Nutrition is the process of obtaining the required food to feed our body cells, which enable us to be healthy, grow and to stay alive. The relationship between food and a healthy body is a huge part of nutritional studies. A good balanced intake of nutrients through food provides the basis for a healthy body.
We need to learn how to provide our bodies with adequate foods or temporarily supplement our body with minerals and vitamins, according to our physical requirements, our stage of life and our constitutional type. Personal choices in what you eat, when you eat, the way you eat and how much you choose to eat effect the nutritional up-take and influence your body’s healing abilities.
The foods we eat contain nutrients that are digested, absorbed, transported, metabolised, stored and eliminated by the body. Over 45 nutrients are required for our body to function properly. The main nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibre, minerals, vitamins and water! Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are known as macro nutrients and are needed in large quantities. They are metabolised by the body to produce energy. Micro nutrients on the other hand are vitamins and minerals, which are needed in order for the macro nutrients to produce energy and are only required in smaller amounts.
Within her naturopathic practice Autumn uses dietary exams and nutritional changes to achieve health and complement her natural healing methods. Depending on the symptoms and ailments, one of the following diets may be advised.
Blood type Diets
The blood type diet is based on Dr. D’Adamo’s theory of the 4 blood types which he believes have unique antigen markers which react negatively with certain foods, leading to all sorts of health problems. He also represents the opinion that levels of stomach acidity and digestive enzymes are linked with our blood type. So following the diet for our own blood type will allow the body to digest and absorb food more efficiently and so lead to better health and optimal weight.
In it’s most basic form these are:
- Blood Type O: a high-protein, meat-based diet
- Blood type A: vegetarian-based diet
- Blood type B: eating a varied diet that consists of most foods including meat, dairy, grains and vegetables
- Blood type AB: can eat a mixture of the foods suitable for both blood group A and blood group B
The elimination diet focuses on food intolerances and sensitivities. Many people notice that after eating a certain foods they feel bloated, get stomach cramps or an upset stomach, have congestions problems, experience low energy levels and disturbed sleeping patterns. The nerves in our digestive systems react in different ways to foods and have a direct effect on out immune system.
The elimination diet initially cuts out a group of foods shown to be the most likely to cause reactions in people, as well as particular foods in your diet according to individual consultation. These may include gluten, dairy products, soy, chicken, nuts and coffee. While eliminating these foods they can be replaced with rice, fish or lamb and most fruit and veggies, which tend to be less likely to cause sensitive reactions. After about 2-4 weeks, each eliminated food is integrated back into the diet in small amounts and over several days, while watching the body’s reaction.
Should food intolerances be found, this may require long-term changes to the normal diet or desensitisation.
Many food intolerances can be improved by treating underlying problems such as enzyme deficiency, microbial imbalance, motility issues, detoxification abnormalities, intestinal permeability, inflammation.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
These are compounds found in foods such as apples, garlic, onion, wheat, milk, beans, avocados and the sweetener xylitol. In most people these are absorbed in the small intestine. Other people have trouble with the absorption in the small intestine which leads to these FODMAPs reaching the bacteria in the large intestine, causing them to ferment and create symptoms known by Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers. These include:
- abdominal bloating and distension
- excess wind (flatulence)
- abdominal pain
- changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or combination of both)
- other gastro-intestinal symptoms
5-Element Diet (TCM)
Diet seen from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine is referred to as the 5 element diet.Please read more about this on the TCM page.