Nutritional Coaching is one of those areas where many conflicting ideas, concepts, and approaches occur. From the weight loss ideas of Barry Sears - The Zone diet, Dr. Dean Ornish's - Reversing Heart Disease, Nathan Pritikin - The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise, Robert C. Atkins, M.D. - Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, or William Wolcott and Trish Fahey's The Metabolic Typing Diet: all use different methods towards health and have quite different ideas as to what constitutes a healthy diet.
Nutrition is only one aspect of becoming and remaining healthy, but it is the focus that this article wants to address. Eating a healthy diet is important, however, it is much more important to understand the importance of digestion which leads to good assimilation of the nutrients from the food.
Another important aspect to consider is the amount of nutrients that are contained in the foods you eat. Vitamins are produced by synthesis from the sun and if the produce you are eating was vine ripened, then they will have a good chance of having a full complement of vitamins, if they were picked green and ripened in the store then the chances are you won't be getting what you need.
Another class of nutrients (MINERALS) are pulled through the root system of the plant and become part of the roots, leaves and fruit of the plant. However, if the same soil is used year after year without re-introducing a new complex of minerals then the soil will become depleted. This is the case, the soils have become depleted of minerals in most regions of the world today.
Minerals are the least understood of all the nutrients that the body requires in maintaining its health. Minerals are responsible for a majority of the processes that the cells go through. They are needed for vitamin assimilation, and are required for completion of many enzymatic processes that occur in the body. They are required in order for the body to generate all of the hormones it requires. Hence Minerals become a major player in what I call Foundational Nutrition.
A Foundation can be defined as the natural or prepared ground or base on which some structure rests. The best cure for any disease is prevention. The energy base (the foundation) that we build for ourselves, in many cases determines our overall health and longevity. Your body requires a solid base, a footing that each cell can build upon.
No matter what the structure, whether it is a building or a human body, if it has a small or weak foundation it will never support the structure to its fullest. The results of a faulty or weak foundation rarely show up until the going gets rough and it's then that people choose the quick fix, a doctor with a prescription, the duct tape approach to rectify the situation.
Your overall health depends on your cellular health? The strength of our cellular health is what determines our foundation. By all appearances we may look good, feel OK, and even get by on a day to day basis. However, when the kids come home from school with the sniffles, or we stay out in the cold too long, or the stress from work becomes overwhelming, it is then that we come down with some sort of illness. All illnesses are trying to tell us that we have a weak immune system. We could be lacking in energy to deal with the problem, the body is so full of toxins or the bottom line -- Our bodies are simply way out of balance. How often do we really listen to our bodies concerning what it's telling us? Many people don't listen and when an illness besets us, we just make an excuse about how it's not our fault; we slough it off or put the blame on something external to us?
Building a foundation takes discipline and persistence. It is not something we develop one time and then have for the remainder of our lives. You build a foundation by making sure you have the right formula. If you want a solid substantial foundation, you have to determine what ingredients you'll need. Number one on the list we have already determined is MINERALS. WE need a full complement of minerals both the Micro and Macro mineral complexes.
Minerals are the backbone to a good solid foundation of cellular health. From dust we came and to dust we shall return. That dust was and is the mineral make-up that we require. The other nutrients that we rely upon work synergistically with the minerals, but it's the minerals and their balance that make things work. A certain ratio of given minerals (calcium to magnesium, zinc to copper, sodium to potassium,) are required for optimum health. When these ratios get out of balance there is no amount of vitamins, anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrients or drugs that will restore us to health.
When we start looking at the requirements for cellular health, we will find that in order to utilize any of the nutrients from our food, enzymes and stomach acid are required to break them down. For many enzymes to work properly they must combined with the mineral Zinc, which is known to be a co-factor in over 40 different enzymes. Zinc also assists in the assimilation and absorption of those nutrients. The old saying used to be "we are what we eat." Today the saying is "we are what we assimilate." Zinc is a crucial element in that operation. Zinc is also a factor in the carbon dioxide set point and the exchange rate of carbon dioxide at the cellular level.
