What Is Functional Nutrition? A guest post.
Functional nutrition is not a discipline that everyone can master. Every human is unique, with our own genetic make-up, health history, lifestyle and emotional state. Because of
that, we all require a customized plan for achieving and sustaining optimal health.
About Functional Nutrition
Functional Nutrition is nutrition-based care that focuses on building your health by restoring the proper physiological functioning of the body. When you have multiple symptoms they are clues to the ways in which your body is not working the way it should be. Rather than concealing those symptoms with natural or pharmaceutical agents, we want to look at those symptoms to understand which parts of your body need support to get back on track and get you healthy again. By looking at your whole picture the diet, symptoms, illness history, medications, lifestyle, history of antibiotic use, stress, we are able to put together a plan. That plan serves as a map of the nutrition your body needs in order to regain health and prevent illness.
When your diet consists of foods that contain chemicals, GMOs, antibiotics and other pharma-type ingredients, it is slowing down your system. The systems and cells that you rely on to heal a cut, help you sleep, give you energy and fight off diseases have difficulty understanding the information it is receiving. You might notice small discomforts at first such as belly fat, obesity, gut, and intestinal problems, bad skin, fatigue, high blood pressure, aches, and pains. Over time these small discomforts will become serious health issues such as diabetes, cancer, heart, and circulatory dysfunctions or autoimmune diseases.
What Is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is a biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom may be one of many leading to an individual’s illness. A diagnosis can be the result of many causes. For example, depression can be caused by many factors, including inflammation. Besides, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The manifestation of each cause depends on their genes and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have long-lasting benefits.
The Institute of Functional Medicine was founded as a way to promote functional medicine and provide education to healthcare specialists. A functional medicine clinic works on a model that supports patients and doctors to work together to address the underlying causes of disease by evaluating biological systems.
The Functional Nutrition Approach
The functional nutrition approach includes a series of steps that lead to determining the most customized approach possible. An approach for a client may go like this:
● A complete evaluation looking at medical history
● Organ system review
● Medication history
● Review of diet, lifestyle and exercise routines
● Review of conventional lab results
● Functional nutrition testing to appraise various nutrient levels or genetic markers to ensure there are no underlying deficiencies.
Once the data has been collected and analyzed, it is time to move onto the customized program. In the case of a person with digestive upset, some of the recommendations can include:
● Clean up the current diet, eliminate processed foods, gluten, and dairy
● Educate the person on how to manage stress
● Strategies to prepare the nervous system for mealtime
● Consuming supplements that improve digestion of foods, restore good bacteria and reduces digestive spasms
What does functional nutrition look like?
The main dish can be made of organic roasted vegetables of your choice, tossed with cilantro, basil, parsley, salt and pepper, and olive oil. On the side, you can add broiled salmon steak. All can be served with a green salad, with cucumbers, radishes, and avocados, and if you like you can drizzle it with apple cider vinegar.
It is very delicious and satisfying. You can eat a full plate of a meal like that and be completely full for hours. You will have fed your body’s systems and cells information it can use to give you the vitality you want. If you make this a habit, your skin will look better, your mood swings will get better and your energy levels will be higher.
Benefits of functional nutrition can range from slowing down the aging process to overturning diseases and illnesses. From feeling like dragging through the day to fully living your every day. From feeling the urge to constantly snack on something to being completely full for hours.
Functional nutrition is a sustainable way to eat that also improves you in the short and long term way by nourishing your body with delicious, good quality food.