Understanding the holistic connection between mind, body, and spirit can help Canadians live with true vitality.
Gut health is finally getting the attention it deserves, thanks to a growing body of scientific research and public interest. World Microbiome Day (June 27) acknowledges the importance of gut health in people around the world.
It’s estimated that 70 percent of the body’s immune system is located in the gut. “Our gut is home to trillions of bacteria and over 400 different species, which make up our microbiome, a combination of beneficial and opportunistic (“bad”) bacteria. “Both types are essential to our gut health with their own important functions,” says Debora Palmieri, a Toronto-based holistic nutrition professional. Palmieri graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) in 2004. “However, it’s imperative we maintain a balance between the two, which determines the health of our bodies,” she says.
Healthy gut equals healthy body
Many factors can contribute directly to the development of dysbiosis (microbiome imbalance). They include medications, environmental chemicals, diet (especially sugar), poor sleep, and stress. In addition, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can cause inflammation and damage the intestinal lining, resulting in a leaky gut.
“These gaps allow potentially harmful substances to enter the bloodstream,” says Palmieri. Over time, an unhealthy gut can cause serious health problems, from mental health disorders to diabetes. The majority of chronic diseases can be linked back to the gut and the state of the microbiome. “It’s imperative that the gut be addressed in a comprehensive, holistic health care strategy,” she says.
Gut health has been a hot topic in recent years, and a growing body of research has shown its impact on wellness. It’s also an integral part of the curriculum at CSNN and is covered in nearly all courses. Its science-based program offers a well-rounded approach to natural nutrition, which approaches health holistically and focuses on the connection between body, mind, and spirit.
The holistic approach to nutrition
Rather than merely addressing the physical symptoms, students gain a deeper understanding of how to support the person’s health as a whole. Learning options include live online virtual classes, hybrid classrooms, online self-study formats, full-time or part-time, and supported by instructors from various backgrounds.
Some participants enroll intending to pursue a career and earn a professional designation and title. In contrast, others are inspired by a desire to empower themselves with the information they need to optimize their own health and that of their loved ones. “All CSNN students graduate knowing that they have the tools to change people’s lives,” says Palmieri, who completed the one-year, full-time program after graduating from university with a food and nutrition degree.
“I stumbled across CSNN and am so grateful I did,” says Palmieri. “I had amazing and supportive instructors and loved the smaller class sizes with students of all ages and backgrounds. This really allowed us to learn more and develop a deeper connection with each other. It was a great experience.”