A holistic diet is more than a mere table of dos and don’ts. It is a personal road map to eating that goes beyond the platter, calories and hitting the gym a few times per week. It takes into consideration your whole personality and makes you embrace a healthy lifestyle. It nurtures your body, eliminates long-term health issues and revitalizes you, all in an effort to create a sense of wellness and well-being.
Goal of a Holistic Diet
The goal of a holistic diet is to achieve healthy digestion, adequacy, balance and moderation. It is a natural method used to develop a healthy balanced diet in the attempt to build a solid foundation for a lifetime of good physical and emotional health. An individual achieves a state of well-being through the ongoing process of harmonizing and synergizing an individual’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self.
One of the fundamental principles of a holistic diet is the need for a certain balance of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat; micronutrients including vitamins and minerals; and fibre to help your body optimize energy to reach maximum physical and emotional health.
In a holistic diet you eat natural food, avoid highly processed foods and foods high in fat and sugar. Natural foods that are included in a holistic diet include vegetables, whole grain and herbal teas. Freshly prepared foods provide more energy and are better for your well-being than packaged foods.
Digestion and Health
It is important that foods are easily digested in order to benefit your health. Cold foods and beverages slow down digestion and are harder to digest than foods that are warm, and therefore are not recommended. To aid digestion, foods must be chewed well.
Considerations of Holistic Nutrition
If changing to a healthier eating lifestyle is a major shift for you, make gradual changes. Developing new eating habits can feel overwhelming and confusing. You can start with substitution. For instance, if you love eating polished rice, slowly substitute it with millets and unpolished rice by mixing the two.
Holistic Diet Guidelines:
What To Eat
1. Drink adequate amounts of fresh water – at least eight glasses daily. Even mild dehydration interferes with the digestive process.
2. Choose organic food as much as possible to avoid pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified (GMO) foods. Fresh organically grown food has more nutrient value and tastes better.
3. Select whole grains when buying foods such as bread, rice, and cereal. Whole grains provide more nutrients and fibre.
4. Buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables from local Farmers’ Markets. Freshly harvested local produce that isn’t certified organic may be a better option than organic produce that has travelled thousands of kilometers to the supermarket.
5. Essential fatty acids are necessary for good health, so eat saturated fats in moderation and avoid refined oils that have trans fats. Use organic cold-pressed oils for salads.
6. Eat raw and minimally processed whole living food as much as possible. Foods in their natural state contain more nutrients and active enzymes.
7. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich healthy foods. There is no single food that provides more than 40 different nutrients that we need to achieve balance.
What To Avoid
• Eliminate refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) and sucralose (Splenda). All contribute significantly to serious health problems.
• Salt: Limit sodium intake equivalent to one teaspoon of salt for a day, preferably rock or Himalayan salt; Check food labels; sodium is added to most of the processed foods. Substitute regular table salt for something healthier, like sea salt or rock salt.
• Coffee and aerated drinks – non-foods that have many destructive physiological consequences.
• Trans fats (hydrogenated oils); Excessive meat intake – If you do want to consume meat, make sure it is farm fed and organic. Factory farmed meat are full of antibiotics & chemicals.
• Food additives: artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, MSG