The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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When it comes to eating healthy, people think of big picture things, such as eating more fruits and veggies, cutting out sugar, and eating smaller portions. There is more to it than that, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, the changes you make could do more harm than good. Before you begin, make sure you understand the four cornerstones of healthy dieting and nutrition.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are used as enzymes and catalysts for other chemical changes in the body. Without them, we can face severe problems, such as night blindness after a long-term Vitamin a deficiency. Processing and cooking foods tends to remove some of the vitamins and minerals, which is why eating some raw foods and using a supplemental multivitamin is important.


Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are produced naturally by the body as it burns calories or introduced by toxins in our environment, and they can have a negative effect on the body. Toxins, like those found in things like alcohol can be particularly damaging to the body. They can build up and cause long-term damage to the entire body as a whole. Antioxidants don’t necessarily get rid of them, but they do prevent free radicals from doing more harm.

Plant Sterols

The human body is ruled by hormones, regardless of gender or age. Hormones are made from cholesterol, plant sterols, and some vitamins and minerals. Without plant sterols, your hormones can end up out of balance and this can have huge impacts on your overall health.


Glyconutrients are sugars, but they’re not the refined white sugar that you immediately think of. Breastmilk contains seven out of the eight known glyconutrients. Our bodies use these glyconutrients to allow the cells to “talk” to each other. Cells that are under attack, that are unhealthy or need repair, have more to “talk” about than healthy cells, so people who are unhealthy or suffering from certain diseases can benefit even more from large quantities.

Getting Help

Incorporating these cornerstones, and ensuring that your diet is well-rounded, healthy, and beneficial, can be difficult if you don’t have a lot of knowledge and understanding of nutrition. Consulting with a nutritionist who has earned a master of public health practice degree can help you understand the cornerstones better, as well as create a healthy diet that you can sustain and benefit from.

Changing the way you eat is a good start to a healthier life. It’s critical, however, to ensure that the way you change your diet offers everything you need for your body to thrive.

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