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Functional Nutrition: Does Your Gut Hold the Key to Optimal Health?

Video Transcript:

Have you been looking for answers to some of your health issues?

Do you struggle with gut symptoms or maybe you have anxiety or depression or even struggle with a poor immune system and you aren't finding the answers that you're looking for.

In recent years, there's been a growing interest into personalized nutrition.

Now in the field of personalized nutrition, we take into account a person's genetic makeup and their gut health to put together and optimize a diet for them that helps to bring them to optimal health.

Personalized nutrition really recognizes that what works for one person may not work for another, and so we need to base your diet off of your own body and what it needs in terms of its genetic makeup as well as your gut microbiome. So before we begin to dig into personalized nutrition a bit more, I'm just going to introduce myself.

I'm Marcie Vaske. I'm a functional medicine nutritionist with Oswald Digestive Clinic, and I will link our website down below.

If you are interested in making an appointment, you can easily do that right on the website. I'm also going to link our free guide, which is 5 Ways to Improve our Gut Health. So with that done, let's dig into today's topic, which is personalized nutrition. Does your gut hold the key?

So today is a fun topic for me to share with you because this is what I do all day long here at Oswald Digestive Clinic, and I'm hoping to educate you on what is personalized nutrition. And so that's the first thing we're going to look at, kind of explore what does that really mean.

Genetics and optimal health functional nutrition

So as I stated a moment ago, personalized nutrition takes into account our genetic makeup and our gut microbiome. So first, let's understand the role of genetics in personalized nutrition.

It has been so helpful in recent years where there has been many more genetic testing that you can get done, and we can take that and find where you might have a more faltering in your genetic or somewhere we really don't have to focus on.

What is MTHFR

And so by using those genetic, that genetic profile, we can support that nutritionally. So for example, let's say that you have MTHFR, for example.

Functional Nutrition: Does Your Gut Hold the Key to Optimal Health?

That means that you are oftentimes going to be low in folate, and that means also that you could be high in homocysteine.

Now, these are just different levels, and this is just one example, but knowing that we can help support it by introducing or incorporating more of those high folate foods into your diet.

Now that's just one little role that our genetics play for us. We also have to understand the genetics to help us understand your metabolism as well as the way you absorb nutrients.

And so using that information, we can really put together a very specialized diet plan for you. Now, in addition to understanding your genetics, it's also going to be critical to understand your gut microbiome.

And our gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria that help keep our systems running on all cylinders.

Our gut microbiome actually can influence everything from our mood to our immune system.

So understanding how yours is put together is going to be really helpful in how we can put a diet together for you.

Now, what we understand about the gut microbiome is that it is very highly individualized because of what we eat, obviously, our diet, our lifestyle, and of course those genetic factors that I was chatting about.

And so putting that all together and taking a look at your gut microbiome can help us increase certain foods that can improve a diversity in your microbiome.

One example of that would be someone who might be struggling with a lot of gut symptoms, and we have two main bacteria in our large intestine or in our digestive tract, which is bifidobacterium and lactose bacillus.

Now, if you're really having a lot of gut issues, and definitely depending on what they may be incorporating, higher probiotic foods can be one way to help support a healthier and more diverse microbiome and will also then turn into less symptoms for you.

Now, in addition to understanding that gut microbiome and putting in foods that may be helpful for you, we also can help take out foods that may not be good for you or just things that are maybe just giving you more inflammation.

And so really tailoring it to eliminating some foods or limiting foods and increasing the foods that are going to help. And how that helps with the genetics is that if you have a hard time methylating certain vitamins, then what will happen is by using foods which are much more bioavailable than supplements, for sure, it can help support your system much better.

And typically when you have these things happening, we don't even recognize it until you start breaking it down in terms of what does your genetics look like?

What does your gut microbiome look like?

So it's exciting to figure that out because maybe for years you've been trying to figure out and not getting those answers.

Just knowing those two things alone, you can make so many significant changes that can really optimize your health.

And this is where we also talk about functional medicine nutrition, and that's just a branch of personalized nutrition, which is something at Oswald Digestive Clinic we definitely dig into.

What is functional nutrition?

And that's pretty much what we're doing on a daily basis. But what that means is that we're looking at your symptoms and then looking at your systems.

