Nourish your body and protect cells from damage
The CNM Naturopathic Diet is a highly nourishing diet that supplies the body with all the nutrients needed for health, growth and longevity.
It’s free from harmful substances and focuses on optimising food digestion, absorption of nutrients and supporting detoxification processes.
Discover the principles of a naturopathic diet – the foods you should eat in abundance and the dietary habits to avoid. Learn how adopting a naturopathic diet will benefit your health in the long-term.
The principles of a naturopathic diet
Eat fresh, organic wholefoods that are in season and sourced locally.
Consume a wide range of plant-based foods including vegetables, fruit, culinary herbs and spices, whole grains, seeds (sprouts), nut and legumes. The more colours the better. Plant foods provide an abundance of powerful vitamins and minerals.
Only eat organic, grass-fed meat, poultry or game. Meat is highly acidic so limit your intake to once or twice per week. Fish is fine to eat but ensure it is wild caught and not farmed.
Include a good quality protein at each meal to balance blood sugar levels and keep you satiated. Plant-based protein sources include lentils, beans, nuts, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and buckwheat.
Healthy fats are essential, especially omega-3 fatty acids from wild-caught oily fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds. Omega-3 fats form a vital part of cell membranes, and also support brain function and mood, improve heart health and decrease inflammation.
Ensure you drink sufficient filtered water as water is needed to regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, remove wastes, nourish joints and cartilage and provide fluid for the production of bile to support digestion.
Fast regularly to allow the digestive tract to rest and replenish, and direct energy to other parts of the body to heal and repair. Fasting also promotes healthy weight management and prevents overeating. Learn more about fasting.
Avoid over-heating foods (grilling, frying, boiling) as it destroys the nutrients in foods. Instead, opt for steaming vegetables and use steam sautéing rather than frying with oil.
Avoid cooking with oils where possible as some oils, such as vegetable oils, become toxic when heated. The preferred cooking oil is coconut oil due to its stability when heated. Other alternatives when cooking at low temperatures include extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
Dietary habits to avoid on a naturopathic diet
Junk foods are highly-processed foods that are devoid of nutrients and often contain genetically-modified ingredients, artificial colourings, sweeteners, pesticides and chemical additives.
Damaged oils and fats (also known as trans fats) including margarine, fried fast food, commercial baked goods and refined or overheated oils. These oils promote inflammation and an increased the risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic health issues.
Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Most artificial sweeteners are cancer-promoting and can be toxic to cells in the nervous system.
Table salt is highly refined and contains traces of toxic compounds. Opt for rock salt, sea salt or Himalayan salt in small amounts.
Processed cows’ dairy is difficult for many people to digest and it contains high amounts of a chemical called insulin-like growth factor which is linked to acne and increased risk of certain cancers. Nut milks, oat milk and coconut milk are better options.
Soya (unless organic) is often genetically modified and it contains certain compounds that make it difficult to digest. Only eat fermented soy products such as tempeh.
Coffee (including decaffeinated) as the roasting of the beans and the decaffeinating process produces toxic compounds which are harmful to the body. Caffeine impairs sleep and taxes the adrenal glands. Here are some coffee alternatives.
Alcohol is a toxin that damages cells, especially in the nervous system, and it also places an extra load on the liver’s detoxification processes.
Harmful heavy metals and chemical toxins in food and packaging. Avoid aluminium (kitchen foil and cans / tins), arsenic (white rice, chicken), mercury (fish – mostly larger fish such as tuna), pesticides (non-organic food) and BPA (plastic packaging).
Health benefits of the CNM Naturopathic Diet
Adopting the CNM Naturopathic Diet promotes health and the healing power of nature, to give the body what it needs to heal, repair and thrive.
Health benefits include:
- Facilitates healthy digestion and optimises nutrient absorption
- Promotes better sleep
- Reduces inflammation and pain
- Detoxifies and cleanses the body from harmful substances
- Supports the immune system and skin health
- Maintains blood sugar balance and a healthy mood
- Prevents disease and chronic health conditions
Promoting healthy digestion and nutrient absorption
To learn more about the CNM Naturopathic Diet and how to improve your eating habits and digestive function, download the CNM Naturopathic Diet Handout. Discover the importance of food combining and why not eating certain foods together is essential for healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.
When you combine your foods correctly, digestive symptoms such as bloating, heartburn and flatulence tend to disappear as the food is able to break down and digest properly within its correct digestive environment.
Eating a “mixed meal” (foods that doesn’t combine well) will leave partially digested food in your system while the other foods are being digested. During this waiting period, the partially digested food will ferment in your digestive tract and contribute to digestive discomfort and toxic build up.
- Proteins require an acidic environment to be digested (the stomach).
- Starches require an alkaline environment (the small intestine).
- Proteins take longer to digest than starches. If eaten separately, digestion is more efficient and there is less burden on the digestive system.
- Neutral foods (non-starchy vegetables, herbs, oils, nuts and seeds) can be eaten either with protein or with starches.
The CNM Naturopathic Diet also teaches you how to eat according to your body constitution and which foods can have a positive and negative effect on your constitution.
Each individual has a constitution – this is a tendency towards being predominantly hot, cold, dry or moist. The constitution can be influenced by food intake, the environment, medications and diseases. An excess of one quality may lead to physical diseases and mental disharmony. The excess can be balanced with the correct food, beverages and food preparation methods.
For example, if someone has a hot constitution, the focus should be on eating cooling foods such as salads and fruits, and avoiding warming foods like red meat, refined sugar and hot spices.
The benefits of constitutional eating are:
- Reduced pain and inflammation in the body
- Less susceptibility to infections
- Enhanced circulation and blood flow
- Healthy blood sugar balance and metabolism
- Improved skin hydrated to prevent dryness and itchiness
- Optimised digestion to prevent bloating, heartburn, reflux and changeable bowel motions
- Better fluid balance to avoid fluid retention and swelling
Download the handout to find out what constitution you are and how you can balance your constitution through diet.
Understanding how to eat properly to nourish your body will not only prevent disease, it will give your cells the nutrients they need to thrive.