Lesson 1- Nutrition and Health—What's the Connection?
What we eat profoundly affects our health and well-being: Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States. Many of us eat more than we require; we eat when we are rushed; we don't understand how various food elements interact, and we are not as knowledgeable as we could be about various diet types and their effects on our health. The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the role of food and health in human history. The various elements of nutrition and some of the most common types of diets are explored.
Lesson 2- Nutrition, Stress, and Immune Function
Most individuals enjoy sitting down and eating a delicious meal. Food provides an opportunity to socialize and, if the food is nutritious, it also supports a healthy body and mind. However, if an individual is stressed, the nutrients they eat are not able to be utilized as effectively as when they are relaxed. If stress causes an individual to eat food that is not nutritious, health issues can result. Nutrition, stress, and the immune system are closely related. The goals of this course are to describe the relationship between food and emotions; to explain the stress response; to discuss the effects of stress on nutrition and health; to define mindful eating and methods of eating mindfully; and to examine elements of nutrition that support a healthy immune system.
Lesson 3- Obesity in America— A Public Health Epidemic
Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. Left unchecked, the effects of this crisis on the nation's health, health-care costs, and productivity could be catastrophic. As a nation, we're getting more obese every day, many of our children are obese, and our life expectancies are much shorter because of it, despite trying many types of diets, eating less, and moving more. The goal of this course is to examine the extent of obesity in the United States; explain the difference between being overweight and being obese; list the causes of overweight and obesity; examine the health and economic consequences of obesity; and discuss pharmaceutical and surgical options for obese individuals.
Lesson 4- Current Issues in Nutrition
Our diet has a profound impact on our health and well-being, yet many of us are not aware of where our food originated. We eat toxic, irradiated, or genetically altered foods, and we eat more than we need. How can we change our eating habits and become more conscious of what we eat, why we eat it, and how it is prepared? The goals of this course are to provide an overview of the types of toxins found in food and to examine the effects of irradiation, genetically altered foods, and food allergies on our health.
Lesson 5- Spiritual Nutrition—The Global Consequences of Food Choices
Food is a dynamic force that interacts with our bodies on multiple levels: the physical level, the mental-emotional level, and the energetic or spiritual level. Conscious eating involves an awareness of the eating process from beginning to end, and it includes thinking about how dietary choices affect others. Any food choice that is truly good for an individual's physical health and well-being will also be good for his/her spiritual well-being. Today's food landscape is dominated by factory farms and food industry practices that violate spiritual principles, as well as human and animal rights, and damage the health of the planet. The goal of this course is to provide an overview the concept of spiritual, conscious eating, examine the effects of unconsious eating on the health of 0humans, animals, and plants, and provide guidelines for individuals who seek to support a lifestyle that includes spiritual nutrition practices.
Lesson 6- Food Labels—Deciphering the Mysteries
Lesson 7- Botanicals, Herbs, and Herbalism
While modern medicine has produced many scientific advances, one of the most important "advances" has been the recognition of the value of herbs and herbalism. After all, nature and plants have been an essential part of everyday life since the beginning of recorded history. Used for medicine, clothing, food, and in religious ceremonies, in many health belief systems, plants are considered a gift of nature and valued for their healing effects. The goal of this course is to provide an examination of the role of herbs and herbalists, herb processing, how herbalists are trained, and issues facing the use of herbs.
Lesson 8- Natural Sweeteners—Healthy Options for Your Sweet Tooth
Most Americans consume far more sugar than they require, and this contributes to obesity as well as many types of diseases. The role of sugar in the American diet is an important one, and understanding its effect on the body and its role in inflammation and disease can significantly impact one's health. Alternatives to refined sugar are numerous, but are they safe and effective? The goal of this course is to provide a historical overview of the role of sugar in the American diet, describe the various definitions of sugar, briefly examine glucose metabolism and the health effects of too much dietary sugar, explain the glycemic index, identify both artificial and natural alternatives to sugar, and list methods of reducing dietary sugar intake.
Week 5 - Lesson 9- Probiotics—Silent Partners in Health
Probiotics are live organisms believed to be healthy for the host organism. They are used globally to improve the health and well-being of animals and human beings. Sales of probiotic supplements have soared in recent years on the basis of intriguing research that demonstrates potential benefits for many chronic conditions, including cancer. With the rise in interest in integrative health as well as complementary and alternative therapies, this trend is likely to continue. The goal of this course is to examine what probiotics are (and are not), how they affect our health, the various categories of probiotics, the risks and benefits of their use, how to select a probiotic, pertinent regulatory considerations, and the current research on their use.