Each week I make it a priority to attend the Global Wellness Institute's (GWI) virtual summit where they place the spotlight onto a specific sector within the Wellness Industry, which is currently valued at $4.5 trillion globally with Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss being the third largest contributor at $702 billion.
This week's discussion was of particular interest to me since I'm studying towards my Diploma in Vegan Nutrition and will soon be starting my Herbal Medicine course as well, and it did not disappoint with a panel of guest speakers focused on Nutrition for Healing, which I think we can all agree is most certainly needed and so very relevant right now!
Nutrition is not only about the food we eat, it is also about the water we drink and it's quality, and there have been various studies conducted on how water quality is affected by it's environment. For example, water does not like angles and when forced to navigate it's way around angles, it becomes less nutrient dense. Likewise, water that has been placed in a microwave has zero nutritional value due to the effects of radiation. It makes me think twice about the water I'm drinking from my tap and how perhaps a decent filtration system is more beneficial than I previously appreciated
In a study conducted Veda Austin for her book The Secret Intelligence of Water, she found that water has memory. When Petri dishes of water were placed atop images and then frozen the water recreated the image, which could be viewed under a microscope. This is supported by decades of research by Japanese scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto who proved that the structure of water can be altered with human intention and emotion
"How are we bridging the gap between the healthcare industry and taking care of ourselves?"
Personally, I am fascinated by the brain, gut, skin connection in relation to chronic-stress and my goal is to learn how to Nutrition to create positive change in the body as far as chronic-stress is concerned. Here in the UK it's become far too easy for us to order takeaways as opposed to taking the time to cook our food from scratch, and unfortunately, that's mostly due to our severe lack of work-life balance coupled with the accessibility and affordability of takeaway food and ready meals. But where do we turn for help with this kind of stuff? You'd be forgiven for thinking your GP would be your first port of call but surprisingly that wouldn't be the best idea since your GP is precisely that, a General Practitioner and may not have received more than 25 hours worth of study on Nutrition. So, your best bet is to seek out an expert such as a Nutritionist or a Health Coach
When we're stressed we tend to reach for the comfort food, right? The stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenaline are released into the body and we look for the path of least resistance to "lighten the load". Where food is concerned that means reaching for less nutritious snacks or ordering our favourite takeaway, and the more we do this we begin to negatively affect our microbiome (the bacteria in our gut). Remember, around 70% of our immune system is headquartered in our gut. Our stomach lining is designed to be somewhat permeable in order to control what gets absorbed into the bloodstream however, when we consume more processed foods we develop cracks and holes in this lining, which leads to partially digested foods and toxins to penetrate the tissues beneath it, hence the term "leaky gut". This in turn, can result in inflammation and changes to our microbiome. Thanks to more toxins entering the bloodstream via the gut, and inflammation of the microbiome, we become more prone to skin conditions, and auto-immune diseases, which is prevalent amongst younger people
What can we do about this? I personally believe the key is in eating predominantly plant-based foods and reducing our intake of processed foods. A colourful plate is a happy plate after all, and I know I'm not alone in thinking this! We are 70% water so that means plenty of good quality water too but remember, we don't always need to drink our water. Dr. Howard Murad wrote a fantastic book called The Water Secret, and is a big advocate of eating your water to improve the strength and permeability of our cell membranes. This book revolutionised my own relationship with food and water and I cannot recommend it highly enough!
The major takeaway (excuse the pun) from this discussion for me is this...
"If we live in a world where our healthcare system profits from us being 'un-well', what is the incentive to move away from the status quo?"
We're very fortunate in the UK to have the NHS, which in July 2017 was ranked 1st out of 11 countries for access, efficiency, equity and outcomes by the Commonwealth Fund Study. By contrast The USA ranked last even though they spend the most money
When we get our nutrition right we can essentially eradicate illness from our lives