holistic nutrition

Holistic Nutrition

holistic nutritionThousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, CA

Proper nutrition is the basis for optimum health and well-being. Holistic nutrition comes from an approach to treating a person’s well-being by taking into consideration all aspects of life. A long-term course of action includes emotional and spiritual health, along with the physical body. Modern medicine focuses on treating a symptom rather than the root cause. If a person is experiencing a symptom or chronic condition, the problem has most likely been developing for some time. The goal of holistic nutrition is to facilitate a health recovery plan as well as build a strong foundation for long-term optimum health. Find out how holistic dentists in Agoura Hills at Integrative Dental Arts can help get your health on track using holistic nutritional counseling.

What inflammation has to do with health

Inflammation is a protective process you are probably more familiar with than you think. It’s the body’s method of healing itself in response to an injury or exposure to a harmful substance. This is useful when, for example, skin is healing from a cut. However, inflammation is not always beneficial.

Chronic (or ongoing) inflammation occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells leading to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, states of immune deficiency including Crohn’s disease or skin conditions including psoriasis. Underlying chronic inflammation also may play a role in heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The relationship between nutrition and inflammation

We know that some foods have the capacity to cause inflammation just as much as healthier options can suppress inflammation. Foods can cause your body to have a particular reaction as if an invading microbe, allergen, or chemical is taking hold. This causes the body to stimulate an inflammatory response to counteract the invaders, which is done so by stimulating inflammation. However, sometimes, inflammation can persist beyond an occasional immune response. That’s when it becomes a health problem.

Foods that cause inflammation include:

  • Red meat (burgers, steaks)
  • Processed meat (hotdogs, sausage)
  • Sugar
  • Soda
  • French fries (or other fried foods)
  • Refined carbohydrates (white bread, pastries, cookies, muffins)
  • Margarine (shortening, lard)

According to an article published by Harvard,

“Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” Dr. Hu says. “It’s not surprising since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.” 

Inflammatory foods also are responsible for weight gain. But, you have the choice to live a healthier life. There are a plethora of healthy foods that combat inflammation, and can help you live a healthier life! Healing cells from the inside out is the path to getting better.

Foods that combat inflammation in the body

Scientists are learning more about how food affects the body in terms of inflammation, and combating it lies beyond the medicine cabinet. These anti-inflammatory foods are rich in antioxidants, and polyphenols, which are protective compounds found in plants. Not only do these foods combat inflammation, but also lower your risk of the deadly diseases mentioned above. A Mediterranean diet incorporates many of these healthy foods.

Anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and collards)
  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines)
  • Fresh fruits (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges)

Diet, as it relates to mood and mental health

As if the increased risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease weren’t enough, your psychological well-being also could be impacted by the foods you eat. Consuming a healthy diet with fewer processed foods could improve your mood and mental health, positively impacting your overall well-being.

Holistic Nutritional Counseling, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village

If you are interested in learning more about holistic nutrition or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Integrative Dental Arts at (818) 889-0400. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you live your healthiest life!