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When consumed, food provides bodies with the “information” and appropriate materials to function correctly. Without accurate information, a bodies’ metabolic processes experience challenges, which has the potential of causing one’s health to decline.
If someone overeats or consumes too little food, the body is given the wrong instructions. This could produce the possibility of becoming overweight or unhealthily thin. Moreover, improper eating can result in being undernourished and increases the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
The nutrients present in food permit the body’s cells to perform their needed functions. When a person thinks about food providing “instructions about how to function,” the focus shifts to what should be included instead of what should be excluded from a diet. In addition to refocusing the understanding of why food is consumed, the knowledge can be used “to create health and reduce disease by helping the body maintain function.”
The Perspective of Functional Medicine
Functional medicine pinpoints how diet influences health and body function. When functional medicine practitioners analyze the role of nutrition in chronic diseases, they explore the digestive, immune, and detoxification systems. The focus on these systems is due to the interconnection between them.
Eighty percent of the immune system stems from the gastrointestinal system. As a result, potential issues with a person’s immunity can be related to faulty digestion. Therefore, functional medicine practitioners search to identify early symptoms that hint at underlying malfunction, leading to disease.
Lastly, functional medicine searches to address how nutrients and foods are needed to bring function back to the body. Moreover, it is vital to acknowledge what a person consumes dictates how the body functions.
Written by Ke’Lena Thomas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
University of Minnesota: How Does Food Impact Health; by Carolyn Denton, LN; Reviewed by Karen Lawson, MD and Linda Armstrong, RD, LD, MBA
Featured Image Common Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Common Courtesy of Subconsci Productions’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License