What is Functional Nutrition And Why It’s Essential For Everyone

Did you know that surgical recovery and disease prevention are enhanced with proper nutrition? On the contrary, clinicians are seldom offered with even the fundamental nutritional aspects and training while in osteopathic and medical schools. 

Unsurprisingly, if you’ll notice, more and more patients and individuals lack the knowledge when it comes to proper nutrition regardless of the many available resources offered to everyone. When a patient lacks the right food, they are most likely to experience higher chronic levels of the illness they had. Furthermore, these patients are treated with medications despite highly significant variations available.

Premium-quality nutrition, when effectively applied and consistently monitored, can help prevent the development of chronic illnesses in all groups. With proper nutrition and awareness, it can enhance cognition to patients who have dementia. Furthermore, there are tons of health and medical benefits if we are aware of proper functional nutrition and its incredible benefits. 

For patients that stay and recover in hospitals, proper nutritional support is associated with fewer complications and improves recovery, which shortens the length of stay in health facilities. It also helps the body heal faster and better from within.

Understanding Functional Nutrition: Interesting Facts You Need To Know

Functional nutrition is the key to several issues dealt with healthcare and individual health. The method works perfectly not just as support but to provide awareness and education to the public and patients with the underlying health conditions on how the body, diet, and lifestyle helps in modifying terrain and improve goals either for recovery or treatment. 

First things first, functional nutrition is a whole new topic compared to functional medicine. But to fully understand it, you need first to know what functional medicine is. That way, you can get a grip on how the process works and how it can affect your decisions as a whole. 

Functional medicine is the process of dealing and treating any health condition and finding ways to prevent the illness by determining the cause of a medical problem. The method is by far different from a physician stamping a diagnosis and treats the symptoms. A functional medicine physician digs deeper and finds out the root of why you’re dealing with any potential diagnosis. 

Your physician does a thorough assessment to find out all of the body’s mechanisms, analyze it and provides an evaluation on how well the body will communicate with the process. Once you’ve been adequately assessed, the functional medicine specialist will provide recommendations and interventions to help you regain balance through physical activities, nutrition, relationships, sleep patterns, and stress levels. 

  • Functional nutrition is a robust foundation associated with functional medicine. It works with food as your natural medication to help regain a balance and replete nutrition scantiness, heals the gut, etc. It’s an entirely different approach to most conventional practices.

Functional Nutrition Facts

  • It is a personal approach that targets the patients overall wellness instead of focusing on the illness.
  • It’s a personalized process of health optimization through individual genetics, lifestyle, lab values, etc. 
  • The methodology does not have any handouts or plans as the approach is purely unique. 

On a traditional approach, if you’re suffering from a specific illness, you’ll receive an individual standard meal plan which consists of foods that can worsen any symptom associated with your condition. Suppose you have an IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), the traditional meal plan ‘may’ help you deal with the situation, but it won’t go deeper into the underlying cause. The problem is that since it’s a standard process, not everyone who is suffering from IBS has the same nutritional needs that come with food intake. 

With nutritional methodology, every treatment, analysis, and diagnosis is different. There are no specific meal plans for everyone, as each individual requires a unique dietary level. Your physician may need a personalized lab test to understand your current immune system condition and how it reacts to certain foods. Lab test helps assess mineral or vitamin deficiency. Coming from that, you can create a more personalized approach to what your patient ‘really’ needs that helps reduce inflammation or alleviates symptoms.

The method centres on providing a food diet that is rich with vegetables, fruits, and less processed foods as your necessary foundation for a healthier lifestyle. Based on individual and unique patients demands, modifications can be done, and specific food interventions are added to treat any underlying cause related to your current health issue. 

  • Its main principle is to honour the core foundation of how food not just provides adequate nutrition to fuel the body, but is used to address and treat the root cause of any illness. 

Once food sensitivities are identified and eliminated on a patients metabolism, additional treatment or medication can be applied to help heal the issues. Various anti-inflammatory foods help remedy nutrient deficiencies that are found on your laboratory tests. 

