How Functional Nutrition Can Help Your Overall Health

woman considering her food options to illustrate functional nutrition
Medically Reviewed
September 19, 2022

You are what you eat. You’ve heard it so many times! But in functional nutrition, food is medicine for several health conditions you might struggle to get rid of. For example, suppose you’ve unsuccessfully tried traditional treatments for chronic diseases or mental health problems. In that case, you might want to change your perspective and look for the recipe for a healthier life inside your kitchen!

However, it’s important to remember that it’s not only about what you eat but how your body absorbs nutrients. This is personal and different for each individual.

So, how can you discover what your body needs to start living your best and healthiest life?

A functional nutritionist can help you find that answer.

Interested in learning how the food you consume has an impact on your risk of getting depressed or developing diseases? We’ve gathered all the information you need here. But if you’d prefer to speak to us now, make an appointment. Otherwise, discover how functional nutrition can help your overall health.

One Person’s Food May Be Another Person’s Poison

Just like your fingerprints, your body is unique. And so are its nutritional needs.

That’s why some people are dairy intolerant. Others are allergic to eggs or seafood. And even a natural, herbal medicine or a detox program may look safe but can cause problems if it’s not appropriate for your body.

One size truly doesn’t fit all.

In contrast to protocols that recommend a standard balanced diet for everyone, functional nutrition therapy proposes bio-individualized long-lasting solutions. These offer customized nutrition recommendations based on your body function.

Nutritionists who provide functional nutrition programs recognize that everyone has specific needs – and the reason they’re not feeling their best is likely to find its roots in their diet.

Functional Nutrition: a Holistic Approach to Identifying and Treating the Root Causes of Health Issues

Your body is a whole. From this principle, treating symptoms without investigating what’s causing them is just placing a band-aid on a problem. The trouble with that approach is the problem will bother you again, sooner or later.

What’s needed is something more integrative and holistic.

Functional nutrition – a component of functional medicine – is, on the other hand, a patient-centered and integrative therapy that uses food as a natural medicine for the whole body. The aim is to improve your overall quality of life by treating you from the inside out. This is effective because it’s a whole-body systems approach to your health.

This whole-body approach focuses on the Functional Medicine Matrix, which has seven biological systems that the functional nutritionist uses to analyze how your body functions.

The seven systems are these:

  • Assimilation: Investigates gut health. Did you know that 70% of your immune system is in the gut? Your nutritionist will investigate gut health to determine your immune system’s status and how you digest and absorb food.
  • Defense and repair: Investigates your immune system and how your body fights inflammation and infections.
  • Energy: Investigates your energy levels and mitochondrial function.
  • Biotransformation and elimination: Investigates your diet to detox and eliminate foods and toxins that may trigger inflammation or chronic diseases.
  • Transport: Investigates your blood flow in the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
  • Communication: Investigates if all your body systems are communicating well with each other through hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Structural integrity: Investigates your cellular and musculoskeletal body structure.

Using this Functional Medicine Matrix, your nutritionist can identify the imbalances causing your chronic conditions, considering every aspect of your life, including:

  • health history
  • lifestyle
  • environmental exposures, and
  • eating habits.

Then, based on your biochemistry, functional testing, and clinical presentation, your functional nutritionist recommends a customized nutritional solution to nip things in the bud and help restore a healthy balance in your body.

What Health Conditions Can Functional Nutrition Treat?

An integrative approach to medical nutrition can correct nutrient deficiencies, heal the gut, and promote overall health because it focuses on identifying and resolving body imbalances that are directly linked to the root causes of most diseases.

There is proof that this approach restores vitality and treats several health conditions, from chronic illness to mental diseases, including

  • digestive issues
  • metabolic syndrome
  • autoimmune diseases
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • obesity
  • eating disorders

Taking a Functional Nutrition Assessment

If you’re not feeling your best, your body may lack sufficient nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, or amino acids to function well. Standard lab tests don’t always, for example, indicate body dysfunction or imbalances caused by an unhealthy gut.

So, just because your lab tests insist on telling you everything is normal, remember that food plays a vital role in your mental health and overall well-being. If you don’t want to settle for living with a chronic condition, maybe it’s time to consider taking a functional nutrition assessment.

At Nava Center, we recommend The Metabolomix+, a comprehensive functional and nutritional assessment that uses a combination of tests. The results help practitioners

  • identify the root causes of your dysfunction and
  • provide you with a personalized, systems-based approach to help you overcome chronic conditions and live healthier lives.

Testing a blood and urine sample, for example, identifies metabolic inhibition, nutrient deficiency, or enzyme deficit by detecting an accumulation of organic acids in the urine. This may indicate a functional need for specific nutrients.

Ready to get natural relief and long-lasting personalized solutions?

We’re ready to help. Nava Health focuses on integrative care based on functional medicine concepts – meaning we work in partnership with you to find the root cause of your problem rather than just prescribing a quick fix.

We put together the right services or treatments to ensure you feel more energetic, well-balanced, and empowered to take charge of your life with a healthy immune system and personalized care to fit your health and nutritional needs.

If you’re serious about using your food as a natural medicine to live a better life, come talk to us! Our Nava Clinical Nutrition experts will be happy to hear what’s bothering you and provide a functional nutrition assessment to start your body’s transformation to function at its best. Make an appointment today.

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How Functional Nutrition Can Help Your Overall Health
Find out how a healthier life can be found in your kitchen and how a functional nutritionist can help you achieve your 100% best!