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Nutritional healing is the method of using the science of natural foods, herbs, and supplements to cure diseases and disorders. This type of food therapy relies heavily on knowing ancient and modern practices that maximize the powers attributed to plants, fruits, and vegetables, usually ones that are organic and not rendered impotent by any genetic modification. While nutritional healing may involve consumption, it can also involve topical therapy using herbal steam, oils, or pastes. Besides the partaking of various foods, abstinence from certain foods and complete fasting may also be a component of nutritional healing. In addition to relying on various branches of food-based science, such as herbology, practitioners of nutritional healing might also rely on faith and spirituality, which many believe may be connected to the life force in foods harvested from the ground.
Practitioners of nutritional healing believe strategic eating and dieting can reverse a wide range of physical ailments, such as arthritis, herpes, bronchitis, and cardiovascular disease. Some herbalists believe targeted nutrition can cure Down’s syndrome and acquired immunodeficiency disorder syndrome (AIDS); this is a controversial stance since these conditions are believed to be irreversible. Psychiatric disorders can also be treated with nutritional healing. For example, anorexia, anxiety disorder, and depression are often mitigated by including and excluding certain nutrients in the diet. If complete healing is not possible, some people use nutritional healing to make ailments like diabetes, Celiac disease, or cystic fibrosis tolerable.
The theory behind nutritional healing is that the body is capable of healing itself via the immune system if quality nutrients and natural therapies are used to keep the immune system robust. Protecting the immune system generally includes banning harmful dietary substances that have become staples in modern diets, such as refined carbohydrates, food dyes and preservatives. Convenience foods and fast food are typically off the menu for practitioners of nutritional healing.
There is no shortcut to learning all the foods and therapies that will enhance natural healing through nutrition. Practitioners typically invest in books, digital video disks (DVDs), and other media that give detailed instructions on what to eat, how to eat, and how to practice Ayurvedic therapies. Many also attend seminars with alternative or holistic doctors to educate themselves on how to begin practicing nutritional healing. Most people also begin shopping at farmer’s markets and specialized stores that sell whole foods and organic foods.
While the specifics of natural healing are too broad to condense, beginners can focus on a few basic staples. Experts advise beginners to consume only whole — not refined or processed — food in addition to taking supplemental enzymes and all-natural vitamins, instead of synthetic ones. Some practitioners also recommend eating foods high in essential amino acids.