What is Nutritional Medicine?
There is no doubt that the foods we choose to eat help lay the foundation for health. This has been recorded and remarked upon by healers over the centuries.
The relationship between plants, other foods, and the body is incredibly profound. It leaves you with a deep appreciation and respect for the intricate interplay that exists between the two. Food can provide our body with all the nutrients that it needs to function.
Recognising this connection between dietary patterns and health, Nutritional Medicine is the practice of looking beyond a person’s signs and symptoms for underlying factors that may be influencing health. Although genetics play a role, the cause may be rooted in nutritional, environmental, or lifestyle triggers. Nutritional medicine takes a long term view of health, using food and dietary patterns in a preventative and restorative capacity.
Beyond Food as a Function
What complicates food is that it is so much more than function. When considering our relationship with food, we must consider cost, cooking skills, preparation time, and confidence to explore new foods. Food has great spiritual and cultural significance in all societies. We use it to nurture, to bring family and friends together, and to celebrate holidays and life transitions such as births, deaths, birthdays, and weddings.
Long before food becomes function we have imagined it, shopped for it, prepared it, smelled it, tasted it, savoured it. We know what we like, love and can’t bear to eat. For some of us, food choices are philosophical or a statement that represents how we want to be in the world. For others food is approached with caution as it may create unwelcome effects on the body. This relationship can be complicated.
The food we eat can optimise and transform our health and has the ability to affect how we feel and how much energy we have. It can be a journey to find what works to prevent illness and restore health for each individual in the short and long term. This path to creating a sense of wellness and connection to food is worth taking.