Our Functional Medicine Toronto Clinic Features: 5 Ways to Begin Eating Healthy

Functional medicine toronto tips for eating healthy

Functional medicine from our Toronto clinic can help you take charge of your health status. This includes making healthy lifestyle decisions, like dietary changes.

But don’t worry – we know that “old habits die hard,” and that implementing new food choices can be intimidating! So, in this post, we focus on integrative and functional medicine tips to ease your way into a nutritious diet.

Tips for Starting a Healthy Diet

  1. Plant a garden.

    Scientific evidence has shown that gardening and food choices are linked. In one study, people who owned urban gardens increased their intake of fruits and veggies, boosted their access to healthy food, and valued the importance of organic options. “… [I]t is evident that participation in urban gardens, whether domestic or community, has a positive impact on important healthy food practices, access, and beliefs, knowledge and attitudes,” confirms a Public Health Nutrition article. Just think of how proud you’d be if you had homegrown red bell peppers in your salad!

  2. Shop for a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

    From one study in BMC Public Health, “Results suggest that prompting individuals to eat colourful meals is a promising strategy to facilitate healthy food choices in daily life.” This makes sense, as scientists have noticed that consuming the same food can decrease appeal and food intake. Colourful fruits and vegetables have phytonutrients, which can contribute to the prevention of chronic disease and heart disease. We suggest opting for organic produce, so here’s something to consider from the Harvard Medical School: “Try to avoid peeling foods like apples, peaches and eggplant, lest you lose their most concentrated source of beneficial chemicals.”

  3. Implement healthy eating inside and outside the home.

    Common childhood issues include poor diet and obesity. These are concerning because many family lifestyle factors involve being “out and about”, which can trigger junk-food options. But one study showed that eating at home was connected to less takeout food. “Research into the home environment has shown higher intakes of desirable nutrients such as fiber and lower intakes of noncore foods when eating at home than at other locations, paired with lower dietary energy density and percentage of energy from fat,” an article from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains. Bottom line: eat healthy at home, but when you and your family members are at school, work, etc., only pack nutritious foods.

  4. Reach out for education.

    Sometimes it can feel confusing learning about nutrition. So, we recommend working with a functional medicine practitioner for a personalized approach to your wellness. “There is evidence that informed patients are better aware of matters relating to their care, and therefore they should also be better placed to take an active part in their own care,” confirms a perspective from Patient Education and Counseling. A functional medicine provider can guide you on how to read food labels, which foods are suitable for your health goals, and offer functional medicine testing to review your nutrient levels.

  5. Give yourself a pat on the back!

    And finally, don’t forget to congratulate yourself. Give yourself a high five or applause for each step you take, no matter how small or large the feat. The fact that you are dedicating yourself to diet and lifestyle modifications is something to be proud of.

Join our functional medicine programs

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC), our goal is to help you achieve optimal health while addressing your current symptoms and educating you about healthy living. Functional medicine testing is available to our patients, which can help us determine nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances (i.e. low leptin levels), cholesterol levels, etc.

Our integrative and functional medicine providers can make accommodations for in-person and virtual consultations. We have experience addressing numerous health concerns related to chronic disease (i.e. chronic fatigue and chronic pain), digestive issues, heart disease, brain health, hormonal health, sexual health, sleep issues, body aches, adrenal fatigue, and more.

As per the functional medicine wisdom, we distinguish each patient as a unique entity with individual symptoms, so we understand that everyone has different needs and lifestyle factors. Our integrative approach to wellness allows you to experience a wide range of treatments, such as acupuncture, IV (intravenous) therapy, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, herbal medicines, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western medicine, stress management, and naturopathic medicine.

Are you struggling with your eating habits? Are you coming across obstacles with a new diet? Let’s customize a healthy road map for you with our clinical care. To learn about functional medicine from our Toronto clinic, click here to send us a note

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

References:

Conner, T. S., Brookie, K. L., Carr, A. C., Mainvil, L. A., & Vissers, C. M. (2017). Let them eat fruit! The effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on psychological well-being in young adults: A randomized controlled trial. PLOS ONE, 12(2), e0171206. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171206

Garcia, M., Ribeiro, S., Germani, A., & Bógus, C. (2018). The impact of urban gardens on adequate and healthy food: A systematic review. Public Health Nutrition, 21(2), 416-425. doi:10.1017/S1368980017002944

Johansson K, Leino-Kilpi H, Salanterä S, Lehtikunnas T, Ahonen P, Elomaa L, Salmela M. Need for change in patient education: a Finnish survey from the patient’s perspective. Patient Educ Couns. 2003 Nov;51(3):239-45. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(02)00223-9. PMID: 14630380.

König, L.M., Renner, B. Boosting healthy food choices by meal colour variety: results from two experiments and a just-in-time Ecological Momentary Intervention. BMC Public Health 19, 975 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7306-z

Nida Ziauddeen, Polly Page, Tarra L Penney, Sonja Nicholson, Sara FL Kirk, Eva Almiron-Roig, Eating at food outlets and leisure places and “on the go” is associated with less-healthy food choices than eating at home and in school in children: cross-sectional data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Program (2008–2014), The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 107, Issue 6, June 2018, Pages 992–1003, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy057

“Phytonutrients: Paint your plate with the colors of the rainbow” from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, By Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN, Contributor, published on April 25, 2019, viewed on November 10, 2022.

Piqueras-Fiszman B, Spence C. Colour, pleasantness, and consumption behaviour within a meal. Appetite. 2014 Apr;75:165-72. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 22. PMID: 24462488.