What Are The Known Benefits of Functional Nutrition

Aside from the health benefits, you can get by with nutritional foods; you have to understand the essential factors associated with your current health condition. Nutritional deficiencies can cause ailments so as the amount of stress present on your lifestyle, sleeping habit, and your environment. 

Thinking that these factors will affect your health is something you should address and accept. They have a bidirectional approach to your nutrition and lifestyle without you noticing it. 

Nutraceuticals or functional foods have consistently gained popularity due to their efficacy on wellness and health circles. These food groups are highly nutritious as it is associated with a series of robust health benefits. At some instances, they can: 

  • Protect from certain illnesses
  • Prevents potential nutrient deficiencies that can lead to more severe health problems
  • They help promote improve growth level and development

A functional food consists of ingredients that provide improved health benefits which are extended throughout the nutritional content value. Several foods contain additional elements and supplements that are designed to enhance your current health condition.

This methodology was first introduced in the late 1980s in Japan. Their government agencies approved food that offers trusted benefits to effectively improve health conditions on their general public’s health and welfare. 

  • In summary, functional foods provide excellent health benefits over nutritional content value. Aside from the nutrient-rich components like vegetables and fruits, this category includes food that is fortified with minerals, fiber, probiotics, and vitamins.

Functional foods come in two main categories: modified and conventional. 

Modified foods are those fortified with added ingredients like probiotics, minerals, vitamins, or fiber to help increase the health benefits of your food intake. 

Conventional food groups, however, are those organically produced whole food groups and components that already come with essential nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, healthy fats good for your heart, and vitamins. 

Conventional foods that your dietician may include on your plan are vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fermented foods, seafood, legumes, whole grains, spices and herbs, and certain beverages like green tea, coffee or black tea.

On the other hand, modified foods samples are fortified dairy essentials like yoghurt and milk, specifically fortified eggs, granola, cereals, grains, and other fortified milk supplements like rice, almond, cashew, and coconut milk. 

Understanding the benefits of functional food on every patient journey helps in transitioning your current lifestyle. Here’s what to expect with this method: 

It can protect you from the potential disease.

The main goal of functional food is to avoid the potential development of illness from nutrient deficiencies. There are tons of foods rich in antioxidants that help improve your health and minimize certain diseases. With increased antioxidants on your body, it can quickly neutralize and fight harmful compounds (free radicals) and helps repair damaged cells or chronic issues like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. 

Several functional foods provide higher levels of healthy fatty acids like omega-3, which reduces inflammation, promotes better heart health, and enhances brain functions. 

Some have higher levels of fiber that promotes a better level of blood sugar while protecting your body against obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Fiber is also known to help alleviate issues from digestion like acid reflux, hemorrhoids, stomach ulcers, and diverticulitis. 

It can prevent or cure potential nutrient deficiencies.

Functional foods are known to provide higher nutrient contents like healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Filling in your diet with this variation, modified and conventional food groups, can enhance the number of nutrients your body needs, which helps you protect from potential nutrient deficiencies. 

Nutrient deficiency continues to decrease with the introduction of foods modified with nutrients. The fortification process was used to avoid other health conditions from underlying nutrient deficiencies.

It enhances proper development and growth.

There are several nutrients your body needs to improve growth and proper development, especially with infants and kids. With a broader range of foods rich in nutritive compounds can secure a healthy lifestyle and nutritional requirements are met. Adding foods that are modified and fortified with specific nutrients can promote better brain development and growth. 

Understanding the full benefits of having a good diet that prevents malnourishment can decrease the development of illnesses. These functional foods are strategically designed to make sure patients are not deprived of the nutrients that they need to have a better lifestyle free from chronic disease or improve current health conditions through awareness.


Functional nutrition is vital for everyone as it helps you prevent the development of specific illness due to nutrient deficiency. It is also used by many dietitians and specialists to understand the underlying cause of certain diseases that hinder your overall performance. By being aware of the potential risk of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, you can find ways to improve your well being. 

Contact Us

Dr. Rosie Main

Chiropractor @Main Health Solutions Meridian
USA Team Doctor USA Wrestling

Wellness Coordinator and Chiropractor for Ballet Idaho

Host of Maximized Living Radio KBXL & KIDO

Changing the way people view and manage their
​health from the Inside- Out!