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How You Can Reap The Benefits of Functional Nutrition

Despite the recent advancements in nutrigenomics, the thought that most foods will have the same effect for everyone is still prevalent. A research study found that when individuals ingested identical foods, their blood sugar levels varied up to 20% in the same person and around 25% across others, meaning diet and individual foods, in general, can provide different effects for everyone. If you're sick of having to sift through contradictory advice regarding ideal eating plans, it's time to adopt a more efficient framework — functional nutrition.

Understanding Functional Nutrition

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to treating various health conditions and preventing diseases. It does this by pinpointing the root cause of your health issues. However, instead of a physician labeling you with a diagnosis and only treating the symptoms, functional medicine doctors make an effort to determine why you have the diagnosis in the first place. A chiropractor following this practice typically performs an in-depth assessment to look at all of your body's systems and evaluate how well your body communicates.

After a thorough assessment, they will recommend all-natural interventions to restore balance in your system by addressing factors like movement, sleep, stress, and nutrition. Functional or 'realistic' nutrition eating strategies are a powerful cornerstone of functional medicine by using food as a 'natural' medicine to restore your body's balance, replete nutrient deficiencies, and overall heal your gut.

Making Functional Nutrition Work For You

It’s all about balance. This strategy's primary goal is to determine what's moving too fast and too slow in your body, what's out of order, then restore the balance to those issues.

In most cases, the functional approach to nutrition requires dieticians or nutritionists to follow a series of steps to see what dietary changes their patients will garner the most benefits from. Although steps vary, it usually includes the following considerations:

  • A comprehensive evaluation of a patient's medical history
  • A thorough review of the body's organ systems
  • A closer look at the medication and supplement history of an individual
  • An in-depth overview of the patient's current diet and lifestyle habits
  • A thorough look at a person's previous medical testing and results
  • A nutrient test to gauge a patient's potential deficiencies

From the results of the steps mentioned, a functional medicine doctor will work to create a customizable program targeting the leading causes of a patient's potential health issues. Program options include eliminating processed foods in their diet or removing food groups such as gluten and dairy. Sometimes, experts recommend taking supplements to improve digestion or encourage the production of beneficial or 'healthy' bacteria. In some cases, a functional medicine doctor will also teach their patients how to control lifestyle factors such as stress management and manage their nervous system impulses better.

The Benefits of A Realistic Eating Strategy

When working with a functional nutritionist or following a tailored diet plan, here are some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy.

  • It Deals With More Than Symptoms - Functional medicine doctors understand why your body is out of balance and what they need to do to improve your overall health through natural approaches, including diet, exercises, and stress management. This method changes your lifestyle for the better and promotes optimal health rather than just merely mitigating symptoms.
  • Tailored Plans - A significant advantage of a functional approach to nutritional diets is that practitioners can construct personalized plans for each person as there's no 'one size fits all' approach to becoming healthy. It focuses on the patient instead of the disease, creating a diet based on genetics, lab values, and lifestyle. There are no generic meal plans because each individual is different.
  • All-Natural Treatment - A typical functional diet consists of whole food, including fruits, vegetables, and minimal to no processed foods. However, some cases may require the aid of natural supplements filled with gut-healing compounds like glutamine or probiotics, repleting any nutrient deficiencies. This approach honors the fact that food isn't only the fuel for a person's body and combines natural supplements and lifestyle changes for optimal health.

Living With A Functional Nutrition Eating Strategy

Contrary to popular belief, there's no single functional approach to a nutritional diet. Instead, the ideal dietary strategy for you depends on your health concerns. Even so, if you want to ensure you're following the eating strategy correctly and not stray away, here are the principles of an actual functional nutritional diet plan.

Stock Up on Essential Nutrients

Your foods' tiny components make up your body's building blocks, and most nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, keeping your body healthy. Ensure the foods you intake are packed with natural nutrients to set up your system for the optimal state of health.

Avoid Harmful Growing Conditions

In today's world of convenience and technology, it's getting more challenging to know what's in your food. Genetically modified (GMO) crops, factory-farmed animals, and pesticide-laced produce fill your body with toxic substances that can compromise your overall health. The functional approach to nutrition is all about eating healthy and organically, so if you're looking to follow the diet plan properly, make an effort to know where your food comes from to ensure each bite you take contains what humans were meant to eat.

Go For Quality Foods

For your functional nutritional diet to be efficient, you'll need to use quality foods in the process. That's because filling up on processed meals or junk food can prevent you from taking all the necessary nutrients your bodies need, potentially compromising your overall health. So, replace your chips and canned foods with healthier options like raw carrot sticks and organic meat.

Prioritize Abdominal Health

Following a functional approach to your eating plan won't do you any good if your digestive system isn't conditioned to process the foods you consume. When this happens, you're at risk of acquiring infections, inflammations, and hormone imbalances. Taking care of your gut requires you to keep it healthy alongside beneficial bacteria to prevent pathogens (infectious agents like viruses and harmful bacteria) and undigested food from causing problems.

Ensure you're aware of the signs and symptoms of common abdominal issues such as leaky gut syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome to let you know when something is out of place immediately.

Tend to Your Microbiomes

To improve your overall gut health, you'll need to have a robust supply of beneficial microbes in your intestines and stomach. The human gut has ten times more bacteria than all the cells making up a person's body. These healthy bacteria are also called 'microbiome,' and they're responsible for numerous health processes affecting your immune system, body weight composition, mental health, memory, and risk of developing 'lifestyle' illnesses like type-2 diabetes.

To ensure you follow this functional eating plan properly, you'll need to make sure the food you eat is rich in probiotics to make your microbial levels remain high.

Conclusion

This unique eating strategy helps healthcare professionals create a personalized diet plan following your specific 'ideal' nutritional recommendations, allowing you to achieve optimal overall health and well-being.

If you want to create a nutrition plan realistic to your lifestyle while mitigating symptoms and restoring balance in your body, Dr. Prince can help you achieve just that.

Chiropractors believe in nurturing your body's incredible healing power, practicing holistic approaches, and creating functional nutrition eating plans, allowing people to live a better lifestyle.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website, by Prince Health & Wellness, is for general use only. Any statement or recommendation on this website does not take the place of medical advice nor is meant to replace the guidance of your licensed healthcare practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. Prince health & wellness information is not and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or provide medical advice. decisions to use supplements to support your specific needs should be considered in partnership with your licensed healthcare practitioner.
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