It’s no secret that your diet plays a huge role in your general health and well-being, but research suggests there’s more to it than we once thought. Whether you’ve found yourself struggling with digestive issues, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, insomnia or depression, functional nutrition offers a unique, personalized approach to your health by addressing underlying causes and prioritizing preventative care.
Let’s dive a little deeper into functional nutrition:
What is functional nutrition?
Functional nutrition is a holistic, patient-centered therapy that considers food a natural medicine for the whole body and mind. Whereas traditional medicine focuses on suppressing symptoms and uses a one-size-fits-all approach based on a diagnosis, functional nutrition aims to address the root cause of underlying dysfunction and deficiencies in the body by looking at each of the body’s systems. Functional nutrition is tailored to each patient’s individual needs, taking into consideration lifestyle factors like activity levels, environment and preexisting conditions.
Benefits of functional nutrition
Making better health decisions starts with understanding your body’s needs and how its systems work, especially in the presence of deficiencies. Thanks to its personalized approach to health, functional nutrition offers a wide variety of benefits that can improve your quality of life and keep your body in top shape.
Tailored to your needs
No single diet works for everyone, which is why it’s crucial to understand your nutritional needs as an individual. Plus, your dietary needs will inevitably change with your age, lifestyle and health. Functional nutrition focuses on keeping your body healthy in the present while putting an emphasis on preventative care based on your health history.
Prioritizes gut health
Since over 70% of your immune system exists in your gut, supporting your gut microbiome with good food and lifestyle choices is central to your health. A diet containing many highly processed foods can lead to poor health and gut permeability, leaving you at a higher risk for health issues like bloating, indigestion or even chronic inflammation. While each patient’s diet plan is unique to them, some general guidelines for supporting your gut health might include getting plenty of fiber, staying hydrated and exercising regularly.
While food is a vital part of your well-being, functional nutrition maintains that there’s more to your health than what you eat. Functional nutritionists will thoroughly examine your health profile to address the entire body. Factors like your sleeping habits, stress levels, environmental factors and the quality of your relationships can impact your health as a whole and even affect how your body digests and absorbs nutrients. If you’re not treating all of the body’s underlying issues, there’s only so much that food can do to help. A comprehensive understanding of functional nutrition goes a long way in improving your health.