Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition both have a therapeutic focus on restoring the optimum function of the body and its organs. This works with systems, as well as frameworks toward resolving the root causes of any sign, symptom or diagnosis, with a highlight on the importance of diet and lifestyle modification as part of its approach.
In Functional Nutrition, we don't chase symptoms. We address the underlying root causes of any sign, symptom or disease state. We focus on both the current health challenges and the comprehensive history that lead to their condition. This allows us to uncover and address all factors that may be contributing to disease and dysfunction in the body. And ultimately this approach leads to the most sustainable health outcomes.
Diet and lifestyle changes make the biggest impact when you understand the biological systems in the body, and recognize how they connect. My intention as a Functional Nutrition Counselor is creating therapeutic partnerships with clients to empower them to gain back control of their health.
We envision a world where patients are empowered to participate in their own health outcomes. We believe this empowerment requires a systems-based approach to nutrition and a heart-centric approach to patient and client care. We call this Functional.
Let's Face: Life Can Be Stressful
But what exactly does that have to do with functional nutrition?
When you're stressed, insulin secretion wanes. Your food does not get where it needs to go. The digestive process is constrained. Simple food molecules, like glucose, are left to freely wander the blood stream without being delivered to the cells.
Meanwhile, your stress hormones are pumped up to take the blood supply that they need for you to fight or flee. And not surprisingly, several doctors and researchers have found stress to be the major reason for digestive disturbances from heartburn to gas to irritable bowel syndromes.
Don't stress out! You're going to be OK, really.
There's something we can do to help this and I think you know the answer.
It's the same for all of us ~ RELAX
Easier said than done, we know! Yet there's a reason why the counterpart to fight-or-flight is called rest-and-digest.
A few tips on how to set yourself up for success when it comes to relaxation for digestion.
* Sit down to eat. (This may sound funny to some of you, but I know there are others standers out there.)
* Take a few deep breaths to relax and calm the body before eating.
* Don't forget to chew your food well.
* If you are excessively wound up when sitting down to eat, focus your mind on a healing word, phrase, or sound of your choosing before taking a bite.
* Try invoking some attitude of passivity where distressing thoughts at mealtime are acknowledged, but not engaged.
It may take time to implement these tips. But if it'll help your food get where it needs to go, it'll be worth it!
YOU probably know green tea is good for your health. Let's look at the WHYs and HOW's of the some of the green tea's goodness.
GREEN TEA AND YOUR METABOLISM
Green tea has thermogenic properties, meaning it helps to produce some heat in your body to burn fat and keep you warm. The antioxidants in green tea have been found to extend the release of the neurochemical norepinephrine in the bloodstream and keep it circulating for longer than other caffeine drinks.
GREEN TEA'S ANTIOXIDANT POWER
Green tea's powers come from polyphenols that provide antioxidants to neutralize free radicals in your body. Inside your body you're constantly manufacturing unstable molecules. It's these unstable molecules that can lead to internal inflammation and cancer growth. Those unstable molecules are called free radicals, and they cause harm to other cells in your body. Antioxidants, like those in your green tea, cruise through your body, looking for those free radicals. The antioxidants can not only annul the free radicals, but may even lead some repair to the damage they've already caused.
GREEN TEA AND YOUR BRAIN
One of our favorite forms of green tea is matcha green tea, which comes in a fine powder made from baby tea leaves. The young green tea leave, which include those used for making matcha powder, contain one of your most ZEN amino acids, the L-theanine. The L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation and calm about 30 minutes after ingestion. It stimulates the same alpha waves you activate during meditation. These effects can help counter the jitters that many experience when consuming caffeine. At the same time, those great antioxidants, which are called EGCG, help protect brain cells, keeping them alive and alert and in less danger of cell death.
So power up and drink up when stressed out! The benefits of green tea go on and on! For now let's digest these nuggets and start experimenting with some green tea for health, happiness and hormonal harmony.