Food
"To fight a disease after it has occurred is like
trying to dig a well when one is thirsty or
forging a weapon once a war has begun." The
Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine,
The Nei Ching, c. 1000 B.C.
In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell and
Thomas M. Campbell present a clear and
concise message: if you want to be healthy,
change your diet.
The authors summarize their findings in the
Eight Principles of Food and Health.
The eight principles of food and health
1. Nutrition represents the combined activities of
countless food substances. The whole is greater than the
sum of its parts.
2. Solely taking vitamin supplements is not the way to
3. There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods
that are not better provided by plants.
4. Genes do not determine diseases on their own. Genes
function only by being activated or expressed, and
nutrition plays a critical role in determining which
genes, good and bad, are expressed.
5. Nutrition can substantially control the adverse
effects of noxious chemicals.
6. The same nutrition that prevents disease in its
early stages (before diagnosis) can also halt or
reverse disease in later stages (after diagnosis).
7. Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic
disease will support health across the board.
8. Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our
existence. All parts are interconnected.
Besides breathing and sleeping, eating is life's most
We cannot sustain ourselves without eating.
In hunter-gatherer times, finding and eating food was
a matter of survival.
Many hours of the day were spent in the pursuit and
eating of food.
In the modern world, much of the hunting and
gathering is done for us. Very few hours (or, for some
people, minutes) are spent gathering, preparing, or
We seem to have forgotten that eating is
necessary to our body functions.
Food gives us energy, and allows us to think,
move, and prosper.
But we are no longer attentive to the
impact of food on our functioning. The
idea of being consumers of food has
switched to that of being food "consumers,"
in a marketing sense.
We don't always pick foods based on what
our bodies need for optimal wellness.
We eat for convenience, not health.
Why is mindfulness important?
If we begin to pay attention to how specific foods
impact our body, we can start to make better
choices about what foods to buy and eat.
For example, we are tempted in the supermarket to
buy one of the sweet cereals for breakfast.
But with this, we may become hungry a few hours
On the other hand, eating eggs and toast for breakfast
will mean we are not so hungry later, and don't crave
Stress Impacts our Digestion
When our bodies perceive a threat, our bodies
move into a state of readiness, a chemical version
of "code red."
This is called the "fight or flight response," also
known as the stress response.
In this state, the following processes occur:
Sympathetic nervous system stimulated
Parasympathetic nervous system is over-ridden
Pupils dilate, Blood pressure rises,
Digestion is suppressed
Immunity is suppressed, Detoxification is suppressed
Long term, it also causes:
Gradual demineralization of bone
Impairment of fatty acid metabolism, Glucose
released, Cholesterol released, Hormones deranged
Decreased energy , Mood fluctuations,
Inflammatory mediators stimulated
When the body is in the midst
of fighting or fleeing, it
essentially puts the digestive
system on hold.
After all, if you are being
chased by a saber-toothed
tiger, it isn't really the time to
stop and eat.
Because the digestive system is
shut down, fewer digestive
enzymes are released.
Paying attention while eating assures full
digestion as well as full nutritional benefit.
There is an initial phase of digestion called the
cephalic phase that occurs before we actually start to
An example of the cephalic phase happens when you
smell bread baking.
Anticipating the delicious flavor of the freshly baked
bread causes the mouth to water, preparing one to eat
In this phase, the brain informs the stomach that it
should prepare for a meal by initiating a number of
The body begins to prepare for the breaking down and
absorption of nutrients.
Salivation is activated and pancreatic enzymes
and stomach acids are released.
The conveyer belt that is the digestive tract begins its
rhythmic movement so that nutrients can be absorbed
and moved along.
It is estimated that as much as 30 to 40 percent of
the total digestive response to any meal is due to
the cephalic phase.
How to eat mindfully
Eating a mindful meal means completely focusing
your mind on the 'process' of eating.
When you take time to experience your
food through all your senses; taste (flavor), smell
(aroma), sight (presentation) sound (of surroundings),
and touch (movement of utensils and the feel of the
food)," they suggest, "you are likely to be truly
Choose a specific location to eat,
such as your table or the lunchroom
Sit quietly. Don't get up, and don't
answer the phone.
Have all the food you intend to eat on
the table in front of you before
To be mindful you must give your full
attention to your eating.
You must focus on the process of
eating and enjoying your meal.
Slow down the process of eating is to challenge the
way you have always done it.
For example, try eating using a pair of
chopsticks/fork instead of your customary
This will force you to take smaller portions, eat
more slowly, and look at your food more closely.
Food and the Environment
Are we killing the environment or
is it killing us?
When we look at what we eat and
how we grow it, we find extensive
evidence for damage both to our
food (from pollution and soil
depletion) and to our environment
(from the toxicity of growing foods
All humans demand cheap food, so our
agricultural policy for the past 50 years has focused
on providing large amounts of inexpensive calories.
