Diversity is the basis of healthy eating and this entails eating a large variety of fresh unprocessed foods. Each type of food contains particular nutrients: for example, yellow and red tomatoes contain slightly different fibres and chemicals that support slightly different strains of healthy intestinal microflora.
Healthy eating is therefore dependent on eating a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, organic meat (except pork) and fish. Processed food should be avoided as it contains chemical preservatives that damage healthy intestinal bacteria. Much of the body’s immune system depends on healthy intestinal bacteria so that optimising the biological terrain of the intestine is an important part of treating chronic medical conditions.
Saliva contains digestive enzymes so that digestion starts in the mouth with chewing. Gulping down food without chewing it and drinking ‘healthy’ smoothies are therefore not healthy.
Adequate hydration is important and an average sized person should drink about one and a half litres of water (ideally filtered or spring) every day.
A healthy breakfast might contain kefir (fermented cow’s milk), muesli, fresh blueberries and raspberries and live yoghurt (e.g. Yeo Valley). An advantage of kefir is that it contains not only beneficial bacteria but also chemicals that improve mental health. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is another nutritional source of healthy microflora.
Over the counter bacteria supplements (probiotics) are rarely of much health benefit, although selected high quality practitioner grade probiotics are therapeutic.
Frozen food is fine and out of season and it can contribute to a varied diet.
With appropriate naturopathic treatment, poorly tolerated foods can generally be reintroduced in modest amounts after an interval of about six weeks.
Most people with so called irritable bowel syndrome have an intestinal micro parasite infection (giardia lamblia), that responds to selected naturopathic treatment.