You Are What You Eat – The Importance of Nutritional Wellness

At The Banyans, one of the models we are proud to use is the Integrated Wellness Approach of the National Wellness Institute co-founder Dr. Bill Hettler. As outlined in our previous blog post, the dimensions of wellness according to this model are physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, financial, protectoral, nutritional, occupational, financial, and social wellness. We have so far discussed a number of these dimensions, physical wellness, emotional wellness, environmental wellness, intellectual wellness, protectoral wellness, social wellnessfinancial wellness, occupational wellness . The focus of this blog post is another important dimension of wellness – nutritional wellness.

The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ has been told by countless mothers to their children across the generations, often in an attempt to encourage them to eat their vegetables. The truth behind this phrase is that what we consume affects our bodies from the inside out. Food is the fuel that keeps us going, and the value of eating well cannot be underestimated.

To understand why eating well is important, it is best to start at the basics. The human body is made up of a variety of elements; one of the most important is protein. Protein makes up 20% of the body, and the building blocks of protein are called amino acids. Amino acids are integral to our functioning – they comprise a large part of our muscles, tissue, cells, and play a key role in the functioning of our bodies. They also influence “the function of organs, glands, tendons, and arteries…[and are] essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue, especially in the muscles, bones, skin and hair as well as for the removal of all kinds of waste deposits produced in connection with the metabolism” (1) 

Our body creates some of these amino acids on its own. Others (termed essential amino acids) can only be acquired through the food that we eat. The need for these nutrients is especially pronounced during a child’s development, as not getting enough of even one of these nutrients can result in irreversible illness and disability. Some nutritional deficiencies are so pronounced that entire countries are affected; iron deficiency anaemia, for example, is estimated to cost some developing countries up to 4% of their GDP due to the lethargy and damage to cognitive and motor skills it causes (2).

The importance of healthy eating goes beyond amino acids, however. Repeated studies have demonstrated that eating the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables prevent against all sorts of diseases and illnesses. Fruits and vegetables give us healthy doses of fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, all of which help prevent against major illness. Type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer can all be prevented through eating well (3) and maintaining a healthy weight. Furthermore, there is some preliminary research suggesting that nutrition can play a key role in treating mild to moderate depression (4).

The Banyans recognises the importance of nutritional wellness. For this reason, we have put together an expert team to help support our guests address this area of their lives. We are proud to have Lisa Cutforth as our head nutritionist. Lisa has a degree in both Nutrition and Psychology, which enables her to approach nutrition with a multidisciplinary approach that addresses physiological, psychological, and sociological needs. Every guest undergoes a private nutritional assessment with Lisa and then a bespoke nutrition plan is created with our Executive Chef Jarrod Huey. Both are passionate about creating delicious and nutritious foods to enable our guests to live their best life.

Designed for integrated restoration, and with an expert team of therapists, health practitioners and wellness coaches, The Banyans Health and Wellness Residence is a place where body and soul prosper in an environment of rest, wellness, and inspired living.

Call us now on 1300 BANYAN (1300 226 926) or email welcome@thebanyans.com.au for a confidential discussion about how you or someone you care about can benefit from The Banyans.

References:

(1) http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/amino-acids/what-are-amino-acids.html

(2) http://www.scidev.net/global/health/news/iron-deficiency-takes-huge-economic-toll.html

(3) http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/1594/cancer-prevention/diet-exercise/nutrition-diet/fruit-vegetables/do-fruit-and-veg-prevent-cancer/

(4) http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/how-food-affects-your-moods