There are no printed menus with detailed 7 days a week meals, no periodic scales, no whole food groups eliminated, and no calorie counting. None of these characteristics, typical of many traditional diets and many others, are part of Functional NutritionIt is a different approach that seeks to treat food and its close relationship with health in a different way.
“Functional nutrition is the field of study of nutrition and it has its perspective on functional medicine, which is Evidence-based integrative science This includes the interaction of all body systems, stressing the relationship between biochemistry, physiology, and emotional and cognitive aspects of the organism. It differs from the classic nutrition because It integrates the body as a whole Where the physical, emotional and environmental aspects are taken into consideration, all of this is in order to bring about a positive vitality in the person, ”explains Paula Hernandez, Professor of Bachelor of Nutrition at ISALUD University.
Traditional diets, as we know them, They have a beginning and an endAnd setting a major goal, such as losing a certain amount of kilograms at a certain time, raises it.
On the other hand, the eating plan on which functional nutrition is based seeks to improve the habits of the person consulting, and educate them to incorporate them as part of a lifestyle that can continue over time.
“The problem is that most of the patients come Focus on a weight goal And not with improving habits, which will also affect balance. This is why it is important to visualize a goal based on dietary decisions, changing habits, managing stress, and increasing mobility, and not based on the amount of kilograms we want to weigh. ”
Five principles of functional nutrition
The professional highlighted that functional nutrition has 5 basic principles and detailed each in order to understand the cause of the integrative view.
1. Biochemical individual
This means that each treatment is customized because every organism is different, has a different metabolism, needs, imbalances, and response to the active principles of a food. Starting from this, Each plan must be individual Not only in the amount of calories, but also in the active ingredients to choose from.
2. Treatment that focuses on the person
It states that health and disease are the result of a combination of factors: Diet, exercise, genetics and the environment. There are issues that cannot be modified, such as genetics, but others can be modified.
Today it is known that food is somewhat generative Changes at the epigenetic level. For example, if a person follows a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, this will have an effect on how the genes are expressed, and whether they are also rich in ultra-processing.
Therefore, by focusing on the person, knowing the present and going back a little in their history, it will be possible to discover if there are factors It gives rise to specific symptomsSuch as migraine, insomnia, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, or chronic fatigue and excretion from food.
3. Nutritional balance and bioavailability of nutrients
It is one of the most important points in which it differs from traditional nutrition, because it provides protocols for treating the body and helping it to end the detoxification of the body. It’s not all about innovative detox diets, But it indicates a preference Liver and kidneys Perform the detoxification function without saturating the entire system.
In addition, it takes into account the importance of a healthy gut to properly absorb all the nutrients that food provides us. If the intestine is deficient, then it is completed. But everything will depend on each patient individually.
4. Health as a positive vitality
It is the ultimate goal in functional nutrition. He talks about achieving full physical, mental and social well-being, and stopping to normalize the diseases that we think every day because we are accustomed to them.
“If you are always inflamed and consult a doctor without answers, or if I always feel a headache before menstruation, or constant heartburn relieved with medication, then what is required of nutrition is to work on these symptoms until the person achieves that positive result and the well-being that would be the maximum expression About health, “explains Hernandez.
5. The metabolic bonding matrix
They are the tools used during a consultation for nutritional diagnosis. Included is a Metabolism tracking questionnaireThe patient’s symptoms are analyzed and whether they are related to nutritional deficiencies.
System History, triggers, moderators, and symptoms (ATMS), Then a matrix of metabolic bonding, typical of functional nutrition. This is a tool that seeks to represent the interrelationships that are present in all chemical processes of the body and how they are expressed in the patient, enabling visualization of organic imbalances in order to be able to indicate a personalized treatment.
Functional nutrition pays attention to the interaction between genetics and the environment. Shutterstock Pictures.
Genetics and Ecology
When asked about the importance of antecedents, triggers, moderators and symptoms (ATMS) and what their purpose is, the teacher said: “In the precedents we seek to know them. The patient’s personal and family life history, Which relates to their eating habits, disease history, level of physical activity they engage in, and whether there is a disease present in the family that has genetic roots.
“The operator assesses the current dietary factors and the environments that led to the symptoms. This includes Emotional, physical and mental stressAny problem related to the presence of foreign materials or heavy metal poisoning. Mediators analyze substances that cause or perpetuate some of the clinical symptoms that ultimately lead to symptoms in the patient, such as inflammatory conditions, hormones, or neurotransmitters that are produced and released from stimulating activities.
Hernandez emphasizes that this type of approach is not only limited to obese or overweight patients, but it applies to all individuals who want to improve their general condition and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
There is a phrase that says: Genetics is the weapon and the environment is the triggerIn other words, beyond genes, the way we eat, move, and cope with stress will determine whether or not these genes emerge. “