Functional Nutrition: The What, Why, and How! | If you’ve suffered from poor health or chronic illness, then you know that it can have a devastating impact on your mental well-being, job prospects, and relationships. It can also be one of the leading causes of depression and interfere with your ability to find affordable and effective care.
Unfortunately, most of the time we only treat the symptoms when we’re experiencing poor health. But what if there’s a better way? The good news is that there are other options out there for you to get to the bottom of your mental and physical health.
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What is functional nutrition and how could it help me?” You’re in luck! Here is the definitive guide to functional nutrition therapy and how you can get started on your health journey today.
What is Functional Medicine?
We need to explain functional medicine before we get into functional nutrition. You can’t have one without the other!
Functional medicine came about when a small group of people realized that modern health care and many medical approaches treat diseases and health issues as “one size fits all.” Too often, physicians apply the same treatment to everyone with similar health issues. But the results can be very different.
Instead, these leaders started to consider the idea that healthcare is unique and different to each individual. After all, our diets, stressors, home environments, relationships, DNA, and sleep habits are all different. So why do we treat health issues as if they’re a formula with the same outcome for everyone?
You may have experienced this yourself if you’ve ever tried a diet that is promoted on magazine covers. But what may work for one individual is not always going to have the same outcomes for another.
Functional medicine focuses on each individual, their body, and their specific genetic makeup. It also looks at other factors that are unique only to them. Instead of treating the symptoms of chronic pain, inflammation, or even obesity, functional medicine will take a deeper, more in-depth look at the specific person.
To do this, a functional medicine practitioner will look at their patient’s body holistically. They’ll examine all the body systems and underlying causes of a health issue to address the root of the issue.
What is Functional Nutrition?
Functional nutrition builds off the foundation of functional medicine, but also looks at food as medicine. A functional nutrition coach will work with you to help treat health issues through better food choices and diet.
The most important aspect of functional nutrition is that it looks at each person as an individual and not as a set of symptoms. The aim of practicing integrative and functional nutrition is to restore balance in the body’s system, help with healing the gut, and capitalizing on your lifestyle and specific needs.
Functional nutrition works because it starts with you as an individual. A functional nutrition dietitian will be sure to look at your health issues from all angles to try and identify the root cause. Once the root cause is addressed, then it’s likely that the symptoms will diminish or disappear altogether.
Benefits of a Functional Nutrition Diet
One of the benefits of a functional nutrition diet is that it prioritizes foods that are good at healing. It also looks at foods that fight disease, gets you the proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, as well as the growth and development of the body.
This approach has many upsides, including that everything is tailored to your specific needs and desired outcomes. There is no formula to follow because a good functional nutrition dietician will look at you as an individual. If you’ve ever tried to follow the latest fad diet, you know that they very rarely work long term.
Instead, functional nutrition will look specifically at your health concern. This may be irritable bowel syndrome, depression or anxiety, nutrition deficiency, diabetes, or even arthritis. Food is treated as medicine and part of the healing work of healthy living.
In fact, functional nutrition is a great approach if you’re dealing with pain and inflammation related to arthritis. The correct foods in your diet can help reduce joint pain and swelling, your immune system, and gut health. It’s not about covering up the pain, but addressing the source of it!
You can check out more about the connection between arthritis pain and functional nutrition at dodychiro.com.
How to Get Started With Functional Nutrition
If you’re interested to see how a functional nutrition coach or dietician can help you, get started by searching for a provider near you. But make sure you check their credentials and experience to ensure they’re trustworthy. You can also ask about their education and training first.
It’s important that your functional nutrition coach listens carefully to you. Their recommendations and guidance will depend on your specific health issues. They may also look at your sleep patterns, diet, genetic predispositions, and more.
Your provider may order some allergen tests or have you complete an elimination diet to help zero in on food sensitivities or allergies. These could be a major contributing factor to your health issues!
The goal is to look at a whole person. So a coach may also give you some strategies to help you maintain a better sleep schedule or manage stress. While food is a major component of health and wellbeing, other factors can end up hurting you in the long run
Ready to Get Started Today?
Functional nutrition is a great way to help you look at the reason behind your health concerns or issues. Medical care should not be about giving medicine to lessen the symptoms, but actively working toward true healing. Only then will true healing take place!
If you’re ready to begin your health journey, make sure you check out providers near you! They can help you answer the question, “What is functional nutrition, and is it the right fit for me?”
Be sure to read more great content on our site to learn more!