No matter what ‘diet’ you choose to follow, there are certain nutritional principles that apply to all people.
The five principles of functional nutrition:
- Essential nutrients -vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, probiotics,
- Food Quality
- Avoid toxic food
- Gut health
Our body needs:
1 . Micronutrients:
- Amino acids (proteins)
- Essential fatty acids
- Complex carbohydrates
3. Probiotics and Organic Acids
1 . Essential Nutrients:
Macro and Micro Nutrients
Our bodies physically have the absolute incredible ability to heal from anything, and be in a state of health, if you give it what it needs, and take away what it doesn’t.
Our body can only use the building blocks we give it to create hormones, neurotransmitters, and every organ and cell in your body- and those building blocks come from the food we eat.
Just like we cannot expect our cars to run well without the right gas in it, our bodies will not run correctly without the right food.
Vitamins and Minerals
What do they do?
- Micronutrients are needed to convert food to energy; build and repair tissues and DNA; manufacture neurotransmitters, hormones, and other modulators in the body
- They break down and detoxify xenobiotics and medications; and maintain growth, reproduction, and health.
Are you deficient in micro-nutrients?
- Most diets are lacking in key micronutrients leading to fatigue, hormone imbalances, skin issues, digestive issues and much more.
- If you are not eating tons of vegetables, leafy greens, bone broths, greens juices, organ meats and moderate fruit, you may not be getting the micro nutrients that you need.
- Micronutrients to pay attention to: B-vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, iodine, and selenium are crucial for brain function, hormonal balance, thyroid, energy, sleep, and mood regulation.
Fat, Protein, Carbohydrates.
What do they do?
- Macronutrients are substances needed for growth, healing, cell renewal, metabolism, energy, reproductive function, immune function.
- What does it do? Proteins are the building blocks for our neurotransmitters and feel good brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. The amino acids that make up proteins are used for building DNA, cell membranes, hormones, receptors, and brain neurotransmitters.
- Are you eating enough protein ? Lack of protein can lead to hormone imbalances and mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
- If you are not eating enough protein, you will not have the building blocks to make the chemicals that keep you motivated and happy. Those struggling with anxiety and depression should ensure they are getting enough quality protein so their brain has the building blocks it needs to make the correct neurotransmitters.
Check out: does whey protein cause inflammation?
Fat (essential fatty acids):
What does it do?
- Fat is the building block for hormones, brain function, and healthy skin. It is crucial for brain, cell, and hormone function. The brain is about 60 percent fat. The fats you eat strongly influence your level of brain function, energy, mood, hair/skin/nails.
Not all fats are created equal! The type of fat you eat is either healing, or toxic.
- Healing Fat #1: Saturated fats: Saturated fats such as coconut oil, brain octane oil, butter, and egg yolks, are a few of the healthiest types of fat- crucial for reproductive, heart, and brain function. These fats convert straight to energy in the body- and are easiest for our body to use and break down. Our hormones are created from saturated fat and cholesterol- so without healthy sources of these- imbalances occur. These fats are critical for sex drive and fertility. For more information read: Why saturated fat and cholesterol are not the enemies and read how it is a myth that saturated fat will increase your risk of heart disease and clogged arteries.
- Healing fat #2: Monounsaturated fats: avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
- Healing fat #3: Omega three fatty acids EPA and DHA: Anti inflammatory, essential for brain and reproductive function. Fish oil, fish(salmon and sardines) and chia & flax seed.
- Healing Fat #4: Omega Six fatty acids: nuts- can be inflammatory if eaten too much. Read more about omega 3 to the omega 6 ratio you want here.
- Toxic Fat: Avoid vegetable oils like canola, soy, and corn. These oils are rancid and cause major inflammation in the body. They are the real reason for heart disease and many other inflammatory conditions. FYI: almost all restaurants cook with vegetable oil- and they are in almost all packaged foods. Read labels to make sure you are not consuming them.
Every cell in our body is made up of fat- if you are consuming more toxic fats than healthy fats- your cells will be toxic- leading to weight gain, mood disorders, and low energy, and disease.
Supports thyroid and adrenal function
- Choosing complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, plantains, and all squashes provide the body with slow burning energy.
