Functional Nutrition

Functional medicine

If you’ve ever second-guessed your meal choice at a restaurant or found yourself opening and closing the fridge several times to find the right combination of food… you’re not alone. For some, it may simply be about choosing the tastiest meal, while for others, it may be a matter of life and… better life choices.

Adopting a healthy diet is generally considered a good idea. Functional nutrition takes this a medicinal step further by helping you identify what food types, supplements and nutrients your body needs, what food types are good for you, and what quantities to eat in order to improve your overall wellness.

Your body is completely unique to you. That means the box of chocolates on the counter will ultimately have a different effect on your body, compared to your neighbor’s. What most of us don’t consider, however, is how our bodies may react to all the various types of carbohydrates, proteins, whole foods, and processed foods. The “wrong” diet can have a dramatically negative effect on your body and could be the root cause of a weak immune system, without you even realizing it.

Unlike standard nutrition practices in which the same dietary recommendations are given to people of all body types, functional nutrition is highly personalised. By developing an integrative and functional nutrition plan that is tailor-made to you as an individual, a nutritionist can help you identify imbalances in your diet that may be compromising your health.

Dr Matt le Roux is an Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) certified functional medicine practitioner, who uses the principles of functional medicine, physical functionality, exercise and a series of health interventions to develop a nutrition plan that can support your body’s dietary needs. Matt’s holistic approach considers the current condition of your body, your health history, and factors that influence your wellness such as your lifestyle, environment, and overall health.

Functional Nutrition Explained

Functional nutrition is your personal dietary guide that covers all your nutritional needs. It teaches you to control your carbohydrate intake and how to identify and select quality foods that are high in dietary fibre and vitamins. It identifies processed foods and other underlying causes that may be holding you back from optimum health. Eating the right food unlocks additional health benefits by targeting the release of beneficial nutrients, vitamins and mineral supplements, which are derived from the right food group sources. This can help to:

Boost your immune system

By developing and following a well-balanced, healthy and functional nutrition plan you can build your immune system and provide what it needs to fight off allergies, infections and illness.

Manage chronic pain and disease

Functional Medicine in combination with a tailer-made diet creates a long-term lifestyle wellness plan that will help manage chronic pain. By addressing dysfunctions in your gut, imbalances in your diet, health issues and health concerns, you can address the root cause of your chronic symptoms that can put you back in control of your body.

Maintain a healthy gut

Did you know that up to 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? So, the lower your immune system, the higher your potential dysfunction. The state of your gut, covering your digestion, metabolism, absorption rate and how regularly you pass a number 2, is an excellent clue to your general health.

Function at your best

A functional diet consists of a blend of healthy food types containing essential nutrients which should include a good combination of vitamins, minerals and probiotics that your body needs. This, together with the correct exercises and other lifestyle changes, restores balance and will ensure that you can function at your best.

As an IFM Certified Practitioner and Sport Scientist, Matt uses this knowledge to develop a tailored plan for you by considering the physical, mental and energy demands placed on your body by your lifestyle. By taking the approach of functional medicine, he creates a wellness program for your individual and specific needs with interventions that can help restore imbalances in your overall wellbeing. Functional nutrition therapy stems from MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy), an intervention process based on your personal physical exercise and fitness needs to create a sustainable, personal lifestyle eating and nutrient plan. It can identify and then repair food-related root causes, such as nutrient deficiencies and knowing which types of food to avoid that may result in chronic diseases.

To find out more, schedule an online appointment with Matt today to assess your wellness journey needs.

Frequently asked questions:

What is functional nutrition therapy?

Functional nutrition therapy is an intervention process based on your physical exercise and fitness needs to create a sustainable, personal lifestyle eating and nutrition plan that supports your overall wellness. By working with an accredited health practitioner, you can address the underlying causes of diseases and other health concerns that may be holding you back from optimal wellness.

Does diet affect the immune system?

Absolutely. The wrong diet often reveals food sensitivities and intolerances, can cause nutrient absorption problems, toxin accumulation and compromise your gut health. The end result? A compromised immune system. One of the first proactive steps you can take to boosting your immune system is knowing which foods support and supplement your natural health, and eliminating those that cause any kind of dysfunction.

What supplements are good for the immune system?

Supplements consisting of vitamins, minerals, antivirals, bioflavonoids, amino acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, adaptogens and other herbs are known to boost your immune system. A few examples may include Vitamin A, B, C, and E, B Complex vitamins, iron, folic acid, zinc, selenium, and elderberries.

Which foods are bad for the immune system?

A functional nutritionist can help you work out an elimination diet that reveals the food types and meals you should avoid. Foods that contain a high content of sugar and salt, omega-6 fats, fried foods, processed meats, highly refined carbs, and even artificial sweeteners can weaken your immune system.

What is a functional dyspepsia diet?

Dyspepsia, more commonly known as indigestion, typically manifests as discomfort in your upper abdomen with a burning sensation, excess gas, nausea, and/or the feeling of being bloated or “full” too quickly. A functional dyspepsia diet can be prescribed to help manage these symptoms and provide relief from chronic or ongoing indigestion.

What is the difference between functional nutrition and integrative nutrition?

Functional and Integrative nutrition are part of the same family. Functional nutrition helps you to select the best foods to meet your own physical energy and health demands to ensure that you eat healthily and can function at your best. Integrative nutrition is an extension of this. It’s designed to support the inter-connectedness and overlapping demands of your overall mental, physical, and spiritual health, which again may point to different dietary requirements and/or specific food sources and nutrients.

What are functional foods and nutraceuticals?

Functional foods and nutraceuticals are terms that can be used interchangeably. These are foods that are highly nutritious, with the added benefit of being packed with several powerful immune boosting and health benefits.

Is spicy food good for gut health?

Certain spices and spicy foods can in fact be beneficial to your gut. It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario, and it’s important to understand which of these spices complement your own gut and integrative health plan.

Dr. Matt le Roux is a man of many talents: chiropractor, sports scientist and functional medicine practitioner. His science-based approach motivates him to explore the synergy between health and performance that changes the way you move, live, train, think, and eat.

Dr Matt le Roux

Chiropractor, Functional medicine practitioner

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