Fueling Your Body and Mind: The Power of Functional Nutrition
5 min read
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Looking at the current landscape of medicine, it seems like we’ve gotten really good at treating acute illnesses, but we’ve become a lot worse at treating chronic diseases.
If you look at any health statistic online, you’ll find chronic diseases topping every single one of them. It was estimated that depression will become the world’s leading diesease by 2030 according to the WHO.(1) And they said this back in 2004!
2030 is less than 7 years away.
Why am I talking about chronic disease?
Because chronic diseases are not like acute illnesses. They need a holistic view to treat them. Which is why I believe in functional nutrition.
Discover How Functional Nutrition Can Transform Your Body and Mind
Picture this: a life where you feel vibrant, energized, and ready to conquer each day that comes your way. A life where your body and mind are perfectly aligned, working in harmony to unleash your true potential. This is not a dream; this is the power of functional nutrition.
Functional nutrition goes beyond mere diets and calorie counting. It is a pathway to unlock the incredible potential within you. By nourishing your body with the right nutrients, you can fuel yourself to new heights of physical and mental performance.
Imagine waking up every morning feeling clear-headed, focused, and brimming with energy. No more dragging yourself through the day, fighting brain fog and battling exhaustion. Functional nutrition can banish fatigue and boost your energy levels to new heights.
But it's not just about feeling good in the present. Functional nutrition is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. By embracing this approach, you can prevent diseases, optimize your bodily functions, and promote overall wellness.
So, What Is Functional Nutrition?
Functional nutrition is a holistic view of nutrition that looks at your bio-individuality.
Each person has a unique genetic makeup and environment that influences their body's nutritional needs. It's crucial to identify these individual needs and develop a personalized nutrition plan to achieve optimal health.
Functional nutrition looks at the root cause of your chronic disease.
This means looking at your medical history all the way from your conception. Things like your mother’s health during pregnancy, your family medical history, and even your childhood food habits.
For example, one study has shown that low vitamin D levels during pregnancy can lead to depression in puberty.(2) And c-sections also increase the risk of asthma and diabetes in babies.(3)
Which means you should look at your entire medical history to find out the root cause of your chronic problems. Especially nutritional imbalance.
So how exactly do you find out if you have any imbalances?
Functional Medicine Testing
Functional medicine testing helps identify nutritional imbalances and deficiencies.
One effective test is the micronutrient test, which determines the levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants in my body. This test can provide valuable insights into underlying imbalances which can be addressed through personalized nutrition plans.
Another test is the organic acids test, which gives a snapshot of my cellular metabolism. It measures byproducts of my metabolism and helps pinpoint specific nutrient deficiencies or imbalances that could influence your overall health.
Nutrition Physical Assessment
A nutrition physical assessment is essential to understanding your body's nutritional needs. Do a physical examination while taking your medical history into account to identify potential nutrient deficiencies or health concerns. Focus on your skin, nails, and hair for signs of nutrient deficiencies.
Here’s what to look for:
- Skin: Check your skin for signs of dehydration, pallor, elasticity, and rashes, indicating potential deficiencies or imbalances.
- Nails: Check your nails for brittleness, ridges, and white spots, which can suggest inadequate nutrient intake or absorption issues.
- Hair: Check your hair for texture, thickness, and hair loss patterns, which might signal underlying nutrient deficiencies.
- Body composition: By understanding your body composition, including your muscle mass, fat mass, and bone density, you can see specific nutrient needs and tailor your diet accordingly.
Now, you might be thinking that all of this testing is too much work. I mean being healthy is easy but finding the root cause of your chronic diseases is much harder.
So, this is where you can work with a functional nutrition practitioner.
Whole Body Health: Brain, Body & Everything In Between
The challenge with both modern medicine, diet culture, and supplements is that they all look at things in isolation while failing to consider the bigger picture. This reductionist approach forgets that we are complex beings of interconnected systems and parts.
This is where functional nutrition shines. It takes a whole-person approach to wellness that goes beyond the treatment of symptoms to address the root cause of what’s going on.
