You’ve perhaps heard of functional medicine, the medical care strategy that requires a “systems” perspective of health by focusing on the sources of dysfunction in the body as well as also the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Functional nutrition fits within this framework to analyze how food “functions” inside our own bodies to both provide nourishment but also to influence the body’s health (or disease) itself.
Beyond basic fuel, how does food help generate health each day?
Food is one of the most basic and potent inputs we provide our bodies, a clear and impactful message to our biochemistry. It’s one of several links between our internal and external environments. More than two thousand decades ago, the Greek physician Hippocrates offered the famous quote, “Let medicine be thy food and thy food be thy medicine.” Now it is a rallying cry for supporters of food nourishment. What should this mean for you?
Nutrition As A Part Of Functional Medicine
If it comes to health care, too often we put energy, time and cash. We’ll never envision optimal health and well-being at this route. When we get to the underlying causes of our physical dysfunction (e.g. insulin resistance, high blood pressure, inflammatory conditions), we suddenly gain a panoramic view of what feeds (sometimes actually speaking) our dysfunction and that which, consequently, can nourish or excite it toward optimal operation.
Functional nutrition at its best both examines the balance of our personal dietary landscape to see how well we’re nourishing our bodies’ needs and targets specific foods that might have especially potent impact to tackle the delicate and not-so-subtle dysfunctions that we harbor.
As an example, if you have an inflammatory condition or your blood markers reveal higher than normal inflammatory amounts, you will not only need to be sure to steer clear of inflammation-promoting foods but also make the most of this anti-inflammatory effectiveness of certain foods (e.g. turmeric, omega-3’s found in fatty fish and caliber omega nutritional supplements, cruciferous vegetables, berries, etc.). Functional nutrition emphasizes that specific decisions can function to your own personal benefit and that your nutrition should get the job done for you.
Goals of Functional Nutrition
Functional nutrition should enhance your health status, improve vitality, satiety, and ability to heal from injury or illness. When our choices start to include fresh, fibrous, and minimally processed foods, our dietary patterns start to work in our favor in many respects when compared to diets of highly-processed, nutrient-poor foods. From there, proper individualized recommendations might help us incorporate targeted/therapeutic food choices that are additional.
Functional nutrition should foster resilience in spite of numerous challenges we experience as we age and accumulate stresses (i.e. physical and psychological decline, sleep deprivation, various kinds of psychological distress). Age-related functional decline is an inevitable part of the human life cycle. In the last few generations we’ve seen some of the biggest gains in average population life expectancy along with the fastest increases in debilitating chronic disease observed. For people to satisfy their quests to live a ‘better-than-average’ lifetime, they must stay more resilient than ever in the surface of the multiple stressors modern life gifts. Quality nutrition helps us avoid these conditions, and Practical Nutrition guidance/therapy can help us manage them or dial them back if we affected.
Maybe most powerful, comprehending functional nutrition can help us realign our relationship with food. When we think about food as medicine, our paradigm on eating may change. We can better appreciate the impact of our daily choices. We can examine the backdrop of these options with a different view we make the decisions we do. The range broadens to real life program, how functional nutrition can fit inside our lifestyle performance.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
Overall health and wellness are essential towards maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities, to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
The information herein on "Nutrition In Functional Medicine Explained | Functional Chiropractor" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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