What is Integrative and Functional Nutrition?

“Integrative and functional nutrition utilizes a systems-based approach to evaluate the many interacting factors that promote health or disease. It seeks to understand the root causes of system(s) imbalances that influence one’s biology, genetics, nutritional status and well-being. Integrative and functional nutrition uses a holistic, multi-dimensional evidence and practice-based approach to the nutrition care process. A comprehensive nutrition assessment helps the practitioner design a personalized treatment plan, tailored to the patient’s unique needs and lifestyle to support the highest expression of health and healing. This integrated approach can dramatically improve patient outcomes and quality of life.” Quoted from the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy. As you can see, integrative and functional nutrition is more than a trendy diet or looking at calories in and calories out. Let take a closer look at what is involved with working with an integrative and functional dietitian.

Principles of Integrative and Functional Nutrition Therapy


  1. Bioindividuality:
    • We’re all different. Functional nutrition tailors recommendations based on an individual’s genetics, environment, and health history.
    • Nutrition affects cellular metabolismphysiological networks, and gene expression.
    • Even minor imbalances can trigger a cascade of biological responses with long-term effects, potentially leading to poor health and chronic illness.
  2. Root Cause Analysis:
    • Each person operates within an environment influenced by internal and external factors (physical, mental, social, cultural, spiritual) which contribute to overall health.
    • Instead of merely treating symptoms, functional nutrition seeks to identify and address the underlying root causes of health issues, sometimes related to non-food factors.
  3. Therapeutic Approaches:
    • Traditionalconventionalcomplementary, and alternative therapies are recognized as potential healing modalities.
    • Functional nutrition emphasizes nutrient-dense whole foods. Think colorful fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, quality proteins and whole grains. We should consume food as close to its original form (how it is grown in nature) as possible to maximize these benefits.
  4. Personalized Care:
    • Acknowledging individual uniqueness, a personalized clinical assessment and intervention plan empowers patients to restore optimal function, manage symptoms, and promote overall health and well-being.
    • This goes beyond what we put on our plates and in our bodies to include sleep, stress, movement, social connections and digestion.

Benefits of Functional Nutrition

  1. Improved Digestion: By addressing gut health and food sensitivities, functional nutrition can alleviate digestive discomfort.
  2. Balanced Blood Sugar: Functional nutrition helps stabilize blood sugar levels which in turn helps reduce energy crashes and cravings throughout the day.
  3. Enhanced Energy: Nutrient-dense foods provide sustained energy to keep you doing what you love.
  4. Weight Management: Functional nutrition supports healthy weight by promoting mindful eating and metabolic balance. This isn’t always weight loss but where you body functions best.
  5. Reduced Inflammation: Chronic inflammation contributes to many health conditions. Functional nutrition aims to reduce inflammation through diet and lifestyle changes.

Functional nutrition is about empowering individuals to take charge of their health. It’s a holistic approach that considers the whole person, from fork to mind to movement. So, next time you eat, remember that you’re not just feeding your hunger—you’re feeding your cells, your energy, and your vitality.


If this resonates with you, schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation here to learn more about how you can achieve a more balanced, healthy lifestyle.