For example, our brains are the control centers of our bodies, dictating our thoughts, actions, and overall cognitive function. By fueling your brain with the right nutrients, you can enhance your mental acuity, improve your memory, and boost your overall cognitive performance.
Functional nutrition takes into account the important connection between what we eat and how our brain functions. By providing your brain with the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs, you can support its optimal performance and even protect it against age-related decline.
One of the fundamental principles of functional nutrition is maintaining stable blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels fluctuate, it can lead to crashes in energy and a cycle of fatigue. However, by consuming a balanced diet that includes a mix of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean proteins, we can stabilize our blood sugar levels and keep our energy levels consistent throughout the day.
Additionally, functional nutrition recognizes the importance of supporting our adrenal glands, which are responsible for producing stress hormones like cortisol. By consuming adaptogenic foods, such as ashwagandha and maca root, we can help our bodies adapt to stress and prevent the exhaustion that often accompanies it.
Functional nutrition also emphasizes the significance of adequate hydration. Dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue, so it is crucial to drink enough water throughout the day to keep our bodies functioning at their best.
The key to achieving long-term health lies in understanding the intricate connections between what we eat, how it affects our bodies, and the potential diseases it can prevent. Functional nutrition takes a holistic approach, viewing food as not just fuel, but as medicine that supports our bodily functions and optimizes our mental performance.
By adopting functional nutrition, you can strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation, and even protect against chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with quick-fix solutions and superficial promises, it is refreshing to discover the power of functional nutrition. This revolutionary approach to fueling our bodies and minds has the potential to transform our lives in unimaginable ways.
That’s because functional nutrition is not just another diet trend or fad.
It is a holistic and personalized approach that acknowledges the intricate relationship between what we eat and how it affects our overall well-being.
Unlike traditional nutrition methods that focus solely on calorie counts or macronutrient compositions, functional nutrition delves deeper, exploring the root causes of health imbalances and imbalances within our bodies.
Through the power of functional nutrition, we can realize that our bodies are intricate ecosystems that require nourishment, balance, and harmony. This approach emphasizes the importance of understanding our unique bio-individuality, taking into account our genetic makeup, lifestyle factors, and environmental influences.
No longer do we have to settle for mediocre health or rely on quick fixes and band-aid solutions.
Functional nutrition empowers us to make conscious choices about what we put into our bodies, knowing that each bite is a step towards optimal health and well-being.
It provides us with the tools and knowledge to nourish our bodies with nutrient-dense foods, supporting our physical and mental performance.
Imagine waking up every morning with boundless energy, mental clarity, and a vibrant zest for life.
Imagine feeling invigorated and resilient in the face of challenges, with a body that is in perfect harmony, free from ailments and inflammation.
This is the potential that functional nutrition holds, inviting us to take control of our health destiny and live our lives to the fullest.
Finding a Functional Nutrition Practitioner
Many health practitioners — like dietitians and health coaches — are using functional nutrition to provide the most comprehensive and effective care for their clients.
A health coach will work with clients to help them reach health goals, but they can’t diagnose or treat medical conditions. So, the coach can refer the client to a functional medicine practitioner (doctor) to find the root cause of their symptoms.
Then the coach can help you understand the recommendations from the doctor and keep you accountable to making lifestyle changes.
In fact, Dani (my wife) has been certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for functional nutrition.
You can check out the Institute for Functional Medicine’s page to find a practitioner or sign up for our LyfeTransformation Program to get direct access to our functional nutrition guidance, health coaching, and more!
2. Wang, Min-Jung et al. “Maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy and offspring risk of childhood/adolescent depression: Results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).” Journal of affective disorders vol. 265 (2020): 255-262. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32090749/
Disclaimer: The LYFE Fuel blog is for informational purposes only. The information does not serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. We kindly ask you not to ignore professional medical advice because of any information you’ve read on https://lyfefuel.com/. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician or appropriate health care expert.