While conventional medicine focuses on treating conditions once they reach a critical point, holistic nutrition practices emphasize preventative care. This includes a healthy diet and addressing nutritional deficiencies before diseases like diabetes or cancer take root.

This integrative and functional nutrition approach utilizes whole foods, tailored supplements, and mind-body modalities to help clients achieve holistic health. Learn more about the role of an integrative dietitian in promoting holistic health.

Nutritional Assessment

Nutritional assessment is a common practice among healthcare providers to examine an individual’s overall dietary health. Sometimes referred to as holistic nutrition or integrative nutrition (a trademarked term for a specific training program), this burgeoning discipline focuses on how food may contribute to healing body, mind, and spirit.

A practical nutritional assessment may include diet history, physical exam, and subjective symptoms such as bloating or trouble chewing or swallowing. A nutritionist should also consider underlying pathological factors that can affect nutritional status.

An integrated nutrition assessment may focus on a person’s relationship to food and incorporate whole foods, tailored supplements, and body-mind-spirit modalities into the patient’s wellness plan. Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) offer a unique opportunity to apply this multi-faceted approach to clinical nutrition. These RDs are trained to examine the root causes of disease by exploring imbalances, dysfunctions, and lifestyle factors that standard lab tests often miss. This allows them to create a truly customized treatment plan for each client.

Lifestyle Changes

Holistic health isn’t one thing but rather a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, exercise, sleep, spirituality, and creating contributions to your community. These all support your overall health and can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes.

Whole foods, herbal supplements, and functional testing are all used in integrative nutrition to promote a holistic approach to health. These modalities help to identify and address underlying causes of imbalances that can lead to symptoms like digestive discomfort, brain fog, or autoimmune disease.

A holistic dietitian like Radiate Nutrition can help you understand how these modalities work together to create a healthy, sustainable diet for your unique body. They will also teach you skills that are scalable to your lifestyle so you can build holistic practices into your routine gradually and over time. This will make you more likely to stick with your new habits and see long-term success. This is essential for maintaining any changes to your health.

Nutritional Supplements

Using vitamins and herbal supplements can be an essential part of holistic nutrition. Naturopathic doctors often sell these, and can also be recommended by integrative dietitians.

Functional integrative nutrition focuses on the interrelationships between diet, lifestyle, and biological systems. Dietitians practicing this approach consider medical history, inflammation levels, stress levels, and other factors to understand each client’s unique needs better.

A holistic approach to food and wellness can include candid discussions about the environmental impact of eating locally, organic versus conventional farming methods, genetically modified foods, and more. It is an area of practice that requires RDs to stay current on the latest research.

Whether you want to clean up your diet, address digestive issues, or reduce the side effects of a chronic disease, an integrative dietitian can provide guidance. Find an expert near you today. You may even qualify for a free or low-cost nutrition consultation.

Mind-Body Connection

Holistic health considers a person’s social, emotional, and spiritual well-being and physical health. It also encourages preventive care, such as regular checkups and screenings, that can catch potential health issues before they become serious.

The mind and body are innately connected, thanks to our evolutionary past. It’s why your emotions can give you a gut feeling about things happening in your life or you feel physically tired after a sad thought.

Positive thinking, meditation, and other practices promoting mindfulness can improve your mental well-being, impacting your physical health. Studies have found that individuals who practice meditation or attend a support group have longer telomeres than those who don’t. This is because the positive emotions you experience help keep your cells healthy. The same goes for talk therapy, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These techniques have been shown to strengthen cell function, improving your immune system.