One of the most difficult things to do when you live in America is live a healthy life. Processed foods and fad diets are everywhere you turn and it’s super difficult to decide which foods are best. Thankfully, there’s a body of nutrition that’s focused on promoting your health from the inside out.
Do you want to learn more about how you can enhance your health through nutrition? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn all about functional nutrition.
It’s Similar to Functional Medicine
If you’ve never heard of functional nutrition, then you’re probably wondering what it’s all about. Functional nutrition is based on functional medicine. This means that nutritionists take your overall health into account to determine what might be causing a particular issue.
For example, if you have aches in your joints, a functional nutritionist evaluates everything that goes into your body to determine what effect it’s having on you.
It Is Not One-Size Fits All
The best thing about functional medicine is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all diet that is purported to work for everyone who tries it. It’s also not meant to serve as a quick weight loss plan, though you may find you shed a few pounds through the process.
Issues like celiac disease mean that certain people should abstain from gluten. If you don’t have any issues with gluten, then whole grains can be an important and heart-healthy part of your diet. Your nutritionist will take all of this into consideration when deciding what you should include in your meal plan.
Stick to Whole Foods for Optimal Health
The basis of functional nutrition is to include as many nutrient-dense foods into your daily diet to improve your overall health. This means avoiding foods that are devoid of nutrition altogether, including most processed foods. Processed foods are not only empty calories, but they can actually cause inflammation in your body as well as other chronic health issues.
You’ll want to combine foods found in the outside aisles of your supermarket along with targeted nutrition supplements for your individual health needs.
Begin with Elimination
If you have health issues, then your nutritionist will start via elimination. You will be asked to remove a variety of potential trigger foods from your diet to see if that helps improve your health. After a certain amount of time, you will start adding foods back into your diet to find the one that is causing issues.
Your nutritionist may also have you sign up for a food sensitivity test to better target certain foods to try eliminating from your diet.
Common Functional Foods
Curious which foods to incorporate in your functional nutrition lifestyle? There are so many to choose from! This link explains how different foods can improve your health.
The following foods have incredible benefits you won’t wanna miss.
Turmeric is actually a spice that is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern foods. It’s super tasty, and it has powerful nutritional benefits.
Turmeric is foundational in a functional nutrition diet because of its ability to reduce inflammation in your joints and reduce the spread of cancer in your body. It owes its health-promoting benefits to the phenol curcumin, which is what causes turmeric to be a brilliant orange colour.
Try adding turmeric to your diet by tossing it in a curry or some tasty Thai food. If you’re not a big fan of spice, you can also buy turmeric capsules to get the benefits without eating it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is more than a tasty component of salad dressing. It’s also great for people who struggle with managing their blood sugar and staying full between meals.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to slow the rate at which your stomach empties after you eat. It can also help keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing. Research is also showing that apple cider vinegar may play a role in the rate at which your body burns fat and calories.
Fatty fish like salmon has long been revered in the world of nutrition. That’s for good reason, of course. It should be no surprise that it’s popular in functional nutrition, too.
Fatty fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and it is widely considered to be one of the best sources of these health-promoting fats. Omega-3s support your heart by reducing heart disease and inflammation in the body. It has also been shown to improve joint pain associated with arthritis and osteoporosis.
Get two 4 ounce servings of fatty fish in your diet a week for optimal benefits!
Nothing says summertime like a bowl of fresh-picked blueberries. Who knew that decadent bowl of berries was also improving your health?
Berries contain polyphenols that help you do everything from losing weight to managing your diabetes. Research has also shown that the anthocyanins found in blueberries can help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
They have a beauty boost, too. If you’re concerned with your appearance as you age, then you’ll be happy to know that blueberries can keep you looking young!
Oats are a great addition to your diet!
They’re packed with fiber that will keep you feeling fuller, longer. They have also been shown to reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels and protect your heart.
Functional Nutrition Can Benefit Everyone!
You have so many diet options when it comes to your health, and proponents of each diet swear that theirs is the one that will work for everyone. Functional nutrition, however, is customized to meet your individual needs because every body is different. If you want to learn more about functional nutrition and how it can help you, then you should reach out to a pro in your area.
Your health matters. Health can come from a variety of sources, including nutrition, fitness, and stress reduction. If you need help incorporating health-promoting behaviors into your life, then you’re in the right place. Check out the rest of our for tons of great info!