What in the World is Functional Nutrition?

Food as Medicine

Functional nutrition looks at food beyond energy. It views food as playing a vital role in our quality of life.

Different foods (and lifestyle behaviors) have different impacts on our bodies. They will either support or challenge our natural ability to survive and remain healthy.

Quality of Life Continuum

Consider the Quality of Life Continuum picture below.

Quality of Life Continuum

Quality of life can be strong and associated with Health & Vitality (left side). On the opposite extreme, quality of life can also be compromised or weak and associated with Chronic Disease (right side).

Health and Vitality

Health and vitality occur when our lifestyle behaviors support optimal function and balance within the body. It results in us feeling on top of our game and fully participating in life. To read more about promoting health and vitality, read the previous blog post (LINK).

Chronic Disease

Chronic disease occurs when our lifestyle behaviors continuously challenge our natural ability to survive and maintain health by creating dysfunction and imbalances. While we are designed to overcome dysfunction and imbalances, it takes extra work to do so. Over time, the extra work takes a toll on the body. Eventually your body may be unable to keep up. Chronic imbalances and dysfunction lead us further away from health and vitality and more towards chronic disease.

Where are YOU on the Continuum?

To determine where you are on the continuum, listen to your body. Imbalances and dysfunction have consequences. They impact our lives. While the signals and clues are different for everyone, here is a common progression.

Quality of Life Continuum

As we move from health and vitality towards disease, the first sign may be lost vitality. These signs may be very subtle and are easy to miss. You are simply not feeling on top of your game and your ability to enjoy whatever is important to you begins to decline.

As dysfunction and imbalance continues, more prominent signs and symptoms occur. Some examples are listed within the picture above. Eventually, imbalances and dysfunction lead us closer and closer to chronic disease.

If you are on the left side of the continuum…fantastic! Keep up the good work. Stay tuned to the clues your body is providing. If you start moving towards the right, revisit your food intake and other lifestyle behaviors.

If you are more on the right side of the continuum or you are experiencing several of the more prominent signs and symptoms….fantastic! Food is likely a huge factor in the equation. The same eating habits that support disease can be changed to support health and vitality instead. All is not lost!!

Is it time to revisit your eating habits?