Welcome to Functional Nutrition
the most effective way to harness the energy, information
and connections of food to create health and reverse disease.
Finding the correct way to eat for each of us as individuals—using food to optimize our potential for health and reverse dysfunction or disease—is the goal of Functional Nutrition. There is no such thing as a universally applicable “right diet.” We all come from various genetic backgrounds, eat different foods, and live different lives. We all want to be healthy, but figuring out how to make food and dietary habits work for us can be challenging.
FUNCTIONAL NUTRITION FUNDAMENTALS
Emerging science is very clear that food is a powerful influence on health.
Food comprises many different components that play significant roles in all of our physical activities, in addition to the calories that power our metabolism. Poor-quality food can impact or cause disease in certain proportions and levels, whereas high-quality food can reverse disease and maintain health. Food is medicine in a very genuine way.
For centuries, humans have relied on the food supply as a source of energy, health, and connection.
Changes in the food supply (and how we utilize it) have, nevertheless, played a significant role in the rising epidemic of chronic disease during the last six or seven decades. Healthcare providers wanted to improve that situation, hence Functional Nutrition was born.
HOW FOOD AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH
There are three basic elements in our diets:
Macronutrients—the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that are the building blocks of all food
Micronutrients—vitamins and minerals
Phytonutrients—plant-derived substances that have a positive effect on health
Processed foods in the food supply interfere with the function of those basic elements. Processing practices include hydrogenating oils, adding sugar and sweeteners to foods, processing and bleaching grains, applying toxic agricultural chemicals to crops, and using trans fats in food manufacturing. These practices may increase the shelf life of food, make food look prettier, or make food taste sweeter. However, when they are the main component of a steady diet, they have the potential to cause harm and make us sick.
Food is information, not just energy (calories). Food actually tells our bodies how to function by signaling exactly when and how each different type of cell should behave in every situation. So, we want the very best information to reach our cells in order to achieve optimal functioning.
Food is energy
At the most basic level, food is a fuel source necessary for the body to function.
Food is information
Byproducts of food convey messages and assist with various processes within the body (e.g., metabolism, cell signaling, detoxification, etc.).
Food is connection
Food brings people together, often serving as a central focus of social gatherings and celebratory events. Additionally, both pleasant and unpleasant memories often incorporate the smell, taste, and texture of foods. The reasons behind food choices, cravings, and aversions aren’t always logical or rational, and these reasons can often be tied back to the connections we have to food.
Food is medicine
We are what we eat. Choosing nutrient-dense foods that send signals to the body for positive gene expression is a key component of optimal health. Foods and food behaviors influence the body and can contribute to underlying causes of disease, and these factors can be adjusted to move an individual toward their greatest state of health and healing.
Content adapted from IFM.org
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If you’re ready to see what a functional approach can do for your health,
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