Between 50,000 and 100,000 different chemicals go into the making and running of the human body. Nutritional Science has so far isolated and identified some 17 vitamins and co-factors, 24 minerals and 8-10 amino acids as being essential to the health and reproductive abilities of the human body.
No doubt there are more, new substances are discovered relatively often. It stands to reason that health and fitness depend greatly on the quality and variety of nutrients we take in. Without them we could not build and maintain the elaborate machinery and perform the complex chemical transformations on which life depends.
Excessive excess seems to be the type of moderation that many Uni students live by. Approaching exams, it is essential that all inputs into our bodies are not to an excess. What chance has one got of fulfilling anywhere near their potential if they are suffering (or enjoying) from a hangover! In other words, stop putting excess toxins into your system for just a couple of weeks. After that you can fill yourself with toxins to the highest Nirvana if you so desire.
Holistic Nutrition for an Active Lifestyle
Every day inorganic substances and live organisms pass to and from your body. Your diet also puts your digestive tract into intimate contact with your environment.
This can be a bad experience if food has gone “off” and become populated with the wrong types of organisms. If these organisms like your internal environment they’ll thrive and try to take over. Your body’s response is to try and get rid of them through sometimes violent means (vomiting or diarrhea) or through chemical means by dumping lots of acids into your digestive system.
But these days eating is usually a much more pleasant experience and those processes of ingestion, digestion, absorption, transportation, storage and utilization can proceed quietly and efficiently.
If you’re eating well and in harmony with your environment the food you eat can serve its primary purpose of providing you with nutrients. A nutrient is the name for any specific substance in food that performs one or more physiological or biochemical functions in the body.
Nutrients are divided into six major categories: vitamins, minerals, water, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Nutrients perform three major functions:
1. Nutrients provide energy for movement and metabolic processes
Carbohydrates and fats are the major sources of energy. Protein may also be an energy source, but this is a minor role.
2. Nutrients are used to build and repair body tissues
Protein is the basic building blocks for all body tissues and enzymes. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus help add rigidity to tissues, such as in bones.
3. Nutrients are used to regulate body processes
Vitamins, minerals and proteins all work together to maintain your basic metabolic functions. A good example of this is a red blood cell, which is used to actively transport oxygen from the lungs to working muscles and carbon dioxide away from working muscles back to the lungs. All red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin and the mineral iron. A myriad of other vitamins and minerals are required to create and develop a red blood cell.
Take responsibility for your own good nutrition
These days everyone is aware of the need for good nutrition, but most people don’t take personal responsibility for ensuring their own good nutrition. Careful selection of wholesome foods will ensure you have the nutrients to give you energy, keep your body in good repair, and regulate your normal functions.
Poor food selection leading to an unbalanced diet may lead to the development of health problems, such as a high fat diet and coronary heart disease or a high sodium diet and high blood pressure.
This has great implications for active people. When you exercise your metabolic rate may increase tenfold and this high intensity may be maintained for over an hour. After all, one of the aims of regular exercise is to get your body working to burn up excessive caloric intake, stimulate bodily metabolism. Poor nutrition may lead to problems even in fit and active people.
A good example of this is the need for active people to maintain a good level of iron in the diet. As we mentioned above, iron is needed to make red blood cells. Without enough iron in the diet of an active exerciser your body will not have enough red blood cells and you’ll get fatigued when you try and exercise. This is called iron deficiency anemia.
Another example is the need for calcium to build strong bones. Exercise will stimulate your body to increase the density of your bones to strengthen them along the lines of force applied to your body. Your body, also needs calcium for muscle contraction and for a variety of other metabolic processes. Without enough calcium in your diet to match your activity level the stress and strain of exercise will weaken your bones, rather than stimulate them to become stronger.
Good nutrition and good exercise can easily be mixed to create a recipe for successful, healthy living. To your daily life add a good mix of aerobic exercise, mobility, and muscle endurance exercise, then add just enough calories in the foods you eat to supply your day-to-day energy demands, and then finally put in the right amount of nutrients to match your active lifestyle as recommended by current knowledge.
Holistic Approach to Stress and Anxiety
Stress can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from various types of nervous debility, to a nagging headache and tiredness. There are a number of ways that stress can be dealt with, without putting unnatural substances (Chemist concoctions) or unnecessary toxins in your system.
Whenever you are feeling dodgy, garlic is an imperative. Primarily, garlic has essential anti-viral qualities and is full of vitamins and minerals. Raw garlic is best, you can swallow a clove whole to avoid “bad breath” or chop it up really finely and eat it on toast with non-dairy margarine. If possible garlic should be a part of your daily diet and if you are really concerned about the odor, you can obtain odorless concentrated garlic tablets from the health food shops.
Aromatherapy is the practice of plant medicine and is a useful bridge between ancient knowledge and modern scientific technique. The use of plants and plant essences is one of the oldest methods for the treatment of illness and the relief of pain.
Some disorders that you might encounter are listed with the appropriate medicinal legume, i.e., either the tea or the essential oil, can be consumed. Remember when preparing the tea, brewing time is an important consideration.
If the tea consists of root and/or bark, the tea should brew for between 5-10 minutes. Generally bark and roots are higher in mineral content, thus the longer brewing time. Leaves are better brewed for only 2-3 minutes and drunk hot for they are generally high in vitamins. Flowers are in the middle of these two categories to the most part, so brewing time is adjusted accordingly.
The Essential oil is a totally different scene. You can obtain most oils from health-food shops or you could even make yourself your own. If you do obtain a particular essence, check with the naturopath the recommended dosage, but the dosage is usually 2-4/3-5 drops 2/3 times daily in honey water or alcoholic solution.
Some disorders and their holistic healing agents are as follows;
- Impotence: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Juniper, Onion, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Savory, Thyme, Ylang-ylang.
- Irritability: Chamomile, Cypress, Lavender, Marjoram.
- Mental Instability: Marjoram, Thyme.
- Mental Fatigue-Mental Strain: Basil, Clove, onion, rosemary, Savory and Thyme.
- Migraine: Aniseed, Basil, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Onion, Peppermint, Rosemary, Terebinth.
- Nervous debility: Basil, Coriander, Lavender, Marjoram, Sage and Thyme.
- Nervous States: Lavender, Marjoram, Orange Blossom, Verbena.
- Nervous Depression: Borneo Camphor, Chamomile, Lavender, Thyme.
- Nervous System, To Balance: Aspic(Lavender), Cypress, Lavender, Rosemary and Sage.
- Stimulants of Nervous system: Basil, Rosemary, Sage, Savory.
Your health is in your hands. To the most part you determine your physical well-being. If you are happy in body there is a much higher chance that you’ll be happy in mind/spirit. One thing that we highly recommend is a thorough perusal of a health food shop one day… you may be pleasantly surprised.