Whole-person integrative medicine focused on healing you in mind, body and spirit. It's more than fixing what’s wrong. It’s about celebrating what’s right and making sure you’re on the path to a healthier, stronger you.
The New Year is just around the corner and per usual, we all want to learn new and trending tips and tricks to keep us healthy to start this new year off right.
The biggest leverage we have for good health has always been our lifestyle, especially our diet.
But is eating healthy food enough?
I met a scientist this summer who measures the amount of nutrients in produce (fruits and vegetables), and she confirmed that nutrient density in vegetables is declining. “For every carrot eaten 3 decades ago you would have to eat three more today,” she said. Just like we need beneficial bacteria in our guts to absorb nutrients, depletion of beneficial soil bacteria resulting from pesticide use makes it harder for plants to absorb nutrients from soil.
Apart from diminished nutritional value, we have a higher demand on nutrients. Just as smokers tend to have lower vitamin C compared to nonsmokers, those of us exposed to more environmental toxicants, or having genetically weaker ability to detoxify, need more nutrients to protect us and mitigate the damage. Stress creates a higher need for nutrients as well and who has not experienced more stress the past three years? What if you have genetic weaknesses that make it harder to absorb certain nutrients, or you take medications interfering with digestion and absorption, such as antacids like omeprazole, pantoprazole, or other proton pump inhibitors? What if you have other digestive disorders, like Crohn’s disease or celiac?
There are many reasons why we might be low in nutrients despite eating well, but are you really eating as well as you think?
Lacking even a single nutrient can slow down your biochemical pathways and have consequences: headaches, fatigue, depression, achiness, frequent colds or allergies, insomnia or leg cramps. These could be a manifestation of low vitamin B2, B12, D, zinc or magnesium. Lack of nutrients can affect everything in your body from your hormone production (I see that often with the thyroid which requires protein, iron, iodine, zinc and selenium, among others), hair growth and quality (low iron, protein, B vitamins or vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids), nails and skin, the strength of your muscles (including your heart) and bones. We simply can’t be healthy without adequate nutrients, and their deficiencies are very, very common.
There are often clues I look for about nutrient levels from looking at my patients’ tongue, hair, nails and skin.
Do not let your health be impacted by something so preventable and treatable!
You do not have to stay in the dark when it comes to your nutrient status. Plenty of labs offer detailed nutritional tests from blood or urine collection.
About the Author
Tereza Hubkova, MD
Tereza Hubkova, MD, is a Board-certified integrative medicine physician focused on one goal: Your good health. For more than 20 years, she’s studied many different healing tools — from nutritional medicine to the principles of Chinese medicine and much more. She uses that knowledge and experience to guide her patients along a path to whole health and healing.