More than ever before, the Internet, TV, and other media sources are filled with messages about health, diets, nutritional supplements, and weight loss products. We are advised what to eat and what not to eat.
It is an overwhelming amount of data and often confusing and contradictory, too! It is practically impossible to know what information is reliable. Whom do you listen to? What do you believe? How do you decide what foods are really good to eat and which to avoid?
Despite this wealth of information, over a third of Americans are obese and deficiencies of at least 7 key nutrients are commonplace. At Integrative Rheumatology of Westchester, nutrition is an essential part of our approach to overall health and fitness. In fact, it is the single most important factor in disease prevention and healthy aging. That means that whether your goal is weight loss, or whether you’re simply seeking the best diet for you in order to function optimally and maintain your health, we are prepared to help you sort out the confusion and plan a personalized program of optimal nutrition for you.
Reaching and maintaining ideal body weight is a struggle for many of us, and for good reason. We are bombarded with poor food choices, and live stressful lives that can make it difficult to focus on our own best eating habits. Moreover, a complex of factors, including calorie intake, personal dietary habits, physical activity, hormones, genetics, stress, sleeping habits and environmental toxins together determine our body weight and makeup. Even the intestinal microbiome, which represents the population of commensal bacteria that populate our gastrointestinal tract, has been shown to be an important player in nutritional health and body weight. So, it is not as simple as just counting calories! In fact, it is really about finding an eating lifestyle that incorporates sound nutritional approaches with your particular tastes and unique physiology, and a practical approach that is sustainable for the long term.
We often recommend a supervised detoxification program to “reset” the system before getting started on your personal healthy eating program. Longstanding exposure to toxins in the food supply, which include hormones and antibiotics often present in our meats, poultry and fish products, have a cumulative impact on our metabolism. A 10- to 14- day detoxification program is often recommended to address this and optimize a fresh nutritional approach. Afterwards, you will feel great and be ready to eat for your health and enjoyment!
Eating right helps us to feel energetic and sharp. By supporting a harmonious metabolism, our immune system and hormone systems function at their best and help to prevent inflammation, which leads to chronic and degenerative diseases. Since we are all unique, the optimal diet for each of us differs. A personalized approach is important.
For example, many people experience food sensitivities, which can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, headaches, hypertension, and asthma, dermatitis and other conditions. It can be a challenge to identify the suspect foods, but we will work with you on an individualized basis to uncover these often hidden allergies.
Gut health is an essential part of overall wellness and is a critical system in the functional medicine approach to healthy aging. Seventy percent of our immune system function resides in the tissues just beneath the mucous membranes of our intestinal tract, so it is important to make sure that intestinal function is optimized. Nutrition is one critical component, along with the identification of food sensitivities, digestive impairments, and microbiome balance. We will help to identify and eliminate substances to avoid, restore and repair normal function with a comprehensive and individualized approach.