What is Clinical Nutrition?
Clinical nutrition is the study and application of how nutrients relate to health and disease. Nutrients form the building blocks essential for a healthy functional body. Protein, carbohydrate and fat form the largest component of our nutrition and are termed "Macronutrients". They are termed "macro" because human beings require them in relatively large amounts. Then we have "Micronutrients" which compose of vitamins and minerals which we require in smaller amounts. "Micro" does not make micronutrients any less important as deficiencies in this area will lead to significant health problems.
At the heart of optimal health, lies proper nutrition. The saying "You are what you eat" couldn't be further from the truth. As Naturopathic physicians, we look upon clinical nutrition as the stable foundation that has to be in place in order for healing to happen. Trying to get better without establishing this proper foundation could be likened to bailing water out of a boat riddled with holes without first trying to plug the holes. You might sustain your health for a while but it will eventually "sink" without proper measures being put in place first.
Naturopathic Physicians and Clinical Nutrition
Clinical nutrition isn't simply about eating a healthy balanced diet. Consuming a balanced diet might get you through life just fine, but are you optimizing your health to the best of your ability? Underlying health problems might be undermining your efforts to live a healthy life. Poor digestion or food allergies might be preventing you from attaining the adequate nutrition that you require which might predispose you to health problems in the long run. You may not currently have any noticeable symptoms but remember, disease takes years to manifest.
Understanding the key roles and complex mechanisms by which macro, micro and phyto-nutrients work in health and disease; uncovering and addressing obstacles to optimal healing and combining this knowledge with appropriate treatments is where our roles as Naturopathic Physicians come into play.
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