- Flours, breads, pasta, sugar, cookies, crackers, cakes, chips, and crackers are highly inflammatory, cause fat storage and hormone imbalance.
Eat Carbs Wisely
- Eating a high carbohydrate meal (pasta, cookies, sugar, bread) spikes blood sugar and insulin causing hormone imbalances and fat storage.
- TIP: Always have a carbohydrate with a fat to slow the absorption of glucose in the body and not spike insulin or blood sugar. Have coconut oil or butter on potatoes, grains, or squashes. Have avocado or nuts with fruit.
- The amount of carbs you need is dependent on your specific body type, age, and activity level. Read here to figure out the amount of carbs you should be eating.
Key Take Away:
- Our bodies need certain nutrients to use as building blocks for energy, brain function, hormone balance, healing, and anti-aging.
- If we are not eating the right food, we are not giving our body what it needs to stay in health.
2. Food Quality +
3. Avoid Toxic Food
The most important aspect of food and water is the quality of it.
Farm raised animal products, GMOS, pesticides, and processed foods cause imbalances, inflammation, and disease.
These toxins in our food and the plastics and chemicals in our water- are causing hormone imbalances, digestive problems, depression, inflammation, and break down of the body. They also poke holes in your digestive track- letting food and bacteria enter into your blood stream, these chemicals then get stored up in your body and burden your liver.
Consuming non organic food and tap water year after year begins to accumulate and take a toll on the body, where signs and symptoms begin to manifest.
Nothing happens overnight, it is the accumulation of things that build up and either heal the body, or destroy it.
Sticking to an organic, whole foods diet- limiting all sugar intake. and drinking only filter water is one of the biggest steps you can take for a healthier body and mind.
We want to alkalize & de-inflame the body to allow it to function at its potential. What you are eating is either causing inflammation or healing the body.
1 . Choose Clean Food Quality
- Avoid boxed food, fast food, artificial sweeteners, flavorings, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, & anti-biotics.
- Choose organic, whole foods.
2. Use Fats That Heal and Avoid Fats That Kill
- Eliminate toxic, inflammatory fat sources- margarine, canola oil, soybean oil, trans fat, vegetable oils
- Eat plenty of healthy fat to radically improve reproductive function, fat burning, brain function, & energy. Avocado, avocado oil, coconut products, coconut oil, butter/ghee, olive oil, olives, fish oil.
3. Eat Clean, Quality Meat Only
- Grain-fed animals become highly inflamed, sick, & diseased which then do the same to you.
- Grass-fed, free range animals pass along a healthy protein/fat sources, loaded with brain-boosting omega 3’s and metabolism boosting Conjugated Linoleic Acid among other things to improve the quality of your life.
4. Live by the 80/20 rule: Vegetables at every meal!
- Include tons of alkaline foods such as raw vegetables, avocados, greens powders, fermented foods, sea salts, apple cider vinegar, lemon, etc. in your meals.
- Meals should be 75-80% alkaline veggies & oils & 25% acidic (meats, grains).
- The more processed something is = the more acidic and harmful it is to the body.
5. Consume Fermented Foods & Beverages Every Day:
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, enzymes and organic acids. These foods detoxify the body, protect you from disease, provide you with energy, and enhance digestion.
- Fermented raw dairy products such as kefir.
- Fermented vegetables: sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.
- Fermented beverages: coconut kefir, kombucha, beet kvass and apple cider vinegar
With decreased insulin levels and an abundant source of healthy fat, your body naturally switches over from a sugar burner/sugar craver to a highly productive fat burner.
- Have vegetables at each meal
- Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces of filtered water every day
- Avoid processed, fast, boxed, foods.
- Avoid vegetable oils and high sugar
- Choose quality food and only organic animal products
- Consumer fermented foods each day
- Eat balanced meals by having a protein, healthy fat, vegetables, and complex carb on your plate.
4. Gut Health
What you eat is important but HOW you eat is even more important. You could be eating the healthiest food in the world but if your gut is not working properly, you cannot absorb any of the nutrients from what you are eating.
All Health Begins in the Gut
The gut and your digestion is the foundation of your whole body’s health.
