This is an intrinsic part of functional medicine and cannot be ignored in the Integrative Medicine process. It is both important to acknowledge a healthy balanced diet and nutrition that will support the patient’s genetic predisposition, as well as reducing functional disturbances and supporting the healing processes.
The correct diet provides instructions to change biology and biochemistry; supports the body’s acid-alkaline balance, the immune response – turns on or off inflammation, hormone production and balance, metabolic responses, regulate bio-transformation and elimination pathways, improve healing reserves, change our genetic expression and feed or disrupt the microbiota – the probiotic population in our gastrointestinal tract.
In summary; Food is information, provides connection, provides energy and support as medication.
Supporting the immune response in controlling Inflammation – Inflammation is the root of most diseases and is a major contributor to the effects of aging. Inflammation is a response from the immune system when the body perceives it’s being threatened, and it can affect nearly every tissue, hormone and cell in the body. Research also shows that obesity has a strong inflammatory component. This problem now affects more and more individuals as well as our children.
Balancing of Hormones– Hormones affect every part of health, from your energy and cognitive abilities to your body weight and sex drive. Abnormal hormonal changes contribute to accelerated aging, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, depression, low mental capacity, reproductive problems and an array of autoimmune diseases.
Alkalizing the Body – The human body keeps a tight grip on its internal pH level, working hard to keep it around a pH of 7.36. Studies show that the pH and net acid load in the human diet shows considerable change from the hunter-gather civilization to the present. Processed, low-quality foods make the body more acidic and allow diseases to thrive more easily. An alkaline diet helps with cellular renewal and might promote longevity.
Balancing Blood Glucose (Sugar) – Diabetes and weight gain are tied to poor insulin response and other hormonal changes. Poorly managed blood sugar levels due to consuming high amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates can lead to cravings, fatigue, neurological damage, mood disorders, hormonal balances and more. To balance blood sugar levels avoid a high-glycemic diet with unprocessed carbohydrates, additional sugar and artificial sugars. Eating fresh, whole, fibre rich, low glycemic food with good fats and clean protein is indicated.
Detoxifying and Eliminating Toxins – Toxicity is tied to poor digestive health, hormonal changes and decreasing liver functioning. In modern society, we are bombarded by chemicals from our diet and environment that contribute to inflammation, autoimmune diseases, infertility, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and many more.
Improve Absorption of Nutrients – Many of today’s illnesses are due to nutritional deficiencies and high rates of free radical damage. The majority of processed convenience foods are stripped of their natural nutrients or at least partly manmade and packed with synthetic ingredients and preservatives. It is low in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and enzymes.