So meaning if you have bloating, gas, and diarrhea, we need to look at all the systems in your body, which would mean is it a thyroid issue?

Are you having hormonal imbalances?

Is it just your gut microbiome that's off?

What do your genetics say?

There's all sorts of components to this. And so using that information, again, we get an even more specific diet plan to you. What I love about functional medicine nutrition is that we're always getting to the root cause.

I'm always thinking about when I meet somebody for the first time, I'm always thinking, why are they having these symptoms in the first place?

When did it start?

How long have you had this?

How have the symptoms evolved over time?

And if we can't get to that root cause, then we're definitely going to do some testing if it's needed.

And one example of that is also if you have chronic inflammation and there's just really been no answer for you. You've gotten tons of testing done, been to lots of doctors, and you're still always inflamed, maybe you have a lot of joint pain or muscle pain even.

And so kind of taking that layer back and thinking, okay, well, what kind of nutrients might you need when you have a lot of chronic pain? If we don't have some of these certain kinds of minerals and vitamins, then oftentimes that might be a symptom.

And so one of those things is even just omega fish oil or fatty acids in our body. And what happens is that when we consume foods that are high in omega 3s, things like fatty fish, so salmon or mackerel, sardines, things of that nature, our body still has to break that down.

So if your body cannot break it down, then sometimes it's good to supplement with it. But this is where I kind of pull it back and say, okay, well why can't you break it down?

And so really trying to get to that root cause of what is creating all of these symptoms. So in taking this more holistic approach to health, there's a few factors that are kind of included in all of this, and I've talked about the genetic component is number one, then your gut health, how are those doing? What information we gather from that.

Also, looking at nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities.

So like I said, sometimes things have to be eliminated just because they're causing so much inflammation in the body. Also, things like lifestyle factors as well as just what is your personal goal.

So kind of taking those factors into account can really lead us down this really healthy path that's going to keep you healthy for the rest of your life. So not only do we take in those factors that are important, like your genetics, your gut health nutrient deficiencies and such, but also we use that then to put together that diet plan that's going to be very personalized for you.

But in addition to that, we look at portion sizes. So how much should you be getting based on your age and weight and also your height, including all of those other factors.

So how much do you need?

Meal timing

The other thing is that's really important is going to be meal timing. And sometimes, especially with gut health, if we have a lot of gut health or gut symptoms, sometimes that meal spacing can be nice depending on what you're dealing with.

Sometimes having longer spaces between meals is going to be helpful so that your body can do all the digestion and then rest. But however, if you're dealing with a lot of blood sugar issues, sometimes then what we need to do is eat more frequently, but smaller meals.

So again, personalized nutrition, functional medicine, nutrition really gets to this root piece of it and helping you come up with a plan that is going to be so supportive for whatever symptom or issue we're trying to resolve. So as I said, personal nutrition is really specified to what you need. There is no cookie cutter kind of diet, if you want to use that word.

It's really about, it's supporting you in the way that's needed.

And you may have tried many different diets over the years thinking that that's going to be so helpful. Maybe you've done a low fat diet, maybe you've done the keto diet, maybe you've done the carnivore diet, maybe you've done a IP diet. And they're all these different kinds of diets out there, but they're not specific to you. And I think that's the key thing.

We oftentimes are trying to find the answers on our own.

And so if you have really been struggling with symptoms, gut symptoms, chronic inflammation, trying to manage your weight, it's going to be important to meet with someone like myself that can help you get to those goals with diets that are specific to you.

And I've used the word diet a lot throughout this video, and I don't really like to, but it's the best way to explain what we're talking about.

What is diet?

But when I'm talking always about diet, it's about what food is best for you, what meals are going to be helpful. It's not a diet, it's not something that you have to, it's rigid.

And what we think of when we hear the word diet, it's really a healing and therapeutic meal plan to help support your body. So I hope that helps give you some more information about personalized nutrition, functional medicine, nutrition, what that really looks like.

And the beauty of it is that it can be used in all sorts of situations in terms of your health, from brain health to gut health to chronic pain, to chronic disease. So it's very elasticity. It can move anywhere. It's fluid. That's the word I'm looking for.

And so I hope that if you're struggling with anything, find somebody that can help you, who works like I do at Oswald Digestive Clinic to get you feeling your very best for the rest of your life.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic.  We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH  


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