DIET AND NUTRITION
 
The Basics of a Good Diet
Since the beginning of recorded history, diet and nutrition have been the cornerstones of good health. This is because, despite any other interventions, you eat every day, and so what you select to eat is going to have a significant influence on your overall health.
 
Historically, diet meant the specific foods selected for daily consumption based on local availability. The staples were usually any meat that was hunted or herded, and fruits and vegetables that were gathered or harvested. Many cultures also actively sought various nuts, seeds, berries, roots, barks, and herbs, and included them in commonly prepared foods and beverages both for flavor enhancement and for their medicinal, health-giving and life-promoting benefits.
 
Today, our dietary choices are much more varied. We can choose organic or commercially grown foods, foods transported from virtually anywhere in the world, and an increasing number of genetically-modified foods that look like their conventional counterparts, but which in fact have never existed in nature before. Additionally, there are all manner of fast foods, frozen foods, canned foods, and “junk foods”, and ubiquitous restaurants that will serve anything from fried eggs and potatoes to culturally diverse foods prepared in the manner of their country of origin.
 
With so much to choose from these days, a little guidance in selecting a balanced diet may be helpful, and you can find that here.
 
General Supplements for Everyone: Vitamins and Minerals
While roots, barks, and herbs are still available and very useful as nutritional supplements, we now also have a virtual arsenal of vitamin, mineral, and other supplement products at our disposal, with new ones appearing almost daily. The judicious use of specific nutritional supplements is now necessary if we want to live a long and healthy life.
 
Even if we eat a varied, largely organic food diet, we still need to include vitamin and mineral supplements to help insure a long and healthy life. The nutritionally conservative American Medical Association stated as much in the June 19, 2002 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association, reversing its long anti-vitamin position.  As far back as 1936, the U.S. Senate was informed about the dangers of serious soil mineral depletion, which is the only source of minerals in our foods. U.S. Senate Document 264 outlined the problem then, and with the huge increases in our population and the common practice of using using NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) mineral fertilizers, which basically act as plant growth stimulants causing rapid growth and bulk with minimal nutritional value, the problem has only gotten worse over time.
 
 
Supplements for Special Needs
Specific supplements can help you achieve targeted outcomes through the use of nutrition. Although you’ll find some recommendations that overlap between categories, specific supplementation generally fits into these main areas (click on headings for more information):
 
Optimal Health, Anti-Aging and Longevity
Beyond the basic vitamin and mineral supplements necessary just to maintain good health, there are a variety of supplements needed to achieve optimal health and extend the vital years of your life. Since the human genome has been decoded, modern science now knows through our genetic structure what the enlightened ancients have always stated: we are designed to live 120-140 year. Few of us will claim that birthright though, since it does require some extra effort to attain. Here, you’ll find information on both time-honored and modern supplements that will help you reach that goal.
 
Athletics and Other High Performance
Because athletes, martial artists, dancers, and others involved in high-performance activities demand more from their body and expect it to function at peak efficiency, they have greater nutritional requirements, and run the risk of depletion, burnout and injury. There are also psychological and emotional stresses that often accompany such high performance training. Supplements for athletes include substances that are know to enhance performance and endurance, reduce fatigue, reduce inflammation, accelerate healing, support the nervous system, sharpen mental focus, and improve emotional balance.
 
Medical Conditions
When vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and other nutritional substances are used to address medical conditions, this is referred to as orthomolecular medicine. As either an adjunctive or main treatment modality, it’s often as effective, and sometimes more effective,  in treating diseases as pharmacological agents (drugs). Used appropriately, it has the added advantage of being completely safe, with no side effects, and will often result in a complete cure by giving the body what it needs to heal itself, rather than offering just a management or suppression of symptoms. Please refer to the above link to the AMA article about nutrition, in which they state that “vitamin supplementation plays an important role in preventing common chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and osteoporosis. . . insufficient vitamin intake is apparently a cause of chronic diseases.” If you have any medical condition, there are nutritional substances that will help, and possibly fully reverse that condition.
 
The Elderly
As people age, many body systems become more fragile and function less efficiently. In addition to a general decline in the function of the organs of digestion, nutrient absorption and assimilation, and elimination, there is an accompanying decline in the immune system and hormone production, vision and hearing become compromised, memory falters, dehydration becomes more prevalent, and the body is plagued with increasing aches, weakness, and the onset of degenerative diseases. There are supplements available that help to ameliorate, halt, or even reverse many of these changes, especially if they occur prematurely. Remember, we are genetically designed to live for 120-140 years.
 
By clicking on any of the above topics, you’ll learn about some nutritional approaches that address those concerns, which may be all you need to get you farther on your journey to better health at this time. If you’d like more information about using nutrition to improve your health, please click here to learn how you can get a personalized nutritional and wellness evaluation online.
 


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