Food & You: The Body-Mind Connection

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” – Dorothy Day

There’s no doubt about it: what we eat, and how much we eat, has a direct impact on our physical health. But did you know that those same choices also influence mood, mental alertness, memory, and emotional wellbeing? Food can act as medicine, have a neutral effect, or it can be a poison to the body and mind.

When food acts as poison, it creates inflammation, which alters the body’s balance of nutrients, hormones, and neurotransmitters. This directly affects your body’s ability to manage and heal from stress or illness.

While some body-mind effects are due to naturally occurring nutrient content in food, much is due to hidden additives. Below, are four common culprits. If you’re experiencing symptoms that interfere with your quality of living, talk with your holistic health practitioner about the role these or other foods may play in your health.

Foods that Impact Body-Mind Well being Caffeine:

The most socially accepted psychoactive substance in the world, caffeine is used to boost alertness, enhance performance, and even treat apnea in premature infants. Caffeine is frequently added to other foods, so be mindful of total consumption. Too much caffeine (500-600 mg daily) interferes with sleep quality which affects energy, concentration, and memory. It can aggravate other health conditions, cause digestive disturbances, and worsen menstrual symptoms and anxiety.

Food Dye:

The brightly colored, processed and packaged foods we buy come with a rainbow of health risks. Listed on ingredient labels as “Blue 2,” or “Citrus Red,” food dye has been documented to contain cancer-causing agents (e.g., benzidine). They’re also associated with allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. Dyes are sometimes used to enhance skin color of fruits and veggies, but not in organic produce. A number of dyes have been banned from use in foods and cosmetics around the world.

Sugars:

Increased sugar consumption (as much as 30% over the last three decades for American adults), is linked to decreased intake of essential nutrients and associated with obesity, diabetes, inflammatory disease, joint pain and even schizophrenia. Too much dietary sugar can result in blood sugar fluctuations, causing mood swings, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and increased depression. Sugars that can act as poison include High Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar, artificial and “natural” sweeteners.

MSG:

Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer common in packaged and prepared foods. Although the FDA considers MSG “generally safe,” some individuals experience a complex of physical and mental symptoms after eating MSG-containing foods. Symptoms vary but can include headache, sweating, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations, and overstimulation of the central nervous system which can lead to alterations in sleep, mood, and immunity.

Becoming aware of your food choices, why you make them, and how you feel mentally and physically is important. It is the first step in understanding your personal body-mind food connection. Your integrative or functional medicine practitioner may ask you to keep a mind-body food journal to provide a clear picture of how your food choices affect your health.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to improve your nutrition. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification, herbal and food based supplements to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

Relieve Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Functional Medicine Treatment From Dr. Elena Klimenko

Relieve Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With A Functional Medicine Doctor

Your digestive system is one of the most important and sensitive biological systems in the body, critical to your overall health and well-being. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a common functional gastrointestinal disorder, produces symptoms that are caused by changes in how your digestive tract works. Patients with IBS often have chronic and grouped symptoms, often leading to pain, malnutrition, and chronic discomfort.

With a fusion of contemporary Western medicine and alternative practices, I can create a natural holistic treatment for those suffering from an assortment of IBS symptoms. I believes that IBS is a “garbage” diagnosis that includes variety of “undiagnosed” by conventional medicine conditions. My holistic treatment approach is highly customized and includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations, functional medicine testing to identify the root cause of IBS in each particular patient’s case.

IBS is diagnosed when a person has had abdominal pain or discomfort at least three times a month over the course of three months. The pain and discomfort of IBS may occur with a change in diet, stool consistency, or a major variation in the consistency to relieve one’s bowels.

The American College of Gastroenterology estimates that IBS affects three to 20 percent of the population with most studies ranging from 10 to 15 percent, however only a mere five percent have been diagnosed with the condition. IBS affects about twice as many women as men and is often found in individuals younger than age 45.

Chronic IBS and other gastrointestinal diseases can be detrimental to your health, but natural treatment is available with the help of homeopathy and a functional medicine doctor.

Elena Klimenko, MD provides a personalized and integrative approach to medicine, offering patients a complete and well-rounded care plan for IBS and other gastrointestinal issues.  New patients can click here to fill out an evaluation form and set an appointment for effective homeopathic medical treatment and relief today.