Functional nutrition is a branch of nutritional therapy that focuses on using food as a form of medicine to optimize health and prevent or manage chronic diseases. It takes a holistic approach, looking at the individual as a whole, rather than just treating the symptoms of a disease. The goal of functional nutrition is to identify and address the underlying imbalances or dysfunctions in the body, also referred to as the “root cause,” using a personalized approach that considers the unique needs of each individual.
Functional Nutritionist Practitioners
Functional nutritionists use a range of tools and techniques to assess an individual’s health status, including clinical assessments, laboratory testing, and dietary analysis. They also consider the individual’s lifestyle, including stress levels, sleep patterns, exercise habits, and environmental factors. By looking at all of these factors together, they can develop a personalized nutrition plan that is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and goals.
Key Functional Nutrition Principles
One of the key principles of functional nutrition is the concept of biochemical individuality, which recognizes that each person is unique and has different nutritional requirements. For example, some people may require higher levels of certain nutrients than others, or may need to avoid certain foods due to food sensitivities, intolerances or allergies.
Functional nutrition also emphasizes the importance of whole, nutrient-dense foods, rather than processed or refined foods. This means focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of herbs and spices. These foods provide a wide range of nutrients that support optimal health and can help prevent chronic diseases.
In addition to dietary changes, functional nutrition may also incorporate other lifestyle changes, such as stress management, exercise, and sleep hygiene. For example, a functional nutritionist may recommend meditation or yoga to help reduce stress and improve overall well-being, or may suggest specific exercises to support a particular health condition.
Functional nutrition can be used to address a wide range of health concerns, from digestive disorders and autoimmune diseases to cardiovascular disease and cancer. By addressing the root causes of these conditions, rather than just treating the symptoms, functional nutrition can help individuals achieve optimal health and improve their quality of life.
Functional Nutrition at QÔL
Here at Quality Of Life Integrative Health, functional nutrition is a keystone modality used to optimize the health of our members. If you’re interested in exploring functional nutrition, we invite you to book a free introduction call with our lead Functional Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian, Emily.
Book an Intro Call to see if Functional Nutrition is right for you.