What Is Functional Nutrition?


Nutrition is one of the fundamental pillars of health in which food is the medium. But what happens when that life source becomes a contributing factor for disease?

Chronic disease is on the rise, and diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, account for a combined total of over 32 million deaths each year. But with functional nutrition, we get a say in that outcome.

So what is functional nutrition?

Food is information; it is the biggest say we have in our health. Each bite of food is a tiny instruction book, telling our bodies what to do. Functional nutrition acts as the filter, letting in only the good information.

Keep reading to learn about this impactful approach to diet and health and how you can benefit from functional nutrition.

What Is Functional Nutrition?

Functional nutrition is one of the foundational elements of functional medicine. They are practices bound together by the same tenets under the science of creating health. These tenets are:

  • Working in a therapeutic partnership
  • Looking for root causes
  • Using a systems-based approach

Functional nutrition views food beyond “calories in, calories out.” Instead, food is medicine, holding both the power to heal and the power to harm, depending on what you put in your system.

This approach focuses on the organism as a whole, with the primary treatment being diet change, adding foods that can help reverse diseases, and removing the ones that create inflammation or disease in the body.

How Does Functional Nutrition Work?

Many common chronic diseases respond well to nutritional intervention. Through a combination of diet, nutrients, and supplements, functional nutrition aids and accelerates the body’s healing process.

Imbalances and nutrient deficiencies can occur within the body over time, causing health-related conditions. In order for healing to take place, these issues first need to be addressed and corrected.

Imbalances can occur in any of the body’s systems, including:

  • Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Thyroid
  • Blood glucose
  • Adrenals
  • Sex Hormones
  • Gut microbiome

Risk factors for conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are also highly influenced by dietary choices. By transforming the foods you eat, you can rapidly improve your biological coding.

Functional Nutrition Guide

When you first begin down the path of functional nutrition, you will receive many tests to assess the overall state of your nutrition. These tests may include:

  • Amino acid levels
  • Fatty acid levels
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vitamin levels
  • Food sensitivities or allergies
  • Heavy metal levels
  • Energy and digestive function

Your functional nutritionist will prescribe you functional foods, working together with your other health care providers to help you reach optimal health.

Functional foods are minimally processed and contain various nutrients to help you meet your specific needs. Though this prescription will vary from person to person, conventional functional foods include certain types of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetable
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Fermented foods
  • Seafood
  • Spices and herbs

One of the functional nutrition advantages is that it addresses the root causes of disease, and treatments help restore health instead of treating the symptoms.

To learn more about functional nutrition and other health-related studies, head over to the International Life Sciences Institute.

Functional Nutrition Overview

What is functional nutrition? Functional nutrition is a tool that can empower you to take back your health. Anyone can reap the functional nutrition benefits, as it is a holistic diet approach tailored to the individual.

Did you enjoy reading these functional-nutrition tips? Then check out some of the other articles on our blog for more exciting reads!