the functional finder

Nine Ways to Integrate Functional Nutrition into Your Life

When choosing to adopt a healthier lifestyle, I wonder if there is anything more important than starting with the foods you choose to eat.

When choosing to adopt a healthier lifestyle, I wonder if there is anything more important than starting with the foods you choose to eat.

What’s the point in swapping out your fluoride toothpaste or perfume if you’re unwilling to swap out the highly processed foods in your pantry or freezer that are affecting every cell in your body?

Eating well is important, and it’s worth trying to get right. How many debilitating chronic illnesses are the consequence of eating poorly? Hippocrates said “Let food be they medicine, and medicine be thy food,” and I don’t think anything could better summarize the art and science of functional nutrition.

In a world where health-conscious choices are increasingly at the forefront, the importance of functional nutrition cannot be overstated. Functional nutrition isn’t just about eating for sustenance; it’s about fueling your body with the right nutrients to optimize its function and promote holistic well-being. Here are nine ways to start integrating functional nutrition into your daily life.

1. Start with Mindful Eating:

Functional nutrition begins with mindfulness. Pay attention to what you eat, savor each bite, and eat with intention. Avoid mindless snacking and focus on the nourishment your food provides.

2. Prioritize Whole, Unprocessed Foods:

Functional nutrition places a premium on whole, unprocessed foods. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, animal meats, eggs, whole grains, and healthy fats into your diet. These foods are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants.

3. Customize Your Diet:

Embrace the personalized aspect of functional nutrition. Consider working with a functional nutritionist or dietitian to create a nutrition plan tailored to your unique needs and goals. The Functional Finder directory has several providers to choose from!

4. Support Gut Health:

Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut to nurture a healthy gut microbiome. Fiber-rich foods such as beans, legumes, and whole grains also support gut health.

5. Manage Inflammation:

Reduce pro-inflammatory foods like sugary snacks, highly-processed meats, and fried foods. Instead, include anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, leafy greens, and berries in your diet.

6. Stay Hydrated:

Adequate hydration is crucial for overall health. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support digestion and nutrient absorption. Add a sprinkle of salt to your water for the minerals your body needs!

7. Plan Balanced Meals:

Create well-balanced meals that include a variety of nutrients. Aim to have a source of protein, healthy fats, and a mix of colorful fruits and vegetables in each meal.

8. Chew Your Food

Digestion begins in the mouth. Chew your food thoroughly to aid in digestion.

9. Educate Yourself:

Invest time in learning about nutrition and its impact on health. There are numerous books, podcasts, and online resources available to expand your knowledge. Start by checking out the websites of the providers in our directory for suggested resources!

Functional nutrition is not a restrictive diet but rather a holistic approach to nourishing your body. By adopting these nine principles and making gradual changes in your dietary habits, you can integrate functional nutrition seamlessly into your daily life. Remember that small, consistent steps can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being, supporting a healthier and happier you.

Molly Hayes, DDS