You Are What You Eat?
“You are what you eat.” You have likely heard this phrase more than a few times, but have you thought about what it really means? Why is good nutrition so fundamentally important for physical and mental well-being?
Your food provides the building blocks for all functions of your body; it is broken down and used for fuel, tissue repair, antibody production, hormone production and much more. Our bodies are skilled in survival even when our diets are suboptimal. In order to fulfill its most important goal of keeping us alive, the body constantly makes decisions about where to allocate resources. Undernourishment, whether by poor nutrition, or by factors that reduce absorptive capacity, creates stress on our bodies. You might notice fatigue, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, poor immune system, low libido, etc. These signs do not necessarily come all at once, they can slowly develop over time, and because of this are easy to ignore. I often see patients in their early 40s and 50s who ask, “I’ve always eaten this way -why is everything falling apart now?” The answer is often that the body’s resource pool is dwindling and it needs proper nourishment and nutrition! Good nutrition is the cornerstone of preventative and corrective medicine. Moderation and variety are key to a healthy body and mind.