Lifestyle: Nutrition and Hydration
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Over the last several decades we have forgotten what real healthy food is. The dogma of the Standard American Diet , SAD for short, low-fat and low-cholesterol mentality still holds strong in the wisdom of conventional nutrition. Recently, dietary statements against dietary cholesterol and fat have been retracted. We are beginning to question conventional nutritional wisdom and recognize that the conventional medical establishment may not be the best source for nutritional information.
People are starting to recognize that we are not destined to suffer needlessly from disease or even minor health ailments that are caused by modern food and unhealthy lifestyles. You do not have to rely on nutrient depleted factory-derived, packaged foods with unfounded health claims. You can discover boundless health in simple, unprocessed, whole foods.
The term “Paleo” has gained extraordinary traction in the mainstream media and books due to the improved health benefits of those who follow the lifestyle. You could also call this way of eating “ancestral”, “whole and nutrient dense foods”, “primal”, “grain-free”, or “real food”. Not matter what you classify Paleo as, it comes down to this premise: mimic our ancestors who suffered fewer chronic health conditions than we do today.
The Paleo lifestyle is basically about:
- Eating whole and nutrient dense foods that offer better fuel for your body. This promotes health, healing, and immunity against future ailments.
- Avoiding processed, refined, nutrient deficient factory foods. This includes grains, pasteurized dairy products, industrial seed oils (corn, soybean, canola, cottonseed), and refined or artificial sugars and sweetness (high fructose corn syrup). This is damaging to health.
The reason why Paleo works well for many people is that it helps resolve digestive problems and balances blood sugars. Digestive and glycemic dysregulation are at the root of the majority of nutritional related health problems.
Eating a balanced amount of macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates will maintain balanced blood sugars during the day. Stabilized blood sugars keep you feeling energized while decreasing or eliminating episodes of feeling weak, starving every two hours, shaky, brain fog, or irritable.
The enteric nervous system is housed in our gut. 60-80 percent of our immune system is located there. Our ability to deal with acute or chronic health conditions begins in the gut. If your digestive system is repeatedly irritated, it increase risk for autoimmune conditions and disrupted immune function. This could result in health problems innocuous as seasonal allergies or more aggressive as eczema, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and numerous other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. What we eat can make all the difference. A Paleo approach eliminate foods that are inflammatory helping to heal the gut and promote improved health.
There is “no one size fits all approach” to nutrition. Bio-individuality is a key consideration when deciding. So, I will use the term “Paleo template” because each of us is unique. The basic principals for the Paleo dietary guidelines and approach remain the same but can be tweaked based on an individual’s needs, goals, health conditions, likes/dislikes, and food sensitivities. Another important dietary consideration is to maintain proper hydration with purified and filtered water. Although this is obvious, the body’s first line of defense, mucosal membranes and skin, is highly dependent upon sufficient hydration for proper function.