After surviving a pandemic, a war, and inflation it's normal to feel a little off balance. We are all experiencing times where our priorities are constantly and dramatically being shifted. Previous generations have not had to experience living in a constant state of flux like we are. So it makes sense that our collective equilibrium is just... off. So how do we get back to center? Well, a good place to start is at the table with a good meal.
As humans, food is our foundation. We can’t survive for very long without sustenance and even eating the wrong things can cause us harm. It’s important to ensure we are keeping ourselves nourished and balanced enough to keep us going through the foods we eat. The foods we eat connect each and every function in our bodies in one shape or another. Through proper nutrition, we can help our body maintain homeostasis.
Our bodies are very complex, sophisticated machines. For most of us, our machines require six parts to fully function and these six parts make up our structural organization. Each part is interconnected—if one part is missing then our machines will malfunction. In the human body our six parts are: chemical, cellular, tissue, organ, system, and organism. Believe it or not, the foods we eat and nutritional values of those foods play a pivotal role in making sure each of those six parts are fully functioning.
Homeostasis—your equilibrium—describes how the body maintains certain physiologic parameters it requires to live. To achieve homeostasis, the most important parameters are found at the chemical level. This directly relates to our diets because everything we consume breaks down to simple chemical compounds—or nutrients—once inside our bodies. Everything is a chemical. Again, our bodies are super smart machines. So when we consume the right nutrients we then fortify ourselves to be better equipped for achieving homeostasis.
Because homeostasis is dynamically adaptive our bodies are always self-regulating when new nutrients enter our systems—whether they are good or bad. The negative feedback loops through which homeostasis works can help our bodies return to normal if we’ve ingested too much of a particular nutrient that we maybe should cut back on. For example, if we consume too much sugar then that would trigger a negative feedback loop that would cause our bodies to shift nutrients in ways that could lower our glucose levels.
But just like the man-made machines we build, our bodies can breakdown and malfunction too when w overload our systems with nutrients that our bodies disagree with. Should we become unbalanced, we are vulnerable to disorders and disease. It turns out that the age old saying “you are what you eat” has a much deeper meaning than we may have thought! So let’s make the right choices when it comes to eating to keep our bodies as balanced and healthy as possible.