by Dee McMath
Nutritional Therapy is the study and application of the individual patient's nutritional needs to ensure that the body is properly maintained for optimum health.
Even those who try to eat sensibly are often missing essential nutrients in their bodies, because of the generally low quality of vitamins and minerals and high levels of toxins in most food available to us today. We overeat or eat too much sugar and fat content foods and then go on diets to control our weight. All of this leads to poor nutrition and bad health. The renowned Mediterranean diet is still available and rich in many of the constituents needed to stay healthy. This, together with the right amount of sun exposure to give you plenty of good Vitamin A, makes Andalucia a great starting point to look into nutritional therapy.
There are many practicing nutritional therapists in Andalucia. Although I would say that southern Spain is generally less advanced in its nutritional thinking, those who are taking an interest in nutritional therapy are normally as up-to-date as the rest of Europe. Sadly, with the great influx of British and other foreign residents and holidaymakers in Andalucia, and especially the Costa del Sol, many of the bad Northern European eating habits are becoming the norm in this area. Fast food outlets are easily found all along the coast and also inland. But the Andalucian Virgin Olive Oil, fresh salads and seafood is still there and comes highly recommended.
There are many free English language magazines easily available all along the Costa del Sol, where nutritional therapists advertise. They often also advertise on notice boards in local the Health Shop (Herboristería). The nutritional therapist understands that each person has his or her own nutritional needs. The therapist will often also be a fully qualified doctor, who will ask you about your medical history and will probably require that you have blood tests to find out what vitamins deficiencies or other problems you may have. Food supplements may be prescribed, along with special dietary suggestions. Sometimes your body may simply not absorb the vitamins and minerals in certain foods. This can be due to many reasons, such as long-term depression, trauma from bereavement or divorce or a post illness debilitation. The nutritional therapist will take all this into consideration and monitor your progress, probably suggesting other complimentary therapies to build up your immune system and improve your general health.
Other therapies, which help with correct diet intake, include; acupuncture, reflexology and even meditation. Stress can cause toxins to build up in your blood stream and ultimately cause serious harm to your health.
It is important that you trust and get on well with your nutritional therapist because the advice you get from them can change your life. For your time and money to be spent well, it is also essential that you face up to the first home truths that your therapist will tell you - consider giving up smoking, don't drink to excess, don't overeat, cut down on fats and sugars, exercise regularly, etc. Once you've got these basics under control, then a tailor made lifestyle programme can really work. Food and drink is the body's fuel. As one Danish (English speaking) nutritionist in Fuengirola said to me "people look after their cars better than their own bodies. We need a service and an oil change the same as the car does - and we can't buy a new body". I know its all been said before, but we really are what we eat.