Maria Sundberg, PhD

Maria Sundberg, PhD., M.S. in molecular biology, and Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certified. Health Coach.

Can we look healthy on the outside but still be unhealthy inside?

  • What factors are important for our life-long health?
  • What lifestyle factors are important for the maintained health of our body but also for the maintained health of our soul?

What is a healthy body?

I define a healthy body and a healthy mind as something that is in balance. Lifestyle factors such as:

  • what we eat and drink;
  • how physically active we are;
  • our seducers in forms of drugs such as tobacco and alcohol;
  • and our sleep patterns - all have to be balanced.

But are we balanced human beings when we tend to avoid all “unhealthy” things?

And are we protected to chronic inflammation just because we look slim?

Can we regard ourselves healthy when we look slim but are mentally unstable, have dry skin and hair, and have low levels of anabolic hormones?

For a couple of years ago, I did not eat the way I do today. I was eating too little and too poor to fuel my activity level. I ended up having lost menstruations, and I had many infections.

Eventually, my body told me “I cannot keep up with you anymore, I have had enough”.

My body was speaking to me by giving me severe neck pains.

Rather than building a stronger body with exercise, my poor diet resulted in my body using the proteins of my muscles and bone structure to fuel my training. With more exercise, I only got weaker.

OK, I looked great from sight but my hair, skin, and nails did not have good quality.

The degradative processes took over and it caused my body to shuffle energy from my support structures (my bones, muscles, skin, and hair). These degradative processes probably also speeded up my ageing process. So, even though I just turned 38 years of age, I found some wrinkles in my skin and some grey hairs.

So, yes, we can look slim and fit but still be unhealthy.

I define health in terms of that it depends on the individual.

What is healthy for one individual might not
be so healthy for another.

It depends on the individual's characteristics -  her genes and biochemistry.

I think of health in terms of turnover. For people with high turnover, other foods can be regarded as healthy than for people who move less from their homeostasis.

People with busy lives might need to spend more time on activities for mental recovery such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to find inner peace than people who live more quietly.