Functional Medicine Education: A Comprehensive Guide

Maybe you’ve been plagued with a chronic illness for decades. Or, maybe your symptoms just started but you are being passed from doctor to doctor. From specialist to specialist. Being prescribed medication after medication. 

Nothings working and you want to give up. Well, don’t give up. If you got here by looking for functional medicine education you’ve come to the right place. 

In this guide, you’ll get a mini education on functional medicine and learn about how nutrition can impact your overall health and being, and get answers to some of your questions.

The most important one being, can functional medicine help you? 

What is Functional Medicine?

If you’ve ever left your doctor’s office feeling like you’ve gotten nowhere, you aren’t alone. Many times patients feel like they are immediately dismissed if they have unordinary symptoms. 

Now more than ever the insurance companies are leading the way for how doctors and the medical community make decisions which makes these issues even worse. 

This is why people are now spending billions of dollars on alternative and functional medicine. People want answers and real answers to their medical problems which are becoming harder to find with their traditional physician. 

So, what exactly is the definition of functional health?

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, the goal is to approach medical problems with an intent to find out the root cause of any disease and each symptom that may be aiding to an illness or disease. 

In functional medicine, the perspective is to treat the body as a whole, and not treat the symptoms. Example: you have ongoing migraines and your doctor prescribes you medication to either prevent or treat the pain. 

In functional medicine, treatment would be centered around finding the cause of the migraines and taking a whole-body approach.

According to Dr. Hyman MD, who runs the Center for Functional Medicine, it’s basically like a puzzle that you have to put together using symptoms, medical history, and nutrition. 

Connecting the whole body health.

The whole body is treated as one organism instead of treating specified organs and the symptoms that come along with them.  

Functional Health and Nutrition

At the core of functional medicine is treating the whole body and the key to successfully treating the body is nutrition.

If we have food to eat we can stay alive but with healthy nutrition, we can thrive. 

You would be surprised to learn about all the ways diseases and the symptoms that come along with them can be connected to our nutrition. Everything from certain cancers to depression. 

Even food cravings can be a result of your nutrition health. Here are some more of the many ways nutrition can benefit your functional health:

  • Improved brain function 
  • More energy
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of gastrointestinal cancers 
  • Antioxidants can keep cells from damage that can lead to cancer
  • Heart health 
  • Improved sleep 
  • Can help with depression 

More studies being conducted supporting the fact that certain functional foods can benefit health in life-changing ways.

Let’s go over some specific ways nutrition affects your functional health.  

Functional Medicine Education: Which Foods to Eat?

Functional foods can come from many sources. Plant-based nutrition has been shown to decrease chronic disease, specifically includes cancer.

Animal sources also provide some healthy dose of functional medicine to us that can improve our overall health.

Here are several examples of plant-based and animal-sourced foods you can add to your diet to accomplish your goal of weight loss, reduce your risk of cancer, or all-around improved health. 


  1. Oats have beta-glucan as their main fiber source which helps to slow digestion and suppress appetite. A diet rich in oats can also help with blood sugars and insulin levels to benefit those with diabetes. 
  2. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acid, a source of healthy fat that has been shown to benefit your heart. A few of the components in flaxseed may protect against prostate, breast, and colon cancer.  
  3. Broccoli may be something you have to hide in your kid’s food but it’s worth the trouble. Research suggests it can prevent obesity, heart disease and much more. It contains natural fiber with benefits of its own. It can help with constipation which is a common symptom among the young and the old. 
  4. Wine and Grapes are packed with many nutritional benefits there are many studies showing their impact on heart health. Grapes benefit heart health by increasing HDL which is the good type of cholesterol. They are also packed with vitamin K and bone mineralization.  

Animal Sources

  1. Fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein to help you stay full and vitamin D. It’s important to include fish in your diet when pregnant with no mercury such as trout and salmon due to its benefits on development.
  2. Dairy is known for its probiotic bacteria, vitamins, and calcium that improve our whole-body health. There are several studies showing the benefits of dairy’s effects on our immune and cardiac systems. These benefits decrease diseases like obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, hypertension and more.  

It’s Time to give Functional Medicine a Shot

By trying out a new medication, you face the risk of unwanted side-effects. By adding another medication to your current one you increase the chance of losing any benefits you were getting to begin with. 

What risks are there when you decide to learn more about functional medicine education? 

Absolutely none. You have nothing to lose by learning about functional health and what it means to take care of your body as a whole. 

Come visit us to learn more about nutrition, healthy weight loss, and overall health. 

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