Most of us have a general sense of which foods are healthy and unhealthy. But are we aware of the nutritional benefits of food? Nutritious foods can be used to balance and restore your body as a whole when you are experiencing imbalances or unpleasant symptoms. Food can literally be used as medicine! There are multiple ways that we can use food to help treat chronic disease and support our overall health. Functional nutrition is one approach that is used to find the correct foods and lifestyle for each individual person, helping reverse disorder in the body and improve overall health and well-being.
There are three main components of food:
- Phytonutrients: Substances from plants that have a positive effect on our bodies
- Macronutrients: Healthy fats, proteins and beneficial carbohydrates
- Micronutrients: Minerals and Vitamins
Why are these elements important? They help meet the body’s nutritional needs in order to function properly and reverse disruption and disease. Over the last few decades, food manufacturers have stripped and manipulated food to make processed meals with little to no nutritional value. This is certainly more convenient in our fast-paced world. But these foods cause issues on a cellular level that disrupt processes necessary for health and can actually be making us sick. They are full of unhealthy fats, refined sugars, gluten, excessive amounts of processed salt and toxic chemicals known to impact health. Consuming these things over a long period of time can take a serious toll on the body. We need to be conscious of the amounts of foods that have minimal nutritional value and remember to use everything within moderation.
But how do we do this? We have to become aware of the foods we consume and how they are affecting our personal health. Each person’s body requires specific amounts of nutrients to even function properly and each person has unique needs. When we are able to give our body the appropriate nutrition, it supports the body’s innate capacity to heal and stay in balance.
A functional nutrition practitioner can give us insight into our relationship with food that we may be unaware of and help us understand how our bodies process certain foods. Functional nutritionists are highly trained from a clinical and holistic standpoint to utilize therapeutic diets and strategies to address chronic symptoms. They look beyond symptom management and think critically, with access to cutting-edge information and lab testing that closes the gap between clinical and holistic medicine. The goal of functional nutrition and functional medicine is to help people make changes that move them away from chronic illness long-term.
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If you’re on a healing journey and would like to be supported holistically by a team of health professionals, contact us to learn how we can help!