I think it is safe to say that most people have some degree of disconnection from their own body and that many lack a basic understanding of how their body functions.  Often when I see clients to talk about their health goals we start with basic education about the body:  how digestion works and what bowel movements should look and feel like, what hormones do in the body and what it feels like if they’re balanced, how blood sugar impacts short and long-term health and dispelling myths about health fats and protein that support functions in the body like brain health.

When a person has an understanding of the body it can benefit their own health and also the health of their entire family for the duration of their lives.  When people have familiarity with how the human body works it can support making healthy, nourishing choices as well as to know when illness or issues need further support.  At some point everyone will have an issue with some aspect of their body and knowledge of how the body works will make you a better advocate for yourself and your family.

The 5 foundations of health

From my background training with the Nutritional Therapy Association there are five foundations of health.  These foundations are fundamental nutritional factors that must be in balance for a person to experience optimal health.  When a person focuses on bringing these five foundations into balance they will have a better experience with symptoms of autoimmune disease and chronic health issues and a chance at having a thriving life.  

Foundation 1:  Digestion

Hippocrates once said that all disease begins in the gut.  The health of your gut and function of your digestion is imperative to overall health and well being.  The digestive system is responsible for every cell of the body to get vital and needed nutrients to function.  If this nutrient intake system is impaired problems across the body can arise.  Things that have a root in digestive dysfunction include autoimmune disease, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, allergies, eczema, dementia, endocrine disorders, acid reflux and so many more.  

The digestive system is much more than our intestines, though that is what most people think of when they think of this system.  The digestive system actually starts in the brain, travels down through the mouth and esophagus, into the stomach, utilizes the liver, gallbladder and pancreas, travels through the intestines and finally the colon.  This is a north to south process.  So, if you think of it like a river, whatever goes in at the north end of the river will impact the south end.  

Foundation 2:  Blood Sugar Balance

Blood sugar is often an overlooked indicator of health.  If you don’t have diabetes then you often think you’re good to go.  Unfortunately, about one in three Americans are prediabetic, which simply means your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes…yet.  Glucose levels affect how a person feels immediately and long-term.  If glucose levels are not regulated a wide variety of health conditions can arise in the short-term.  Things like cravings, fatigue, irritability, poor sleep, metabolic dysfunction, migraines and memory loss to name just a few.  In the long-term, elevated blood glucose levels  may cause acne, arthritis, Alzheimers, dementia, increased cancer risk, depression, heath disease and gut issues.   

Foundation 3:  Fatty Acid Status

Essential fatty acid deficiency is epidemic and a primary cause of inflammation in the body.  When a person is deficient in healthy fatty acids they may have issues with musculoskeletal issues, endocrine issues, cardiovascular issues, immune issues, allergies, skin problems and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.  Essential fatty acids are types of fat that the body cannot produce and needs to be consumed.  These essential fatty acids are Omega 6’s and Omega 3’s.  These healthy fats (when in balance) play essential roles in the body like providing energy, increasing satiety, helps absorb fat soluble vitamins from other foods, are the building blocks of hormones and make things taste really good.  We have been led to believe that fat causes fat and that fat is bad.  Quite the oppossite is true.  Imbalanced blood sugar and hormones are often the culprit of increased weight gain and healthy fats promote the balance of each of those issues.

Foundation 4:  Hydration

Water plays an essential role in the body.  It improves oxygen delivery to cells, transports nutrients, removes waste and flushes toxins, absorbs shock to joints and organs, lubricates joints and supports the body’s natural healing processes.  In order to hydrate it’s important to drink enough clean and filtered water that is mineral rich.  To do this it’s important to find a good filter and then remineralize your water.  It is often said that if you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated.  Signs of dehydration include thirst, fatigue, dry mouth, dark urine, muscle cramps, anxiety, headaches and inability to concentrate.  So, drink water at the first sign of tiredness, thirst, headache or anxiety.  Aim to drink half you body weight in ounces of water per day and drink periodically throughout the day instead of all in one sitting.  And to avoid having to use the bathroom multiple times per day add in minerals (electrolytes) to your water to cellular absorption.    

Foundation 5:  Minerals

Minerals are important and make up about %4 of the human body.  They support the skeletal system, particularly the bones, which are composed mostly of mineralized connective tissue.  And they play a large role in a person’s overall health.  In general, minerals support healthy bones, support muscles to contract and release, can improve cardiovascular disease, can minimize sluggishness and fatigue, can minimize leg cramps and improve regular digestion.  

It’s important to note that humans do not produce minerals therefore we must get them through our food or supplements.  Of the many minerals available to us there are some that are more important for our health and provide important functions for the body.  These are also the minerals that people are most often deficient in.  They are calcium, zinc, iodine, iron and magnesium.  There can be many reasons why a person is mineral deficient so it’s important to look at the whole health of a person since culprits may be gut health issues which impede absorption of minerals, lack of hydration which lowers mineral ingestion, hormone issues and/or lack of fatty acids in the diet, which support absorption and transport of certain minerals in the body.     

Know your body

Again, when a person has an understanding of the body it benefits their own health because a person who understands the functions of their body and what their body is trying to tell them will make more nourishing choices.  In addition, if you know how a body is supposed to work or works in a balanced state then you will be able to catch any signs of illness or disease early to improve outcomes and treatment options.  So, get to know how your body works.  View it as a personal science experiment as you give your body what it needs and see how it grows, develops and changes over time.



Get Your Free Health Assessment & Pantry Challenge

Woohoo! You're assessment & challenge are on the way!