Nutrition: healthy muesli
Nutrition: healthy muesli
The 5-pillar philosophy

Achieving your goals with moderation: How health, nutrition and well-being are interrelated

How do I eat as healthy as possible? Basically a simple question - to which a quick web search provides around 80 million answers.

There is actually no need to reinvent the (nutritional) world. Because already at the beginning of the 19th century, Sebastian Kneipp focused on this important topic, above all, on balance, refraining from too many prohibitions and rules.

Rather, he was concerned that everyone should eat simple, unadulterated and nutritious food - according to their physical constitution.

It seems of the greatest importance that the body, this most wonderful of dwellings, should be built of the best material.

Reverend Sebastian Kneipp
Sebastian Kneipp

Eat smart: what diet is the most nutritious according to Kneipp

Even though animal foods were rarely on the menu in Sebastian Kneipp's time, the experienced naturopath had nothing against eating meat for the time being - as long as moderation was maintained. His maxim was: "Let us proceed sensibly and not too one-sidedly".

For example, he advised his patients to eat enough fruit and vegetables. In order to preserve the nutrients as well as possible, the consumption of raw vegetables was to be preferred.

Especially the "working class" should supplement the high-protein diet with nutritious, low-protein foods such as bread and potatoes. Kneipp saw whole grains as the purest source of energy and attributed his own stamina and strength above all to his youth diet of oats and barley. Protein-free nutrients - such as fats - are, according to Kneipp, indeed necessary for a functioning metabolismbut should be consumed in moderation.

Admittedly, the vegetarian diet is, on the whole, more palatable than the meat diet.

Reverend Sebastian Kneipp
Sebastian Kneipp

Eating & drinking without a guilty conscience

Less is more: As with all his teachings, the magic word for Kneipp in matters of nutrition was "balance". Accordingly, not only the mixed diet had great advantages, but also the regular eating. Instead of only feasting in the morning and in the evening, one should rather eat three to four times a day - but in smaller portions. Kneipp also emphasised the importance of not eating beyond one's hunger - if you notice that you are eating, you have already eaten too much.

Kneipp also had a lot to say about liquid food. Thus for him - little surprisingly - water is considered the water as the "best of all drinks" when it comeswhen it comes to effectively quenching thirst. This contrasts with beverages that are artificially prepared by humans, such as coffee, beer, wine or schnapps. If adulteration occurs during their production, their nutritional value is poor to low. Nevertheless, the Upper Swabian, who was born in 1821, is not against occasional consumption: "I am not a puritan and am happy to allow a glass of wine or beer." Moreover, medicinal herb wines could even - of course, enjoyed moderately - contribute to the strengthening and healing of numerous ailments.

Kneipp's recipe for a healthy diet: regional, sustainable & home-made

So it doesn't take much to transfer Kneipp's nutritional philosophy to the here and now. According to his advice, care should be taken when preparing fruit and vegetables not to rob them of their natural nutrients through excessive boiling or steaming. In addition to the fact that it is fundamentally better to cook for yourself, you could even go one step further - following phytotherapy - and, for example, grow different types of vegetables or herbs yourself.

Above all, foods that are native to the region thrive on balconies and gardens. And when purchased at the weekly shop or supermarket, they also ensure that long transport routes are unnecessary. The following are particularly sustainable - in terms of their health-promoting effectslocal superfoods. How about flaxseed instead of chia seeds, for example? Or blueberries instead of açaí berries? Whatever ends up on our plates - we should eat it with relish. Or in the words of Sebastian Kneipp: "It is the pleasure of the palate that sets half the world in motion."