- 80% of your immune system is located in the gut. Without a healthy gut, you can’t have a healthy immune system. Without a healthy immune system, you’re open to infections, inflammation, hormone imbalances and autoimmune disease.
- More serotonin(happy brain chemical) is produced in the gut than in the brain. Many causes of depression and anxiety are a result of gut issues.
- Your gut interacts with the outside world more than any other part of your body, taking in nutrients from food and keeping out bacteria, pathogens, and undigested food.
So many of the diseases and issues going on with people today are cause by leaky gut or intestinal permeability. This is when we have small holes in our digestive system that allow food and other unwanted toxins loose into our blood stream.
Signs of leaky gut:
- Food intolerance or allergies
- Depression, anxiety, and mood issues
- Skin problems: acne, eczema, rosacea,
- Hormone imbalances: Infertility, PCOS, PMS
- Autoimmune conditions
- All kinds of digestive issues: Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint and muscle pain
- Brain fog
In this day and age, almost all of us have some degree of leaky gut because of the water(chlorine, fluoride, antibiotics), food(GMOs, pesticides), and environmental toxins(heavy metals, parasites) we are exposed to.
Two Important Keys to Health
- How you digest and absorb your food.
- The bacteria that make up your microbiome and digestive system. (they out number your cells 10:1!) You want to have a diverse balance of good bacteria and make sure the bad bacteria, parasites, and yeasts are kept in check.
With a strong and sealed gut, you are protected against toxins and bacteria that you may be ingesting and not be affected by it unlike someone with a leaky gut.
Causes of Leaky Gut
- Inflammatory foods- sugar, vegetable oils, gluten, GMOS
- Gut inflections: parasites, SIBO, candida
- Medications: antibiotics, birth control, acid blocking drugs etc.
- Stress: emotional and physical
That said, we need to be giving our guts some love on a daily basis to keep or fix our health and really thrive!
How to Take Care of Your Gut and Create Amazing Health
This is a functional medicine approach to truly heal your body known as the “Four R’s”.
Supplements For a Healthy Gut
The secret to thriving health is taking care of your gut. Start incorporating these for R’s today for prevention of disease and amazing health tomorrow.
Microbiome: the microorganisms in a particular environment (including the body or a part of the body). Your gut has a microbiome and your skin has a microbiome.
The next 20 years of heath will be about the microbiome and the bacteria that live within us. Health practitioners are all about this topic these days because studies have shown how crucial your microflora is to your genetic expression, immune system, body weight and composition, mental health, memory, and minimizing your risk for numerous diseases, from diabetes to cancer.
The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body.
We need to make sure we have an abundance of healthy bacteria because they control everything:
- These bacteria detoxify your body
- They protect you from bad bacteria and viruses
- They absorb the nutrients that you are eating and create vitamins
- They are your body’s defense and energy system.
- The healthier your gut, the healthier your body, skin, mood, and life.
Focusing on your digestion and the bacteria in your gut is the area that will take your health to the next level.
Without a healthy microbiome, you can’t have a healthy immune system. Without a healthy immune system, you’re open to infections, inflammation, hormone imbalances and autoimmune disease.
Live Dirty, Eat Clean
In our world today. . .we are completely destroying our microbiome- we over use antibiotics, medications, and sanitizers, c- sections are becoming the normal operation, and we are paying for it.
Establishing a strong microbiome when we are young is what sets us up for health for life. We get our first exposure when we are coming out of the vaginal canal, our environment builds our protection.
If you are not exposed to all types of bacteria- you will not build a strong system. This is why kids that grow up with animals have a stronger immune system then kids without.
The more healthy bacteria you consume, and the more you do to take care of that bacteria, the healthier you will be. Even though our intentions were in the right place sterilizing everything, and giving out antibiotics like candy – it has made our immune system weaker than any other time in history.
Things like antibiotics, medications, and toxic food kills the healthy bacteria that protect you from the bad bacteria.
When people are put on antibiotics, their microbiome gets completely destroyed, leaving them extremely vulnerable and open for infection in the future, and reoccurring illness.
If you have been on antibiotics, eat processed and fast food, or take the birth control pill, your microbiome needs extra care.