Two of the cheapest sources of calories are rice and
soy, which make up a large percentage of our caloric
But growing just one crop consistently (a
monoculture) depletes the soil and forces farmers
to use greater amounts of pesticides and fertilizers.
The impact of environmental toxins
Pesticides and herbicides are environmental
toxins, known as xenobiotics.
Xenobiotics include not only pesticides and
herbicides, but plastics (bisphenol A), surfactants
used in food packaging, household chemicals,
industrial chemicals (PCBs and dioxins), and
heavy metals (lead, mercury, and cadmium).
These products have been shown to have a
negative impact on animal health.
One group of xenobiotics is made up of
environmental estrogens, referred to as
xenoestrogens, which mimic animal hormones and
act as endocrine system disrupters
They are in our food, our water, and our air.
Once in our body, they are not easily broken down.
Xenoestrogens have been associated with
developmental issues and reproductive health
problems in wild life and laboratory animals.
A 2006 study of these environmental
xenoestrogens showed male fish that express
female characteristics, turtles that are sex reversed,
and male frogs with multiple ovaries.
Researchers have also documented seals with an
excess of uterine fibroids and salmon with
In humans, xenoestrogens mimic the effect of
human estrogens because they have a chemical
structure that allows them to fit into estrogen
But once there, they cause issues. According to a
2006 study, they can prevent normal hormone
binding to hormone receptors, influence cell
signaling pathways, and increase cell division.
Xenoestrogens are just one example of how
pesticides and other toxins that humans use in
food production are impacting our environment
and our health.
How does the environment
impact our food?
The US Department of Agriculture has been tracking
the nutritional quality of produce since the 1950s and
has seen a steady decline.
According to Brian Halwell, a researcher, vitamin C
has declined by 20 percent, iron by 15 percent,
riboflavin by 38 percent, and calcium by 16 percent.
So we are now getting less nutrition per calorie in our
foods. In essence, we have to eat more food to get the
same vitamin and mineral content.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Report on
Environmental Pollution and Disease indicates that
some common diseases and conditions may be
strongly linked to environmental exposure:
asthma, autism, breast and other cancers,
Parkinson's disease, and
conditions associated with reproductive health.
How our bodies handle
Humans are at the top of the
Because of this, we are generally
not exposed to a single toxin at
a time, but to a complex
mixture of toxins.
It is largely unknown how these
multiple toxins interact with
one another and what their
cumulative effects might be.
How you can feed the
You can increase the ability of the body to convert
toxins to non-toxic substances and to eliminate toxins
by doing the following:
Drink extra water.
Consume a balanced diet of whole foods, colourful
fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, squash,
blueberries, citrus, beets, artichokes, pomegranate,
These foods are filled with phytonutrients and have
been shown to boost detoxification.
Eat celery-an "unassuming" but powerful
detoxifying food that provides phytonutrients that
benefit the liver's ability to detoxify.
Include the foods containing antioxidants
(vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium)
Add whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa,
and oats to aid elimination.
Add legumes, such as black beans,
chickpeas, and lentils as soluble fiber to aid
Increase protein intake from sources like
soy, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Proteins make
enzymes which also help in digestion and
Include adequate B vitamins. B-vitamins
are needed for the initiation of the
Include probiotics to promote gut health.
Foods to avoid or minimize as they add to the
toxic load or burden of the detoxification
Avoid processed foods containing additives and
Avoid artificial sweeteners and corn syrup
Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oil
Minimize red meats, sugar salt, caffeine, and
Reduce refined or non-whole grain products
Reduce alcohol consumption and tobacco.
Keeping to a healthy eating plan means
accommodating individual tastes, likes and
dislikes so that healthy eating doesn't become
MyPyramid says a certain amount of
discretionary calories can be moved around
to accommodate individual snacks and off-plan
items so the eating plan won't be sabotaged
by any one variant.
These calories are the “extras” that can be
used on luxuries like solid fats, added
sugars, and alcohol, or on more food from
any food group. They are “discretionary
Most discretionary calorie allowances are
very small, between 100 and 300 calories,
especially for those who are not physically
Remember, discretionary calories provide
you with extra calories, but nothing else.
Taking in extra calories and not offsetting
them by being more physically active, will
result in weight gain.
Physical activity and nutrition work together for better
health. Being active increases the amount of calories
burned. Inactivity makes it difficult to reach and
maintain a healthy body weight.
Most adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate
physical activity each day. This is in addition to your
usual daily activities.
Children and teenagers should be physically active for
at least 60 minutes every day, or most days.
A healthy eating plan is easy to make so long as the
following points are considered:
Fresh, local and seasonal foods
More fresh fruits and vegetables
Variety in the diet
Happiness and mindfulness while eating
Include exercise in the diet plan!
Discretionary calories to prevent craving.
Make a diet chart for a 12 year old girl who is
mostly sedentary but not overweight.
Mention calcium and iron rich foods.
Include an exercise plan in your dietary advice.