What is Functional Nutrition?
At Think Food we make use of high quality foods and phytonutrient diversity according to Paleo diet principles to tackle clinical imbalances and move individuals towards their best expression of health. Advanced nutrition assessment and a thorough Functional Medicine based history leads to a personalised therapeutic intervention created to promote optimal health and prevent diet- and lifestyle-related disease.
“The food we eat either makes you MORE HEALTHY or LESS HEALTHY.” It Starts With Food, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig
Food is where we as Functional Medicine practitioners start treating the underlying disease in a truly integrative approach to health. Unlike the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice, Functional Medicine provides a more patient-centered approach, acknowledges and addresses the whole person, their chosen environment and cultural background, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and evaluating the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
Why do we need Functional Nutrition?
- The prevalence of complex, chronic diseases is escalating globally, from cardiovascular disease (CVD or heart disease) and diabetes to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, mental illness, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) and other autoimmune disease.
- Chronic diseases are diet- and lifestyle-related diseases and require dietary and lifestyle solutions. A major strength of Functional Nutrition is its focus on the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease, providing the basis for targeted, innovative solutions that are really able to restore health.
- The current healthcare system fails to take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or the ability of food, toxins, and other environmental factors to influence gene expression. The interaction between genes and environmental factors (epigenetics) is a critical component in the development of chronic disease and plays a central role in the Functional Nutrition approach.
- Most nutrition professionals are not adequately trained in integrating nutrition assessment at the molecular and cellular levels with emerging research in nutrition and nutritional genomics. These advanced practice skills are essential for preventing and managing today’s chronic disease.
What makes a functional nutrition practitioner special?
The Functional Nutrition Assessment offers an ABCD organisational approach to support the clinical analysis, and it allows for nutrition-related findings and clinical patterns to emerge. From the medical history, physical and laboratory exams, and a diet and lifestyle review, the Functional Nutrition Assessment improves the identification of insufficiencies/imbalances through the PFC-MVP model:
(PFC) Protein, Fat/ Oils, Carbohydrates, and
(MVP) Minerals, Vitamins, and Phytonutrients
- Anthropometrics help to identify altered body composition patterns and abnormal vital signs
- BioMarkers and functional laboratory findings uncover PFC-MVP nutrition insufficiencies and physiologic patterns linked to clinical imbalances
- Clinical Indicators from the physical exam identify signs related to nutrition abnormalities that can be further explored through laboratory and functional assessments
- Diet, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Journals explore daily or weekly food intake, PFC-MVP assessment, patterns of eating, cravings and habitual foods, and stress eating associations