Functional nutrition, a type of functional medicine, focuses on using healthy, natural foods to help people improve their health. Functional nutritionists provide flexible, individualized care to each person based on their needs. Each person may have a different functional nutrition treatment based on what will be most effective to improve their physical, mental and even spiritual health.
This type of individualized care is a hallmark of functional medicine. Functional medicine practices don’t provide a one-size-fits-all common treatment, but they focus on ensuring that each individual receives the care that is right for them. Functional medicine also focuses on improving health by acknowledging how each organ and part of the body work together to achieve optimal function.
This patient-centered, holistic approach has many benefits when it comes to functional nutrition. Functional nutrition looks at the ways food affects the entire body and how foods affect different people. A functional nutritionist will consider a person’s current health conditions, how that affects their holistic health and how different foods will affect their overall health to create a personalized nutrition plan.
Even traditional medicine is taking on more functional, patient centered-approaches with treatments that are specific to a patient’s DNA. As medicine continues to become more individualized, functional nutrition can play a larger role in comprehensive care for patients.
Already functional nutrition is playing a larger role in integrative medicine practices such as massage therapy, chiropractic services, acupuncture, and more. Functional nutrition allows these practitioners to provide more holistic care, providing support and treatment for each aspect of a person’s health.
4 Reasons to Consider this Future-Focused Field
Whether you currently have a healthcare practice or are interested in joining the healthcare field, you may want to consider the growing field of functional nutrition because you can:
Offer Leading-Edge Care
As the functional medicine approach to care becomes more and more popular, you’ll be on the leading edge of changes within healthcare.
Provide Patient-Centered Disease Prevention
Functional nutritionists treat the whole person and offer a safe, holistic approach to treating many diseases through better nutrition.
Treat the Growing Aging Population
Older Americans especially may benefit from improvements in their nutrition. As the population continues to age, more and more people will turn to functional nutritionists for help.
Be Part of a Growing Career Field
Functional nutrition is part of an emerging new specialty. Functional nutritionists are expected to see higher than average job growth projections as well as higher earning potential compared to other careers.
If you are interested in a career in functional nutrition or adding functional nutrition to your existing practice, the first step is to undergo training. At Portland Community College, our Functional Nutrition program helps you build a solid foundation for your practice. You’ll learn about the science of nutrition, how to provide nutrition counseling, business tips for your practice and more.
Functional nutrition and integrative medicine continue to play a larger role in healthcare. In the future, these fields may be offered to nearly every patient, helping each person make individualized choices to improve their health and lifestyle.