Functional Nutrition: An approach to Discover

Healthy eating
avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, basilic on a yellow background

Do you know the impact food has on your health, your physical features and your energy level? The concept of Functional Nutrition makes it obvious.

The approach of Functional Nutrition has been popular for a while now. Overall, it represents an access to increasing our knowledge on the interactions between the different body’s systems and the impacts of the environment on them.

Functional Nutrition guideline is to tackle the cause of the health problem instead of trying to minimize its symptoms. For example, someone has digestive problems and chronic migraines. Conventional methods would most likely suggest frequent use of medication to relieve migraines and would also recommend removing irritating food off the diet. On the other hand, Functional Nutrition’s goal would be to determine why the person does not tolerate certain food items and to evaluate the possible link between digestive problems and migraines’ frequency.

Functional Nutrition often puts the emphasis on the digestive system, since it is the largest organ of the body. It contains 50% of the immune system and it carries a genome (your genetics) that is more important than human’s genome itself, producing 75% of the body’s neurotransmitters (information sent to the brain). As Hippocrates so aptly put it: ‘’All Disease begins in the gut’’. So when we help your digestive system to properly digest the foods you eat, several unpleasant symptoms can disappear.

Here are 2 essential dietitian tips you can do right away to take care of your digestive system:

1. Add Fermented Vegetables to Your Diet

Fermentation can make vegetables last longer. This method allows to add good bacteria, that can be used to balance intestinal flora, in the vegetables (just like probiotics do). Fermented cabbage (sauerkraut), fermented carrots, fermented mustard, kimchi and fermented beet can be purchased in supermarkets. You can add 1 tsp. of these fermented vegetables in your salads, stir-fries or even soups.

2. Eat a Rainbow of Veggies

Polyphenols, antioxidants, and vegetable fibers all help balance the digestive system. It is strongly suggested to eat as many different colour of vegetables as possible. Ideally, every meal would propose at least 2 different colours of veggies. 50% of the plate should be filled with vegetables. If only one nutritional advice could be given by health professionals and scientists, it would be the undeniable importance of eating a large amount of various kind and colours of vegetables.

To conclude, Functional Nutrition brings forward the importance of personalizing each professional’s intervention since everyone is so unique. We all have a different nose, a difference face, and it works just the same when it comes to someone’s health situation. We do not have the same life, the same health history, the same stress levels and therefore, nor do we have the same health risks. It is around a personalized approach that dietitians work to find what food makes your body feel and look its best, and to amplify people overall health. “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

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