Healthcare Perspectives - Nutrition (Cross Cultural)
In AD 390 Hippocrates said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”. In the early twentieth century Thomas Edison said “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and the cause and prevention of disease”.
Cross Cultural Nutritional counseling covers a wide range of applications and philosophies regarding the quality of nutrition in a diet. Nutritionists offer education of nutritional awareness in relation to eating habits, nutrients, allergies, weight loss, medical conditions, physical performance and psychological or spiritual transformation. They work with individuals to develop dietary programs and patterns that suit their lifestyle as well as their health needs.
Nutrition is one the most vital components of our overall well-being. The building blocks of all the cells in our body, comes directly from what we put into it. How well we feel and how well we function depends on how efficiently the cells of our body are working. The hormones, enzymes, blood cells, antibodies, prostglandins (highly potent substances that are not stored but are produced as needed by cell membranes in virtually every body tissue. They also control the substances involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, participate in the body’s defense against infection, and regulate the rate of metabolism in various tissues.) and countless other elements that the body needs for health and repair are all held in the nutrients found in food. Most health professionals agree that if we want to function at our greatest potential, then we must feed our bodies with the best foods possible.
Nutritional deficiencies rob the body of its own natural resources and can manifest as symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, migraines and insomnia among many others. Often times, these symptoms are taken for granted as a natural sign of aging. When left unchecked, however, these same deficiencies can contribute to disease.
The medical community now recognizes that even mild nutritional deficiencies can create imbalance within the bodies systems resulting in subtle symptoms of disease. Nutritional Counseling will provide one with specific information that is tailored to their individualized wellness needs. Through dietary changes, detoxification and nutritional supplementation with herbs and specific vitamins, deficiencies can be reversed, thus eliminating the sub-clinical symptoms being experienced restoring the body to balance and allowing for optimal health and longevity.
Applied nutritional awareness can empower lifestyle changes which support and sustain optimal health and vitality by:
- Boosting energy levels
- Detoxifying and revitalizing internal organs
- Ridding the body of poisons
- Boosting the immune system
- Increasing focus
- Decreasing imbalances and symptoms
- Reducing risk of disease
Nutritional Counseling typically includes a complete survey of nutritional and medical history, an assessment of nutritional status, and the suggestion of a realistic plan of action based on the readiness, level of understanding, motivation and needs of the client.
Some of the main philosophies and cultural dimensions to nutritional counseling are:
- Ayurveda deals with food selections based on one of three body types: vata, pitta and Kapha and encourages the use of all six tastes (salty, sour, pungent, bitter, sweet and astringent) at each meal.
- Clinical Nutrition promotes whole natural foods and nutritional supplements for consistent health maintenance and treatment of disorders. This type of counseling works within the view that food choices will influence the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the body. Naturopaths are commonly known for nutritionally counseling with this view.
- Food Allergy Counseling helps individuals eliminate foods causing hypersensitivities, allergies and intolerances through specifically designed diet plans. Foods that are eliminated may be carefully introduced at a later date.
- Oriental Nutrition selects foods according to the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This philosophy applies the idea of opposites, principles of yin (cooler) and yang (warmer), with one unable to exist without the other and the human body requiring both for healthy function. The diet is also determined according to the constitution, health, personality, climate and physical environment of the individual.
- Macrobiotic Counseling extends the principles of oriental nutrition while keeping the basic principles of yin and yang. The individual will be taught to select seasonal foods grown locally, to prepare them in a specific manner and to cook them according to macrobiotic principles. Macrobiotics is based on the view that illness is the result of poor nutrition, bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Individuals will be encouraged in an exercise program as well as diet.
- Western Nutrition teaches the scientific knowledge behind the nutritional function of foods, as well as the daily nutritional requirements for optimal health. Individuals are taught to make healthier choices by understanding the chemical components of foods. Nutritionists will point out the risks involved in consuming processed, refined and chemically treated foods and will recommend changes in eating habits to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Healing Modalities within Nutrition (Cross Cultural)
- Diet Therapies
- Enzyme Therapy
- Orthomolecular Nutrition
- Developmental Nutrition
- Holistic Nutrition
Must be licensed in the State of Florida as a nutritionist or have other professkional licensure auch as a medical physicians, osterpathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists if providing wervices within their scope of practice