Everyone knows that Calcium is required for strong bones. Most know that it's required for a smooth heart beat, but do they know that calcium is vitally important in maintaining the alkaline / acidic balance in the blood. The blood Ph likes to remain a little alkaline and can vary from 7.4 up to 7.45 or down to 7.35 however, if the variation is more than that WE DIE! Calcium is used in these and many, many other functions.
Minerals like Magnesium are needed and required to co-op with vitamins in order for the vitamins in our foods to maximize their efficiency. Magnesium helps utilize the B complex vitamins as well as playing a role in Vitamin C and Vitamin E absorption in the body.
Trace minerals are required by the Endocrine glands for proper function. Iodine ties in with the thyroid, manganese affects the pituitary, copper is important to the adrenals, insulin cannot do its job without chromium and zinc is important for the gonads and pancreas.
As important as minerals supplementation can is - there is another ingredient that belongs as part of the Foundational Nutrition building process. These are Antioxidants. Why Antioxidants? It's all about something called Free Radicals.
Free Radicals comes anytime oxidation takes place. When anyone talks about oxidation, they are defining a burning up of a material. Metal rusts, that is oxidation. The body also (rusts) and how fast it rusts is determined by the amount of free radicals we accumulate in the body.
The truth is, over 1100 different families of free radicals exist. Free radicals come from sun in the form of ultra-violet or gamma radiation (UVA or UVB rays) the air you breathe (smog and heavy metals), the food you eat (pesticides and preservatives), the water you bathe in (chemicals like chlorine and fluoride), the stress you feel (emotional stress), the skin care products that you use (DEA, SLS) and every time you exercise (physical stress). Free radicals are known to be the cause of over 60 degenerative diseases.
It is extremely important that we take on the responsibility and understand exactly how our lifestyles have an impact on our wellbeing, and can create the headache situations that we experience. When we're in an imbalanced state, where toxins and free radicals dominate, then one of the indicators of that imbalance could possibly be a headache. Free radicals create Cellular oxidation and in doing so contribute significantly to the damage the body experiences when exposed to them. Free radicals and cellular oxidation also lead to the rapid acceleration of aging in the body.
Understanding free radicals is the first step towards combating them. A free radical is a molecule with one or more unpaired electrons, it will move through the body until it finds an electron it can borrow/steal from another molecule. It is when it borrows or steals an electron that the cellular and / or DNA damage occurs. Many times when it borrows or steals an electron, in doing so, it in turn may turn into a free radical, therefore, creating a self- perpetuating chain reaction in which the structures of many molecules are negatively altered.
A few years ago, scientists developed an awareness of antioxidants and how they could be utilized to offset the effects of free radicals. This knowledge sparked a wave in the nutrition industry. We started hearing about the antioxidant properties of vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Then came French maritime pine bark (pycnogenol), grape seed extract and green tea. The truth is that there is not one single antioxidant that can rid the body of all of the several very different kinds of free radicals. In fact when you take any of the above anti-oxidants and allow them to do their job, they in turn create that same self-perpetuating chain reaction and additional free radicals are developed.
Bottom line: What antioxidants do: Antioxidants donate an electron to the free radicals, thus stabilizing their molecular make up.
Different antioxidant act in very different ways. Some antioxidants act upon the membrane of the cell, others inside the cell itself, some are fat based and work in the particles of lipoprotein and others are liquid based and assist in the fluid of the blood make-up itself. Different antioxidants will also vary in their effectiveness against free radicals. Just as one mineral or one vitamin is not the key to total health, one antioxidant is not the key to effective free-radical elimination.
If you were to go to a health store to purchase all of the antioxidants individually that are available (plus the new ones being uncovered as we speak) you would spend an enormous amount of money and would probably fill a kitchen cabinet. You can purchase antioxidants separately or in combinations. The best combination that we have come across is from Sisel International and is combined with a complete mineral liquid solution. It contains many different anti-oxidants that complement each other and provide regeneration of the base antioxidant. Sisel SpectraMax contains all of the Micro and Macro minerals plus all of the major antioxidants, all of the fighting power that the body needs to combat free radical damage and to increase longevity.
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-- Learn More about our Foundational Nutrition DVD
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