Health happens outside of the doctor’s office. Health starts within you. Taking charge of your own health means being willing to make changes that can optimise your physiology, understanding that you know more about your body than anyone else and acting as a partner with your doctor.
Food is not just calories. Scientific research continually demonstrates that our body’s ability to function is significantly affected by what we eat. Nutrients speed reactions up, inhibit others and allow organs to communicate and work synergistically. They give our body the tools it needs to flourish in the way that it is designed to. Therefore, what we eat can affect our focus; our ability to fight infections; to reproduce and to sleep soundly. Given that the modern world places many obstacles in between us and the path to health, supporting the body nutritionally is all the more pertinent.
Optimal nutrition has the ability to modulate underlying inflammatory processes, feed healthy strains of bacteria in your gut microbiome, support your mitochondrial function, reverse disease, lessen anxiety, improve brain function, decrease joint pain, boost athletic performance, enhance recovery, ensure you have healthy hair, skin and nails and so much more.
Biochemical individuality means that your body has its own complex blueprint, making your nutrient needs different from somebody else, even within the same family. When it comes to specifics about your micro and macro nutrient needs, timing of meals, supplement needs and more, it will vary from person to person. You have so many complex systems working together including your genetics, microbes, immune cells, neurotransmitters, hormones and a lot of other variables that influence what you need to thrive. One of the greatest investments that you can make is to take the time to learn how your body works. Identify your unique nutrition and health needs that can increase your body’s performance and capacity for recovery and healing.
How does bio-individuality with regards to nutrition work?
Let’s take two simple nutrition tips:
Nutrition Tip 1: Eat more vegetables – specifically dark leafy greens
Leafy greens contain compounds that lead to a sharper memory and slower rates of cognitive decline and are packed with fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins E and K, and folate, which is imperative for keeping inflammation at bay.
As a bio-individual, experiment with raw and cooked vegetables. Some people experience digestive discomfort when eating raw vegetables, especially leafy greens. To avoid digestive distress and ensure you’re absorbing available fat-soluble vitamins, sauté kale in olive oil or ghee. If your digestion can tolerate raw greens, go for it.
Nutrition Tip 2: Eat health-supporting fats.
Healthy fats serve the body well and aid in hormonal balance, brain health, metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and help to improve hair, skin and nail quality. The fat we eat directly feeds our brain and can aid neurological functions, lower bad cholesterol, and help you shed excess weight. Eliminate fats such as artificial trans fats and saturated fats and embrace fats such as unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.
As a bio-individual, eat a variety of healthy fats, while consulting with your healthcare practitioner. Heart health includes HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride count, but it’s important to speak with your healthcare practitioner about your specific needs. For example, you may be genetically predisposed to high blood pressure.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of your health but it is not everything. You cannot simply eat your way to better health if you do not address the need to optimise sleep, improve stress resilience, increase joy, move your body, surround yourself with people you love and more. They are all connected.